web analytics
October 24, 2014 / 30 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Jew Without A Gun

Front-Page-020113

With the debate over gun control at fever pitch following the atrocity in Newtown, Connecticut, I thought readers of The Jewish Press would find the following account of my experience during the Los Angeles riots of 1992 both timely and interesting.

When a jury acquitted four L.A. police officers who’d been charged with assault and excessive force in the beating of motorist Rodney King, the streets erupted. My wife, our children and I were trapped for several frightening hours. We were unarmed, helpless save for our wits. The police were conspicuously absent and the bad guys, frequently armed with heavy weapons, owned the streets. It was a defining moment in my life.

Wednesday evening, April 29, 1992.

The rioters are surging toward the front doors of the theater. They are shouting, but the glass doors are so thick we cannot hear what they’re screaming. The visual is quite enough. Their faces are twisted into expressions of raw hatred. The mob looks intent on some serious violence.

A few kids are laughing, milling about aimlessly and in apparent good cheer. Hey, maybe this is just a community street festival.

We’re at a screening for a new movie. It’s a Hollywood premiere, a charity event for, get this, inner city youth.

I’m friends with the executive producer.

“Bring Karen and the kids,” the producer chirps on the phone. “It’s a kid-friendly movie, there’s gonna be a reception, and really, Robert, it’s gonna be fab-u-lous.” And so because this producer is my friend and I want to support her movie, and because I’m a Hollywood screenwriter and personal relationships grease the wheels of the business, and because the producer is a player and admires my work, I schlep Karen; Ariel, 11; and Offspring #2, seven, to the screening/charity benefit in the DGA building on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood.

What could possibly go wrong at a swanky premiere?

The film, a real stinker, at long last cuts to its final fade to black. Everyone is now mingling in the reception area. Guests congratulate the producer, director and stars, assuring them that the film is: ”great, just great,” and “the best work you’ve ever done,” all the expected and acceptable lies we tell each other.

Suddenly a chill sweeps through the room.

Something is happening outside.

I step toward the large plate glass doors of the theater. The security men, two burly rent-a-cops, deeply alarmed, start locking the row of doors.

Mesmerized, I stare as something hard bounces off the thick glass.

“Step back from the doors,” the security men say.

I stay put. I want to see what’s happening.

“Please, step away from the doors,” they plead as more guests press forward trying to glimpse the fearful gathering outside.

I see it happening. A classic shot unwinding in slow motion: the mob swarms toward the DGA building, toward us: a thick wave of fury marching with a terrible velocity towards this cocoon of – there’s no way around this – Hollywood liberals.

It’s almost funny.

Here we are, inside, raising funds for inner city youth – and the inner city youth are outside trying to get in.

Not, mind you, to express their everlasting appreciation for our spectacular generosity. No, hard as it is to believe, it looks as if the objects of our charity would like to lynch us.

Or maybe burn us to death.

Almost funny. But not quite.

Abruptly, we are plunged into darkness.

And as if on cue, a woman screams, just like in the movies.

A rent-a-cop calls out: “We turned off the lights so they can’t see inside. It’s a safety precaution.”

Panic spreads like a virus through the crowd.

It is pitch black, rioters are gathering outside the DGA building, and to make matters worse, women and children in the lobby are yelling and sobbing in panic.

Karen does not scream or yell. Even as rocks thwack sharply against the front doors, Karen doesn’t even flinch.

“Karen,” I whisper, “I think we should get to the car and get out of here.”

“I was thinking the same thing.”

Offspring #2 is still in my arms, still glued to my hip, and though seven years old she has regressed and jammed her thumb in her mouth; she trembles mightily, as if freezing. I can actually hear her teeth chattering.

About the Author: Robert J. Avrech is an Emmy Award-winning Hollywood screenwriter and producer. Among his numerous credits are "A Stranger Among Us” and "The Devil's Arithmetic.” His novel "The Hebrew Kid and the Apache Maiden" won the 2006 Ben Franklin Award for Best First Novel and the Association of Jewish Libraries Award for Notable Children's Book of Jewish Content. His most recent book is a memoir, “How I Married Karen,” an eBook available at Amazon, Apple and Barnes & Noble, which Avrech is now developing as a major motion picture. His website is Seraphic Secret (seraphicpress.com).


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

6 Responses to “Jew Without A Gun”

  1. Anonymous says:

    send this article to the NRA and they will send it all over the country good luck buddy and I am glad you made it home.

  2. As the daughter of survivors my antennae are on constant alert, looking for the warning signals that were tragically ignored by the kind people who refused to believe the horrors the unkind could inflict. Thank you for alerting us to to a powerful new danger.

  3. A chilling story that's tough for many of us who grew up liberal, never owned a gun and never wanted to. Time to wake up? Unless we are total pacifists on religious grounds (Quakers, etc)…..

  4. A chilling story that's tough for many of us who grew up liberal, never owned a gun and never wanted to. Time to wake up? Unless we are total pacifists on religious grounds (Quakers, etc)…..

  5. For evil to prevail we only not be prepared! God give us the wisdom to lead a balanced life.

  6. John Gnauck says:

    Mr. Avrech What happened at the theater after you left? Were they overrun? Did they spend the night?

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Do you know where your vegetables grow?
Not So Kosher Shemittah L’Mehadrin
Latest Indepth Stories
Bills to restore the balance of power in Israel will be fought by the not-so-judicial left.

Widespread agreement in Israel opposing Palestinian diplomatic warfare, commonly called “lawfare.”

Chaye Zisel Braun

Arab terrorism against Jews and the State of Israel is not something we should be “calm” about.

Peace Now Chairman Yariv Oppenheimer

The Israeli left, led by tenured academics, endorses pretty much anything harmful to its own country

Grave site of terror victim Leon Klinghoffer.

We were devastated: The exploitation of our father’s murder as a vehicle for political commentary.

Judea and Samaria (Yesha) have been governed by the IDF and not officially under Israeli sovereignty

While not all criticism of Israel stemmed from anti-Semitism, Podhoretz contends the level of animosity towards Israel rises exponentially the farther left one moved along the spectrum.

n past decades, Oman has struck a diplomatic balance between Saudi Arabia, the West, and Iran.

The Torah scroll which my family donated will ride aboard the USS Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier

The Jewish Press endorses the reelection of Gov. Andrew Cuomo. His record as governor these past four years offers eloquent testimony to the experience and vision he has to lead the Empire State for the next four years.

I think Seth Lipsky is amazing, but it just drives home the point that newspapers have a lot of moving parts.

Myth #1: It is easy to be a B’nai Noach. It is extraordinarily hard to be a B’nai Noach.

The question of anti-Semitism in Europe today is truly tied to the issue of immigration.

Polls indicate that the Palestinians are much more against a two state solution than the Israelis.

Turkey and Iran the 2 regional powers surrounding the ISIS conflict gain from a partial ISIS victory

More Articles from Robert J. Avrech
Death & Taxes

Welcome to Obamaland, where death and taxes is no longer an ironic statement, but a grim reality.

Front-Page-020113

With the debate over gun control at fever pitch following the atrocity in Newtown, Connecticut, I thought readers of The Jewish Press would find the following account of my experience during the Los Angeles riots of 1992 both timely and interesting.

When Sarah Palin burst upon the national scene and the liberal media attempted to destroy her, I observed on my blog, Seraphic Secret, that she was being transformed into a hated Jew.

Each rhetorical bombardment against her was and is reminiscent of the Arab strategy to demonize Jews and Israel.

True genius is a rare commodity.

Five years ago, 26-year-old Moshe Hammer, z”l, a Lubavitch artist who frequently worked through the night, stepped outside for a walk in Los Angeles, to clear his head and recharge his creative batteries. As was his custom, Moshe rambled miles from his apartment in the Fairfax district.

There is no question in my mind that so-called anti-Zionism serves as a fig leaf for Jew-hatred.

There is no other explanation.

I know of no other country whose legitimacy is as relentlessly questioned and undermined as is Israel’s. You would think that those who espouse the love of human rights and rejection of violence and government oppression would attack, with proper fury, countries like Congo, Sudan, Jordan, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Cuba, Libya, Dubai, Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Venezuela, and of course the most repressive country on the planet, North Korea.

Islamo-Nazis came to Mumbai, and besides attacking major hotels, centers of commerce, and tourist attractions, they went Jew-hunting.

Well, we just marked the anniversary of the 9/11 atrocities and who pops out of his Caliphite Cave?

Yup, Osama bin Laden.

Until 1967, Gaza was part of Egypt. The Arabs who lived in Gaza considered themselves – get this – Egyptians. The Muslim Brotherhood was active and quite popular in Gaza – and outlawed by the Egyptian government.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/front-page/jew-without-a-gun/2013/01/30/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: