April 9, 2024
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April 9, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve read many articles and letters in The Link expressing the notion that despite all the antisemitism in our community and around the globe we are not afraid, we are proud as Jews, and will not be intimidated. Fair enough. So it was with surprise that I saw on page 25 of this past week’s issue a full page advertisement announcing an opportunity to learn about buying a home in Israel. Date and time are given but the location is withheld.

Why? Because of “safety concerns … venue will be disclosed 24 hours prior to verified registrations (sic).” So what is that if not fear and cowering to the mob, par excellence? It is high time that we as a community decide what our future in Teaneck will look like. Will we become like so many communities in Western Europe where most Jews will not wear a kippah or any other public symbol that identifies them as Jews in public? If we really, honestly, seriously reject that path then it is high time we take a stand. We must pronounce loudly and clearly, NO MORE!

If the Jew-haters bring 100 people we must bring 500. If they have 1,000 then we must have 2,000. And what do we do? In the best tradition of Dr. Martin Luther King, we must embrace, morally and practically, non-violent resistance. We lock hands, we have our placards, we carry American and Israeli flags, we sing songs, we recite Tehillim, all loudly and powerfully, thereby drowning out the hate speech that will be coming from just a few yards away.

Some will ask, “Won’t we be just causing more headaches for our brave policemen and women?” Maybe so, but this is our survival we are talking about and in the words of Mordechai to Esther in the Megillah that we just read, “For if you remain silent at this time, relief and rescue will arise for the Jews from elsewhere and you and your father’s household will perish.”

Rabbi Taubes wrote a brilliant letter in these pages last week suggesting that in order to preserve freedom of speech and assembly, these odious demonstrations be allowed to continue in a central location like the Municipal Green or Votee Park. Of course the super-liberal Jewish lawyers will argue that this is not enough — we must allow demonstrations in front of synagogues, kosher establishments and on major thoroughfares through town. (I, for one, would be more than willing to give up my right to demonstrate in front of a mosque in the hypothetical case of where a Hamas representative comes there to speak.)

Well, then, let’s make this as uncomfortable as possible for the town manager and town council. The haters want to import fellow travelers from Paterson and other communities? We do the same. We invite Jews from Fair Lawn, Englewood, Highland Park, West Orange and other communities to join with us. And if that is not enough we bring the real guns in — friends from the Five Towns! The purpose is to stand up for our rights and to force our politicians to reconsider their current positions. How much manpower and other precious resources are they willing to waste on these hateful people? In the meantime, we must proudly stand up for ourselves and refuse to kowtow to monsters and liars. For who knows, as Mordechai continues, “whether at a time like this you (we) will attain the kingdom?”

Robert Friedman
Teaneck
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