Monday, March 27, 2023

Several times in past years as I excitedly prepared for a trip to Israel, people in my office (in Montreal) would ask me if I wasn’t scared to go to such a volatile part of the world. I would unequivocally answer them in the exact same way that I would today, which was that to me Israel is the safest place to be.

Tell me if I am crazy, but did I hear on the radio today that a dog shot his master with a gun while accompanying him on a hunting expedition? They were sitting in a pickup truck outside of Wichita, Kansas and the dog “accidentally” stepped on something which then shot a bullet out of the man’s shotgun, killing him instantly.

Just a few days ago a man, a senior citizen, not a hooligan, not a gang member, in Monterey Beach, California shot and killed 11 people in a dance hall as they were celebrating the Lunar New Year, and injured many others who are recuperating with injuries in the hospital.

One or two days later, there was another shooting in Half Moon Bay California, where seven people were intentionally shot.

One day later, eight people were shot in Shreveport, Louisiana. A school shooting took place this week in DesMoines, Iowa, where two teenage boys were killed. I could go on and on.

Obviously we cannot live our lives in fear, but where is it that we can confidently go that there is not the possibility that some meshugana will show up with a rifle or handgun and start shooting? It has happened everywhere: In shuls, schools, shopping malls, grocery stores, movie theaters. There is no destination where horrific crimes have not occurred.

Once again our emunah, our bitachon helps us to get through life believing that Hashem will take care of us. Yet we have to do our own hishtadlus (personal mission) and make every effort to see to it that an elected official who is in favor of people having the ability to buy guns without proper regulations should never be reelected. We should see to it that all of these criminals who have illegal guns should be put into jail for extended periods of time. When a criminal shoves a person off a subway platform and is apprehended and allowed to walk out on the streets the next day there is definitely something wrong. Why wait until they take a gun to Parkland or to Sandy Hook and slaughter so many innocent precious lives? It will happen again and again until proper gun regulation becomes a way of life in this country. Yes I am scared, but do not allow myself to think about what is going on so frequently. Otherwise we could all become paralyzed with fear.

Let’s return to Eretz Yisroel, where so many are legally allowed to own guns. How astounding it is to walk along the street and see young chayalim sitting at cafes with their rifles hung over their shoulders. The first time that I saw it so many years ago I was totally shocked and slowly once you walk the streets in Israel you become used to the gun culture which is safe there and allows us to go on with our business without even giving it a thought. Imagine walking on Queen Anne Road or Cedar Lane and seeing someone walking into a coffee shop with a rifle. Everyone would become frozen with fear. It is seldom that one hears of the use of guns in Israel, with the exception of usually unexpected terrorist attacks. We should all be proud of the courage and fortitude that young and old in Israel are able to handle the use of firearms so respectfully.

California, Florida, Detroit, Washington, D.C. and the good old Big Apple do not hold a candle to Israel for me when choosing a place to visit and to live. Am Yisroel Chai. When are we going?

Nina Glick can be reached at [email protected]

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