October 7, 2023, will be remembered as the day that changed Israel forever. From the first news report and right up to this very moment, world Jewry “stepped up to the plate” and shared a tremendous burden with fellow Jews in Israel. From unprecedented donations of money and supplies to helping fight evil on social media, Jews – in every part of the world – assisted in countless ways… and we sincerely thank you from the bottom of our hearts. It is now time for us to return the favor.
My dear brothers and sisters across the globe; it has become crystal clear that – despite the difficulties and challenges – there is no place for a Jew to live other than in Eretz Yisrael. Yes, it’s dangerous at times, but having the knowledge that we don’t need to run to the goyim to protect us… is priceless and special. After escaping and fleeing for 2,000 years, from one country to the next, and literally being defenseless… our future, protection and revenge are – Finally! – solely dependent on our unique partnership between HaShem and our own, Jewish army. No longer must we cower in the shtetl or send a delegation to the Czar to save us. This time, we call on our own brave men and women and arm them with everything they need to fight like Shimon and Levi. Simultaneously, as they courageously fight the enemy, we pierce the Heavens with our Torah, our prayers and our tears.
Yes, it’s true that things are a bit scary and often frightening… but we do our best to focus on the privilege and opportunity that HaShem has given us to take our place in Jewish history alongside the great Jewish warriors such as Pinchas, David, Yiftach, Bar-Kochba and Judah the Maccabee. How unfortunate that Jews outside the Land of Israel – even in 2023 – still run to the nations of the world to plead for help. We have all seen the speeches in the United Nations and the testimony of students begging for help fighting anti-Semitism. How happy we are when the Mayor of NYC promises to protect us or when a university professor stands up to condemn hatred on campus!
Happy when that happens? Satisfied when an email is sent to students urging tolerance of Jews? Comfortable with off-duty cops patrolling your shul on Shabbat protecting your kids? I have the complete opposite reaction. All of these examples – plus many more – prove that the shtetl mentality still exists. It shows that despite all of our advances, we still need the goyim to protect us. This is the main difference with life in Israel, where its our sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, uncles and aunts… plus our own fathers and mothers fighting, battling and defending Jewish lives and property. In Israel, we don’t turn to Eric Adams for help. We don’t pay Tony and Vinny to protect our shul and we certainly don’t run to Washington to beg Senators and Congressmen to watch over us.
Jews of the world; read my words carefully, not because I am anyone special, but because I say what others are afraid to: Your future is in Israel but until that happens, make sure you put yourselves in charge of your own security! Every neighborhood needs to have patrols and every shul and Yeshiva needs to be carefully watched by Jewish eyes. Should an anti-Semite threaten a Jew in any way – whether in Walmart, the pizza store or on campus – that Jew-hater must be taught a lesson with the Jewish fist, not the Jewish head. We don’t condemn acts of anti-Semitism… we crush the anti-Semite the way Moshe did to the Egyptian.
A dear friend of mine told me that last Shabbat, a group of 20 pro-Hamas demonstrators stood outside one of the biggest shuls in London with signs – in Arabic – that said, “Kill the Jews”. My response to him was very clear. Find 30 tough Jews to make sure those protestors can’t walk for 6 months because if not, the 20 protestors will turn into 100 rock-throwing rioters who will eventually burn the shul down.
Now is the time to act!
I cannot emphasize this point enough. Anti-Semitism is growing at an alarming rate and until your Nefesh b’Nefesh aliyah flight touches down in Israel, you must be vigilant in securing all Jewish sites. This means 24/7 patrols which will affect your work schedule but needs to be done immediately.
If you think this is too difficult, here’s a word that will change your mind: Hatzola. The amazing volunteers of this incredible organization worked night and day – including Shabbat and Yom Tov – and have successfully changed our minds in cases of a medical emergency. In Jewish communities served by Hatzola, who still calls 911? Answer – Nobody!!
That is what I’m talking about when it comes to securing our neighborhoods. Let Jews defend Jewish homes, businesses, shuls and schools and let Jews teach the haters that we are the descendants of Shimshon, Yoav and the Purim hero; Mordechai where it says; “For the fear of Jews had fallen upon them” (Megillat Esther 8:17).
Am Yisrael Chai!