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Jews and "Gun Control":
Fear of Freedom or Freedom from Fear?


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Key Points

  • Jewish "leaders" who back "gun control" do not know Jewish Law and History
  • Jewish "leaders" who back "gun control" glory in victimhood
  • Jewish Law has always required self-defense against attackers
  • During 1,800 years of oppression, Jews developed a "ghetto"mindset
  • During 1,800 years of oppression, Jewish "leaders" trusted governments
  • During 1,800 years of oppression, governments repeatedly murdered Jews
  • Jewish "leaders" must shed the "ghetto" mindset, which glorifies victimhood
  • America’s Founding Fathers have much to teach Jewish "leaders"about Freedom
  • Israeli Jews could teach America’s Jewish "leaders" much about self-defense
  • Jewish "leaders" who focus on anti-Semitic hate groups miss the main threat
  • The main threat to Jews in America, as elsewhere, is a government "gone bad"
  • Jewish "leaders" who emphasize victimhood to unify Jews are misguided
  • Jewish "leaders" could strengthen Judaism by teaching proper observance

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The Down-side to "Gun Control": Genocide

Many Americans have unthinkingly accepted -- thanks to endless repetition by some politicians and media personalities -- that "gun control" can and will produce "safe streets" or reduce "violence", by which they mean criminal activity. Some American Jews agree. Few see that "gun control" is lethal, especially to Jews.

"Gun control" can reduce "violence" by ordinary criminals. But only if it is enforced by use of the same brutal police-state measures, as was the case in Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany. Common criminals were restrained in these countries. But so were ordinary people.

Much more important: governments with such wide powers that they were able successfully to enforce "gun control" committed mass murders of tens of millions. Between 1929 and 1953 in the ex-Soviet Union, 20,000,000 were murdered by Stalin’s forces. The Nazis murdered some 13 million persons, including 6 million Jews. JPFO’s published research shows that "gun control" laws cleared the way for seven major genocides between 1915 and1980, in which 56 million persons, including millions of children, were murdered.(1)

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Jews Who Support "Gun Control": Afraid of Freedom

A minority of Jews still back "gun control" after thinking about it. But they do not know:

  • the meaning of "freedom" as used by the Framers of the U.S.Constitution.
  • that for 2,000 years, governments have been Jews’ deadliest enemies.

A sub-minority of Jews -- mainly leaders of Jewish communal groups -- know the meaning of "freedom". They reject it. They fear "freedom". The core of their Jewish identity is "victimhood". To embrace "freedom"- freedom from fear of victimization -- would gut their self-identity. Because "gun control" promotes victimization, and they glory in being victims, they promote "gun control".

Jewish "leaders" who relish victimization:

  • do not understand the Torah, and so
  • reject freedom, and so
  • back "gun control .

They put in peril millions of innocent lives, including those of most Jews. These "leaders’" self-destructive behavior results from their ignorance.

Jews Who Support "Gun Control": Ignorant of Jewish History and Law

Glorification of victimhood is alien to Judaism. Three proofs of this claim:

  • Jewish history, as related in the Five Books of Moses (the Torah);
  • post-Biblical Jewish history;
  • The Talmud, in which generations of Rabbis interpret the Laws set forth in the Torah.

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In Ancient Days: Jews as Militant Activists

Unlike contemporary Jewish "leaders" who relish victimization, Biblical Jewish leaders were militant activists, generally fearless, and always ready to look after themselves and their family members:

  • At G-d’s command, Abraham and Sarah left their home, Ur (in Chaldea, Mesopotamia, now in Iraq) and went to Canaan. (2) Abraham prospered there, and was generally respected by his neighbors. But he used armed force to rescue his nephew, Lot, from kidnappers.(3)
  • Abraham’s grandson, Jacob, returned to Canaan from Mesopotamia and had to face Esau, his brother, with whom he had quarrelled. Before meeting Esau, Jacob prayed for Divine help and sent gifts to Esau, to mollify him. Jacob also prepared to fight. He did not think of running away.(4)
  • Moses -- seeing an Egyptian murder a Jew -- killed the Egyptian.(5) Later, Moses and Aaron returned to Egypt. With Divine help, the persuaded Pharaoh to free the Jews.(6)

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Post-Biblical Events

Jews in the Persian Empire faced genocide instigated by the chief minister to Emperor Xerxes (born about 519 B.C.E. and died in 465 B.C.E.). On finding out they were to be murdered, the Jews at once prayed intensively for Divinehelp. Their prayers were heard: Xerxes learned his chief minister had betrayed him, and so decreed that Jews should defend themselves if they were attacked. The Jews killed some 30,000 of their attackers, and so saved themselves (see theBook of Esther). Each year, Jews celebrate on Purim -- a holiday that usually occurs in March -- to commemorate this deliverance.

Some 300 years later, a handful of Jews -- faithful to a tradition of defending their right to worship the G-d of Abraham -- took up arms to stopSyrian Greek efforts to destroy Judaism. In 165 B.C.E. these heavily-outnumbered Jews defeated the Greeks. Another miracle followed: theJews were so eager to resume services in the newly-purified Temple, that they used the last, one-day supply of purified olive oil to light the Menorah (candelabrum), knowing it would take a week to prepare more oil. The one-day supply of oil lasted eight days, until more specially purified oil was ready. We celebrate Chanucah -- usually in December -- to mark these miracles.

The holidays of Purim and Chanucah are not mentioned in the Five Books of Moses: the events they commemorate occurred much later. Both of these festivals mark major military victories. Jews took up arms to defend themselves because they knew that G-d would be with them. By showing their commitment both with prayer and with sword, they merited -- and got -- miracles. But many Jews ignore the military aspect of these holidays.

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The Talmud: Self-Defense Against an Attacker is Required

The legal wisdom in the Talmud was written down between 200 and 500 C.E.,during the final phases of the Roman Empire, before Jewish psychology had been much distorted by the ensuing centuries of persecution. In the Talmud, generations of sages properly interpret and apply the Laws set forth in the Five Books of Moses, the Torah.

The Talmud repeatedly mandates self-defense against an attacker. For example, in Talmud Tractate Sanhedrin -- which deals with Legal Judgments - theRabbis explain Exodus 22:1, which states, "If a burglar is caught in the act of breaking in, and is struck and killed, it is not considered an act of murder." The next sentence explains, "However, if he robs in broad daylight, then it is an act of murder [to kill him]."(7)

The first sentence clearly refers to a burglar who works at night. This burglar may be killed, presumably because he enters covertly, knowing that people could be present. He is deemed to have lethal intent. If the homeowner is being robbed by his father or anyone else where it can be correctly determined by a court of law (hence the phrase ’broad daylight’ -- if it is clear as daylight that the intruder would not harm the homeowner) that the intruder would never use deadly force to commit the robbery even should the occupant offer resistance, lethal defense is not permissable. If the intruder and his intentions are in doubt, deadly force may be used by the homeowner to defend himself or herself even if the robbery occurs in broad daylight.

On this text, the Rabbis base a general proposition: "If someone comes to kill you, arise quickly and kill him." The Rabbis explain that a thief who enters a building covertly, must know that people:

  • are likely to be in the building;
  • will likely try to defend their property.

Thus, the Rabbis presume such an intruder to be ready for a confrontation. They conclude that any person confronting such a thief must be ready to use deadly force against him, if necessary. Use of such force is not required - one does not have to kill the intruder -- but one must do so if that is the only way to save one’s own life.(8)

In Talmud Tractate Berachos -- which deals with Blessings -- the same general proposition found in Tractate Sanhedrin is found. The first context concerns apolitical persecutor, for whom financial gain was not an issue. A man planned to denounce a Rabbi to the secular authorities, because the Rabbi had punished a Jewish criminal. The secular authorities later approved of the punishment. The would-be informer then planned to tell the authorities that the Rabbi had lied to them and had spoken disrespectfully about them. The Rabbi concluded the informer was implacably hostile to him, and was preparing to denounce him once again. That would have put the Rabbi’s life in direct peril. As a result, the Rabbi killed the would-be informer, in order to save his own life.(9)

The second context refers to a statement David made to King Saul, "According to the Law, you deserve to be slain, since you are a pursuer (persecutor -jes), and the Torah has said, ’If one comes to kill you, rise and kill him first.’"(10) However, David was not required to kill Saul because of special circumstances then prevailing.

Thus, rather than glorifying victimization -- whether by common criminals or by political adversaries -- Jewish law mandates self-defense. This is entirely consistent with the core of Jewish identity as set forth in the Torah: Protection of Life and Enjoyment of Freedom. A Jew -- like anyone else -- must live to be Free. And Freedom means the ability fully to obey the Commandments set forth in the Torah.

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After Roman Conquest: An Old Jewish Tradition Returns

Current Jewish leaders’ glorification of victimhood is rooted in an event that took place 1,925 years ago. In 70 C.E. the Romans conquered Jerusalem and destroyed the Second Temple. Many Jews were exiled; most held on. Inspired by Rabbi Akiva, the leading scholar of the era, and led by Simon Bar Kochba, the Jews revolted in 132-5 C.E. The Romans killed -- or exiled from Israel -- almost all Jews. The Romans executed Rabbi Akiva.

Rome shattered Jews’ self-confidence. In the 1,800 years following Bar Kochba’s revolt, Jews only rarely used weapons for self-defense, although at the very end of that long period Jews served in the armies of various countries. Jews slowly forgot the military skills they had used to defend their freedom. Jews slowly got used:

  • to being victimized
  • to making excuses for their victimizers
  • to helping their victimizers.

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In Exile: Jews Become Passivists (and Pacifists)

This change in the Jewish approach to the World -- from working actively to promote the Rule of Law (civilized behavior) to passive acceptance of brutality- was the result of a leadership vacuum. Jewish leaders felt themselves partly to blame for the Destruction of the Second Temple. Lack of love for each other- mainly vitriolic feuding on points of religious observance -- caused the A-mighty to remove His Presence.(11)

Exile was a harsh penalty. Jews eventually concluded that Exile would endonly when the A-mighty decreed it. A new tradition arose: the passive Jew. Indeterminate punishment and passive waiting were new ideas. Biblical punishments usually were time-defined. Abraham was told that his descendants would be enslaved for 400 years and would then be freed.(12) The punishment for refusing to begin the conquest of Canaan was 40 years of travel in theSinai.(13)

Jews accepted second-class status in exile. They adjusted some religious practices to new places. Consensus on religious doctrine or practice eroded. Eventually Jews developed a range of views on rituals, permissible foods, etc.

Jews rarely had equal status with their neighbors. Residence in a town was a privilege, often paid for in cash and often withdrawn abruptly and bloodily.

In such circumstances, Jews tried to avoid fights with their deadliest enemies, governments, whether in Rome, Almohad (Muslim) Spain, the Holy Roman Empire, Britain, France, Spain, Austria-Hungary, Russia, Germany, Italy(pre-1870), Algeria, Iran, Iraq, or Syria, among others.

Jews tried hard to be liked, especially by government officials. The more evil those officials, the harder Jews worked to appease them. If that were impossible, Jews tried to be invisible. As a last resort, they ran. Most Jews did not fight back. If cornered, they prayed for Divine help and accepted martyrdom, even committing mass suicide rather than resisting, or submitting, to evil-doers.

Flight rather than fight usually worked. Occasionally Jews were expelled (e.g., as from Spain in 1492). But this strategy -- be liked, be invisible, or run -- ultimately backfired. The Nazis aimed to track down and to murder every Jew. Jews could not be liked by the Nazis and only a few were able to hide. It was hard to flee: most countries -- America included -- rejected Jewish refugees.(14)

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Looking Back With Longing to Victimhood

For Jews in exile a "ghetto" mindset replaced memories of nationhood. This was not, however, a new phenomenon. Jews had previously stayed with the familiar, even when it was very nasty, and even when offered a choice. Moses, a very wise man, was dismayed by some Jews -- newly-freed after two centuries of slavery in Egypt -- who rejected freedom. Some even were sorry to have left Egypt.(15) The were so immersed in corrupt Egyptian practices that they made and worshipped a golden calf, even before Moses had come down from Mt.Sinai.(16)

These Jews went astray because the Egyptians had so completely crushed Jewish self-confidence. Thus:

  • the miracles accompanying the Exodus from Egypt;
  • the utter destruction of the pursuing Egyptian Army;
  • the revelation of the Torah on Mt. Sinai;

were not enough to convince many Jews that they could trust G-d’s goodness.

There is solid proof of this. Moses sent a dozen spies to take a first look at Canaan. Two came back and declared for an immediate start to the conquest of Canaan; ten returned disheartened. The majority said the Canaanites were so huge and powerful that Jews were like "tiny grasshoppers" by comparison.(17) Angered by this lack of faith, the A-mighty finally decreed that Jews would travel the Sinai for 40 years, until a new generation -- free from the slave mindset -- took charge. These Jews would possess Israel.(18)

Jacob’s descendants were so psychologically brutalized by two centuries of servitude in Egypt, that they had completely forgotten their ancestors’ dedication to Freedom. It is thus understandable how thoroughly brutalized Jews became in the 1,800 years separating the Roman conquest from Israel’s re-establishment in 1948.

Jews were viciously persecuted -- at least occasionally -- by nearly everykind of government, in a range of ways. Governments forced Jews to wear special clothing, live in ghettos, pay extra taxes, not engage in specified trades or professions, etc. Even when governments created anti-Semitism - or aroused latent anti-Semitism -- for political or financial gain, Jews’ respect for tradition moved them to obey these governments’ enactments.

Most Jews’ minds were bent by this long victimization, just as enslavement in Egypt had psychologically damaged many Jews to the point where they rejected Freedom and longed for the "comforts" of Egypt. Thus, many modern Jews do not know that for the first third of Jewish history, Jews were fighters, activists ready to defend themselves and their right to worship as we are commanded.

Some modern Jews even believe their oppressors’ propaganda, that Jews somehow deserve to suffer. That is not surprising. A victim of a violent criminal may try to avoid "dangerous situations", feeling the attack resulted from some personal negligence. Sometimes a hostage even sympathizes with the kidnapper.

The tradition of accepting "victimhood." -- the "ghetto" mindset - produces "leaders" who are resigned to, and even glory in -being victims.

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Jewish Leaders’ Lethal Error: Blind Faith in Governments

Centuries of persecution caused the Jewish tradition of self-defense to be buried under a mountain of psychological and intellectual rubbish. Jewish "leaders"repeatedly put their trust in governments that seemed benevolent, even after this trust was bloodily betrayed. These "leaders" applied to politics a central religious value: tradition, or following the religious practices of one’s parents. Tradition is a major reason why Judaism endures.

But mixing religion -- respect for "tradition" -- with politics has always produced nasty results. Jews owe unquestioning obedience only to the A-mighty’s commands, as set forth in the Five Books of Moses and as explained in the Talmud, and other commentaries. The soundness of G-d’s commands is beyond question. Jews seek perfectly to obey G-d’s commands, starting with the Ten Commandments.

But no human institution, e.g., a government, can merit the trust Jews owe to G-d. Jewish "leaders" who transferred into the political realm the religious "tradition" of obedience, cleared the way for their own repeated victimization. When Jewish communities were betrayed and attacked by governments in whom Jewish "leaders" had placed political faith, these"leaders" redoubled their efforts to curry favor with the government, instead of seeking a better strategy, i.e., fleeing or fighting.

In Judaism, when a disaster -- e.g., a plague or a drought -- befell a community, "tradition" taught everyone to try harder to obey G-d’s commands. That is, such disasters were seen as punishments for failures properly to obey G-d’s commands. The underlying logic behind trying harder: G-d was benevolent and would be pleased by the efforts made to conform to theTorah.

It did not follow, however, that a government hostile to Jews could ever be pleased. Yet, Jewish leaders repeatedly tried to please such governments. Every setback was met with greater efforts to please.

Most Jewish "leaders" were -- and are -- highly educated. Education does not necessarily bestow political common sense. Alternatively, great intelligence can give rise to arrogance. Arrogance -- self-confidence that over-rides common sense -- can be lethal.

Jewish "leaders’" most common lethal error is also the most inexplicable. In the 1,800 years between the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 C.E. and 1948, when the State of Israel was re-established, governments murdered far more Jews than all sorts of hate groups combined. Thus, it is especially surprising that Jewish "leaders" should have persisted in relying on government protection.

Victims often identify with -- and sometimes even help -- their oppressors. In the past 2,000 years governments have been Jews’ deadliest enemies. Forgetful of their own history of armed self-defense, Jewish "leaders"sought protection from governments. Jewish "leaders" urged members oftheir communities to appease governments, to keep on "the good side of the powers that be".

Jewish "leaders" who trusted governments to protect Jews have beenJews’ deadliest internal enemies and continue to be so. Jewish "leaders "who urge Jews to back "gun control" make a similarly lethal mistake. To be disarmed is to be powerless, the first step towards victimhood.

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The Challenge for American Jewish "Leaders"

Many American Jews emigrated from Europe, or are descendants of emigrants from Europe. For many of these Jews, "freedom" -- the ability to perfect obedience to G-d’s commands as set forth in the Torah -- without fear of government interference, is an alien idea. These Jews have been so brutalized psychologically by governments "gone bad" that they have lost the ability:

  • to relate to early Jewish history, filled with great examples of how a small nation of activists guided by a Faithful G-d stood firm against mighty nations;
  • to imagine that victimization can be ended.

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The Framers’ Teachings: A Cure for Jewish "Leaders’"Psychological Damage

The Framers of the Constitution would surely find it hard to understand:

  • that current Jewish "leaders" could glorify victimization;
  • how anyone in 20th Century America could look to government for defense against victimization.

The Framers had first-hand experience of:

  • government "gone bad".
  • the deep commitment of most Jews to the Revolution against Britain.

Having been brutalized by the British government, the Framers limited the powers of the government they created, to limit its capacity to do evil. The individual civil rights that make up the Bill of Rights -- the first ten amendments to the Constitution -- guarantee each American freedom from fear of the government. This makes America unique.

Many Jewish "leaders" carry -- and need help to shed -- the baggage of centuries of victimization. Jewish survival depends on reviving the ancient tradition of self-defense, which once served us well, and for the neglect of which we have paid a crushing price. The Holocaust is only the latest installment of the fearsome price Jews have paid for neglecting the Torah’s command that we defend ourselves.

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Time for a Change

Jewish "leaders’" tradition of relying on government protection, under pins their support for "gun control". If Jewish "leaders"thought about "gun control", they might see through the attractive falsehood, that "gun control" saves lives. "Gun control" necessarily promotes victimhood and thus genocide. There are tens of millions of needless victims of "gun control", including millions of Jews.

Jewish "leaders" need help to break free from a centuries-long pattern of self-destructive behavior rooted in their tradition of placing in governments the faith that should be placed only in G-d. Were Jewish "leaders"to become at least skeptical of government’s benevolence they might then be able to appreciate fully the wisdom of the Framers of the U.S. Constitution, above all the concept of "freedom" that the Framers held so dear.

Were Jewish "leaders" to shed the tradition of blindly placing faith in governments, they would work hard to strengthen every part of the Constitution, especially the Second Amendment. This brief Amendment best limits the U.S. Government’s capacity to do harm, and certainly could prevent it even from attempting genocide.

Were Jewish "leaders" to understand the tremendous achievement of Israeli Jews -- who have embraced the ancient Jewish tradition of a strong self-defense -- they might embrace the Second Amendment.

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Israel: A Shining Example of Self-Defense in Action

Israeli Jews do not want to be victims and so do not think of running away from their enemies. As in Biblical times, Israeli Jews have enough faith in the A-mighty to take up weapons in self-defense.

This epic change resulted from a huge external shock, the Nazi genocide. This shock was comparable to that arising from the destruction of the Second Temple. Jews in Israel faced a life-or-death choice when Jordan, Egypt, andSyria invaded Israel just after the State of Israel was proclaimed on 15 May 1948. Israeli Jews had no place to go.

To die, they had only to cling to the tradition of being a victim. When faced with attack by Jordan, Egypt, and Syria Jews in Israel dumped the tradition of passive victim. They chose life. They rediscovered an olderJewish tradition -- fight -- and they lived. They prayed for victory and picked up rifles. They fought. They won. They were reborn.

Israeli Jews understand that Freedom is not free: it has to be paid for, sometimes in blood. As Freedom is precious, it needs to be guarded carefully.

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Jews in America: A False Sense of Security

As noted above, few American Jewish "leaders" understand "freedom"as every Israeli Jew does. Some American Jewish "leaders" do notcherish freedom because they feel that freedom can never be at risk. America isone of a few places wherein Jews have lived, and in which they have not been persecuted or murdered by government order (others include Australia andCanada). In America, individual Jews have been victimized by racist criminals, e.g., the Ku Klux Klan, the Order, the Aryan Nations, etc. However, in our long history of living in many countries, most of the many mass murders of Jews were inspired and/or committed by government officials.

Thus, American Jewish "leaders" should not be smug. Governments have often turned on Jews: "And a new King, who did not know Joseph, came into power over Egypt."(19) This term "new King" probably means a new Egyptian dynasty. Newly-hostile governments (e.g., the Nazi regime; Spain under King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella) have come closest to exterminating Jews.

Some Jewish "leaders" are easily lulled into a false sense of security. They tend to close their eyes to impeding danger, even denying it exists. Thus, some Jewish communal leaders in the Nazi-controlled Warsaw Ghetto opposed armed resistance. They feared provoking the Nazis. In other cases, Jewish ghetto leaders branded Jews who urged armed resistance as "trouble-makers"and betrayed them to the Nazis. Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of Jews were deported from ghettos to murder camps.(20)

In America now, Jews who support the Second Amendment’s civil right to be armed are viewed as "trouble-makers" or "alarmists" by "leaders"of major Jewish communal groups. Most American Jews probably feel the government is benign. That can change. Fast. America let in few Jews who fled the Nazis. U.S. planes were not sent to bomb railway lines to Auschwitz’ gas chambers, even after it was clear that hundreds of thousands of Jews had been murdered there. But some American Jews still admire Franklin D. Roosevelt, president in those years.(21)

Some American Jews overlook the wrongful arrest and internment of West coast Japanese-Americans during World War II. Meanwhile, Japanese-American men were fighting for America in Europe. The 442nd Regimental Combat Team - largely composed of Japanese-Americans -- is the most decorated unit in the history of the U.S. Army. Greater love for America few men have had than these. Only 50 years later did the U.S. government apologize to surviving victims, and then only grudgingly.

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Jewish "Leaders": Misunderstanding the Second Amendment

Near-annihilation by the Nazis, and most governments’ cold response to Jews seeking refuge from the Nazis, should have shown every Jew:

  • the deadly danger of relying on any government for protection;
  • the vital importance of being armed.

But most American Jewish "leaders" still misunderstand - and so shun -- the Second Amendment. Some feel that only police officers should have firearms. Some may feel that the Second Amendment protects private ownership of firearms, but only those used for hunting.

Both beliefs are erroneous. The belief that police alone should be armed assumes that a police force has a legal duty to protect the average law-abiding person. There is not now -- nor has there ever been -- a Constitutional civil right to police protection:

"There is no constitutional right to be protected by the state against being murdered by criminals or madmen. It is monstrous if the state fails to protect its residents against such predators but it does not violate the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, or, we suppose, any other provision of the Constitution".(22)

The Second Amendment does not concern hunting. If it did, Jews could ignore it on the ground that few Jews hunt. Why? Tradition! Jews were never hunters: the Patriarchs and Matriarchs were shepherds. Jews became farmers and took up fishing after they conquered Canaan. In exile, Jews were forced to be city-dwellers, so they could be more easily taxed and victimized. Thus, in medieval Europe, Jews were not permitted to farm. Jews who came to America mainly ate meat from animals slaughtered under rabbinical supervision.

The Torah bars Jews from eating undomesticated animals, or permitted animal not killed by a trained slaughter, unless such foods are the only one available, and eating such foods is the only way to avoid death from starvation. As a result, Jews cannot partake of the rich harvest of game in America. Now, most Jews -- like most other city-dwellers -- buy meat in stores. In short, hunting is an activity alien to most Jews to many other Americans.

But the Second Amendment does not aim at protecting hunters. So, there is no reason for a Jew -- or anyone else -- to say, "I don’t hunt, so why should I own firearms?" It’s simple: Jews’ history of murderous persecution by governments means that Jews should spearhead efforts to expand the individual civil right to be armed.

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American Jewish "Leaders" Still Don’t Get It

American Jewish "leaders" who focus on anti-Semitic fringe groups -- and hope the government will control them -- make an equally dangerous mistake. Other Jewish "leaders" may feel a need to emphasize the threat from fringe hate groups to preserve Jewish unity. Like most people, Jews pull together when threatened. Many American Jews do not feel threatened, and so increasingly neglect Jewish education for their children and do not celebrate -- properly or at all -- Jewish holidays.

Judaism cannot be preserved by a strategy that risks every Jewish life. Focussing on a minor threat -- anti-Semitic fringe hate groups -- is dangerous because it diverts attention from the deadliest threat, a hostile government. That threat is enhanced by support for "gun control". This strategy is about as wise as "bombing a village in order to save it".

Moreover, some Jews recoil from appeals based on Jews’ victimhood. They don’t feel threatened. They should. But appeals to their sense of victimhood do not affect them, because they do not feel threatened. Thus, warning them about a threat they do not notice -- anti-Semitic fringe hate groups -- does not move them to join Jewish groups, or to improve their practice of Judaism.

These "unaffiliated" Jews might be more responsive if the benefits of Judaism -- a higher quality of life -- were made clear to them. But education is always hard work and takes skill. Scaring people is easier than educating them. That may explain why some Jewish "leaders" feel a need:

  • to emphasize the threat from anti-Semitic fringe hate groups;
  • to support "gun control", which makes victimization more likely.

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A Solution?

Because the Second Amendment has been weakened, American Jews should now fear for their safety, as never before. They can remove that fear. They must:

  • assert their civil right to be armed;
  • work to annul pro-criminal "gun control" laws that restrict law-abiding persons’ exercise of the Second Amendment civil right to be armed.

Armed Jews have nothing to fear from anyone in America:

  • Anti-Semitic fringe groups have a few tens of thousands of members;
  • At very least 10% of the 5,500,000 Jews in America -- 550,000 persons -- are physically capable of bearing arms.

Jews greatly outnumber organized anti-Semites. If Jews are suitably armed, they will then merit Divine help against these enemies.

Some Jewish "leaders" miss another key point. Tens of millions of Righteous Gentiles in America whole-heartedly share Jews’ revulsion for hate groups, anti-Semitic and otherwise. Some of these Righteous Gentiles own firearms. Almost all of them use their firearms properly. They are deeply offended by the suggestion -- inherent in the concept of "gun control"- that their ownership of firearms makes them susceptible to becoming criminals. They are right to be offended.

Every Jewish "leader" should realize that these Righteous Gentiles are a natural allies against the ordinary criminal, members of fringe hategroups, and evil governments. No Jewish "leader" should want to alienate so friendly and so mighty an ally.

Some Jewish "leaders" distrust non-Jews generally. They must not know, for example, that Christian Danes saved their Jewish neighbors from the Nazis by organizing a sea-lift of Jews to safety in neutral Sweden, which took them in. The Nazis murdered only the few Danish Jews who stayed behind "to save" homes or businesses. More recently, America has helped Israel because millions of non-Jewish Americans wanted their hard-earned tax dollars spent to help Jews. We owe a huge debt of gratitude to our fellow Americans: for the past 40 years, they have been there for us, through thick and thin.

Some Jewish "leaders" do not want America’s Jews to be free from fear, to shed their tradition of "victimhood" and isolation. Fear helps these Jewish "leaders" get money "to fight anti-Semitism". But such monies seem to be used only to "study" the problem. These studies may be interesting. But they are not useful.

For example, Abraham Foxman, national direction of the B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation League -- an organization devoted to "studying" anti-Semitism -- commented:

"’Some of us at one point believed...that we were going to come up with the antidote, the panacea for anti-Semitism. Realistically, however, what we’ve learned is that the best we’re going to be able to do so is to keep a lid on the anger and the ugliness. But right now, for some reason, the sewer covers have come off.’"(23)

Foxman admits that empty words cannot stop anti-Semites. Because he is obsessed with fringe groups, it does not occur to him that a government could be far more deadly. He clearly does not see that deterrence -- the credible threat of armed force -- alone will work against anti-Semitic fringe groups, or a hostile government. Foxman -- and there are many like him -- has the victim mindset which stifles imagination. He cannot imagine there could even be a way to end victimization of Jews, let alone imagine the success of that strategy.

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Summary

American Jews need to dump their tradition of "victimhood", the result of 1,800 years of oppression, mainly in Europe. This tradition was never useful. It recent centuries it has been lethal.

In America the civil rights ensured by the Constitution mean that no one has to be a victim of the government. If American Jewish "leaders" junked the tradition of "victimhood", they could understand "freedom"as the Framers meant it: permanent freedom from fear of oppression. TheFramers thought that Freedom to be worth the sacrifice of fortune, health, or life. Jews in the Thirteen colonies generally agreed. They were not wrong.

Achieving freedom from fear means taking responsibility for one’s own security. In America that means exercising the civil right to be armed.

To change most Jewish leaders’ mindset -- that the government will protect them -- Jewish "leaders" must:

  • dump their faith in government as a protector;
  • rediscover and reinvigorate Jews’ Biblical tradition of self-defense;
  • dump "gun control".

Some Jewish "leaders" do not know how to build Jewish unity absenta sense of victimhood. They rightly fear disunity among American Jews. Perhaps a new generation of Jewish leaders will merit the wisdom needed to be able to get Jews to focus on the benefits that flow from adherence to the Torah: peace, individual and collective.

American Jews still have the mission begun by the Patriarch Abraham and the Matriarch Sarah: helping to bring morality to the World by applying the Bible’s teachings every day, at home and at work. America’s Jewish leaders could unify Jews in support of an effort to make America safe for all law-abiding people.

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Notes

(1) J.E. Simkin, Aaron Zelman and Alan M. Rice, Lethal Laws; JPFO, Inc., Hartford, 1994.

(2) Genesis 12: 1-4. To show respect, Jews omit a letter from G-d’s names in non-sacred texts.

(3) Genesis 14: 11-16.

(4) Genesis 32: 4-24

(5) Exodus 2:11-12.

(6) Exodus 7: 1-7.

(7) Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan, The Living Torah: The Five Books of Moses; Maznaim Publishing Corporation, New York NY, 1981, p. 363.

(8) The Talmud, Tractate Sanhedrin; The Schottenstein Edition, Mesorah Publications, New York NY, 1994; Volume II, 72a.

(9) The Talmud, Tractate Berachos; The Soncino Edition, London 1990, p.58a.

(10) The Talmud, Tractate Berachos; The Soncino Edition, London 1990, p. 62b.

(11) See Talmud Tractate Gittin, 55b and 56a.

(12) Genesis 15: 13-16.

(13) Numbers 14:32.

(14) David Wyman, The Abandonment of the Jews; Pantheon Books, New York 1985.

(15) Exodus 16: 1-3; Exodus 17: 1-8.

(16) Exodus 32:1-6.

(17) Numbers 13:32.

(18) Numbers 14:32.

(19) Exodus 1:8.

(20) See Raul Hilberg, The Destruction of the European Jews; Holmes and Meier, New York, 1985; Chapter Six.

(21) Wyman, op. cit.

(22) Bowers v. DeVito, U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit, 686F.2d 616(1982). Also see JPFO Special Report, Dial 911 and Die!.

(23) New York Magazine, 11 January 1993, p. 22.

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