Mixed-Bag Menachem

Several days ago I took Menachem Margolin, Chabad rabbi, and Director of the European Jewish Association, to task for his framing “Aliya” as a “Pavlovian” (as in simplistic, determinist, ring a bell and the dog drools) response as insulting, wrong-headed from a practical perspective, and ultimately contrary to Torah.

Rabbi Margolin, based in Brussels, Belgium (home of the European Union) has openly called for a major review, not only in France, but in all of Europe of their onerous hodge-podge of firearms laws. He does so with an eye towards making defensive firearms, ammunition, and training available to peaceful, law abiding Europeans; Jew and non-Jew alike. And he wants it sooner than later, because the threat is real, and imminent. He reportedly wants a little ”something in everyone’s pocket.” So far- so good.

He makes all the right bowing-and scraping noises about “working within the law”, not asking for “tanks or heavy weapons”. He emphasizes background checks, government supervision, etc. (ptui)

Bad enough that there is credence in some quarters that Jews have magical, shape-shifting powers and still have an appetite for blond-haired, blue-eyed goyishe cherubim for matzoh making ritual sacrifice… okay, okay, yes… the new narrative these days has the cherubim brown-haired and eyed, rather tan, and living in Gaza or Hevron. But Jews with Tanks and RPG’s?! That might precipitate a continent-wide conniption fit before the smart Jews pack up and leave altogether. So… “reasonable” is the resulting theme.

It is a bad place to start the negotiations with one’s rulers, but understandable, I suppose.

I still differ with him in his criticism of Israeli politicians calling for the Jews of Europe to come home to Eretz Yisrael. Is it political pandering? Of course it is. So what? Nu? They don’t pander in France, or England, etc.? Is the modern State of Israel Gan Eden (the Garden of Eden)? No. The risk to life and limb is generally small, and one can at least live upright and proud, among one’s brothers and sisters, in an often idiotic, frustrating, imperfect Country, that just so happens to be on (most of) the land promised to your people by G-d.

As a start, I suggest Rabbi Margolin call on each European country to immediately enact uniform possession and carry permits, valid for one’s residence, business, automobile, and person, issued on a “shall issue” basis, to any adult citizen or legal resident. The permit should cover any handgun or shoulder fired rifle through 20mm and any shotgun through 4ga. Ammunition and reloading supplies should be unlimited, save for demonstrably valid fire-safety considerations. Carry should also be valid for all forms of public transport. There shall be no restrictions on body armor. Excepting suspension upon conviction of a dangerous felony, the permit should be good for life.

Negotiate from THERE.

And meanwhile quietly get as many Jews out of Europe and into Israel as fast as we can.

Then we can take that same (initial) permit scheme and institute it in the Jews of Europe’s new and vibrant home, in the land of their forefathers. And “Judenrein” Europe can fend for itself, without their favorite scapegoat.


9 thoughts on “Mixed-Bag Menachem”

  1. Addressing reticence among some liberally acculturated chasiddim, I offer the following vignette from Rabbi Chaim Dalfin on self defense:

    “The Frierdiker Rebbe had traveled from Lubavitch, with Shmuel Katzman, to Rogotzov in regard to a certain communal matter. Several days later the police came to the Rebbe Rashab and informed him that gangsters were waiting, at the train station, for his son. They intended to hurt him. This information was immediately given over to the Frierdiker Rebbe. During this period, the Frierdiker Rebbe always carried a gun. He returned from Rogotzov, loading his pistol, prepared to protect himself. The Frierdiker Rebbe and Shmuel Katzman noticed the gangsters through a window. Shmuel approached them and said, “You are waiting for the Rebbe Rashab’s son. If you think you are going to hurt him we will make of you ash and smoke.” Upon hearing this they ran away because they feared the police. ”

    Forget the police. Beware of the Rebbe… his mindset… his resolve… and what he has “in his pocket”.

  2. The gun laws in Israel are also highly restrictive:

    Considering its history, and it’s location, I’m surprised that the Jewish State is so heavy handed. Jews would be better off emigrating to America than Israel if they want to be able to defend themselves with minimal gov’t control. Then again, with their history of being “professional victims”, most of them probably wouldn’t take up arms anyway – an attitude that has always astonished me.

    1. Homework for you from a “professional victim”: http://www.tsel.org/torah/emhabanim-eng/

      The Author, Rabbi Teichtal was murdered, after having survived Auschwitz, on a transport train to Mathausen. Here is the account from his son:

      “After starving their victims for a number of days, the oppressors tossed each of them a meager crust of bread, with the evil intent of having them fight pathetically for their paltry allotment. Indeed, one of the Ukrainians grabbed the portion of a Jew – my father’s neighbor – who was desperate for this crust of bread. This angered my father, who demanded the return of the theft. The other travelers begged my father not to get involved, since it might cost him his life. But he said “How can I stand by when the wronged man’s life depends on this food?” Indeed he insisted on taking a stand, and the Ukrainians, with the cooperation of the Nazi soldiers, rose against him and killed him, after torturing him mercilessly.”

  3. Ever since I was a child (I am 70), I wondered why there was so little resistance from so many Jews before they were shipped off to the gas chambers. Writing a book after it was too late is impressive but – IT WAS TOO LATE! Defending to the death another man’s right to a piece of bread was also admirable but, again, IT WAS TOO LATE! If you’re in a cattle car being shipped off to a concentration camp, you’ve already lost.

    Also, the idea of gathering all Jews back to Israel is a defeatist attitude. Each Jew is a human being endowed with natural rights and should be able, and willing, to stand and fight for their right to exist in any country they reside in. I would rather stand, and die, on my own two feet in Oregon before I would capitulate and flee to Israel.

    Look at the history of the Jewish people around the world – why are they constantly under attack? It’s because they won’t fight back and their enemies know it. If that’s not an example of “professional victim”, I don’t know what is.

    Israel is the only place the Jews stand and fight – but it shouldn’t be.

      1. Rabbi Kahane. Boy, that’s a name I haven’t thought of in a while. Aaron Zelman told me once that he admired Kahane. Admired him with severe reservations, understand, and he didn’t want many people to know that. But he did admire him.

        I think the two knew each other slightly; not sure about that, but it seems to me they did.

  4. Caution is a good plan when lumping groups of people.

    I met a young lad who worked in a shop in Tel Aviv where I was looking to find a Tank (toy, not actual, this time). He seemed appalled! You mean a weapon of war?? We do not have such a thing. I’m biting my tongue for all it’s worth. Naive to the max.

    By the same token some of the Israelis (most) I know would be able, willing and have defended Eretz Yisrael and her people.

    There was not one single bus or train I was on that wasn’t carrying a few soldiers, all armed. Not like in America where they aren’t allowed to have weapons on the base.

    As I understand it, once you’ve been in the military if you choose to keep a weapon in private life it’s not that big a deal. You can.

    But there, like here, some people have a normalcy bias. I mean, really, you’re surrounded by countries that want to wipe you off the face of the map and you distain a Centurion tank? REALLY? Of course, the rocket attacks started a couple months after I was back. They may have at least a Merkava IV on the shelf by now.

    Defeatist attitude? Let me see now, I have this really big book laying around here that talks about people returning to Israel. Let me see if I just can’t find it.

    Y.B., excellent column, as always, thank you.


  5. “Ammunition and reloading supplies should be unlimited, save for demonstrably valid fire-safety considerations. ”

    I started reloading in 1950. I’ve commonly had some 10,000 primers, twenty pounds or so of powder and two- to five-thousand rounds of loaded ammo on hand. Target shooting, IPSC practice, etc.

    “Demonstrably valid”? Nonsense. I’d worry a lot more about the several-gallon gas can in someone’s garage.

    1. You misunderstand my proviso. I meant to separate the legitimate need for fire safety precautions for large amounts of “flammable solids”, as distinguished from the strong tendency for government to use these rules as a PRETEXT for politically driven constraints. Thus, where reasonable safety considerations exist, they have a valid, but CIRCUMSCRIBED reach. 🙂

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