A buddy of mine sent me this:

US Jewish community looks to defend itself as attacks rise

Good.  It’s about damn time.

Armed guards, safety assessments and now even a “Tactical Rabbi” to train volunteers on the use of weapons — such is the reality today at synagogues in the United States facing mounting anti-Semitic attacks.

You are your own last line of defense.

It is at a shooting range in the hills overlooking Los Angeles that a team of AFP reporters met recently with Raziel Cohen, dubbed the “Tactical Rabbi,” who was sporting a 9mm pistol on his hip and carrying a semi-automatic rifle over his shoulder.

Cohen was trying to determine how well books can stop bullets. The idea is to transform a library at a synagogue or Jewish school into a shelter in the event of an active shooter situation.

“We’re trying to bridge the gap between the time that the shooting begins and law enforcement arrives,” he told AFP.

Those critical minutes are almost always the determining factor of how many live and die.  Having a plan and being ready to execute is vital for saving lives in this time.

“The expression that goes on is that we carry guns because we can’t carry police officers, which is not just a joke,” added Cohen. “The reality is that there can’t be police everywhere all the time.”

Fact check: True.

Cohen, who has been passionate about guns since his youth, is a security expert and certified shooting instructor who has taken part in counter-terrorism courses given by retired and elite active-duty military personnel.

I like this rabbi.

Born into a religious family, Cohen is also a rabbi for the Chabad-Lubavitch community in Los Angeles. Chabad is a sect of Hasidic Judaism, and Los Angeles is second only to Brooklyn, New York in its number of Chabad congregations.

That explains it, Chabad-Lubavitch are no known for their Liberalism.  These communities are more insular and self-reliant, many Orthodox religious communities are that way.

Cohen said his expertise in security took on more meaning after the April 27 shooting at the Chabad Poway Synagogue near San Diego that left one dead and three wounded.

It came six months after a shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue left 11 people dead — the worst attack against Jewish people in the modern history of the United States.

Which is why I won’t go to synagogue without a gun, and not a pocket pistol either.  A full-size fighting pistol.  John Moses Browning’s (Peace be upon him) own, 1911A1 in 45 ACP.

“One of the Ten Commandments that’s taught very incorrectly is ‘Thou shall not kill’,” Cohen said. “It’s not ‘Thou shall not kill,’ it’s ‘Thou shall not murder.’

“In fact, in the Bible it says that you have the obligation to protect yourself.”

Yes, you do.

Anti-Semitic incidents in the United States remained at near-record high levels in 2018, according to the Anti-Defamation League, which recorded 1,879 incidents, the third-highest level since the 1970s.

2017 had marked an unprecedented rise in such incidents, with 1,986 cases of harassment, vandalism or anti-Semitic attacks recorded, the organization said.

Cohen said given the uptick, it was the duty of the Jewish community to learn to fend for itself.

Yes, it is.

But not everyone agrees with Cohen’s reasoning.

Ivan Wolkind, chief operating officer of the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles and founder of the federation’s security program, said some 500 groups have joined the program, exchanging information and security tips with police or the FBI.

Hooray, the Progressive Jews have an opinion.

Wolkind, a reserve officer with the Los Angeles Police Department, said while he wholeheartedly believes in prevention, he is not convinced that arming worshippers is the answer.

And a cop saying “wait for the cops.”  Also, what kind of reserve officer, because most LAPD reservists are Level III and can’t carry guns.

“I can’t make a judgment as to whether or not people should have weapons in their place of worship but what I can say is to have people carrying weapons without a huge amount of training… is potentially very very dangerous,” he told AFP.

The LAPD police qualification course is not terribly difficult.  Again, I fully believe in training, but having a cop from a police department known for poor shooting skills (albeit better than the NYPD) talk about “a huge amount of training” is hypocritical.

There is training and there is experience.

He said his program focuses on prevention rather than encouraging worshippers to arm themselves.

“So we put 98 percent of our energy into what we call left of bang,” he said. “So if you think of a timeline where there is pre-incident — everything that happens before an incident — and then the bang is what happens and then there’s everything to the right.

“We put 98 percent of our energy into left of bang — recognizing, preventing and mitigating the effects of an attack.”

That is valuable, I’m not deying that.  But if the bang happens, you are still your own last line of defense.

Wolkind said he fears that people who undergo weapons training may feel overconfident and ignore warning signs leading up to a shooting.

“They may stop looking for some of the pre-incident indicators that I feel are so important,” he said.

He said his security program has been so successful that churches, mosques and even the Church of Scientology have reached out for advice.

“We’ve got a lot of experience,” he said. “And we are absolutely open to sharing that with anyone and everyone as other people try to do the same thing in their communities.”

By all means, harden your facility.  I don’t want to get into a gunfight.  Protection comes in rings.  The outer rings are vital, but you can’t forget the inner ones too.

From what I’ve seen of Rabbi Cohen’s presentations, he covers preparedness as well.  He just goes the extra step of teaching people how to respond if and when shit goes south.

Over-reliance on the outer rings of security creates its own blind spots.  Relying on others to protect you, causes you to respond poorly when that protection fails.

I’m going to have to look into this Rabbi some more.

I’ll end with this.  I shoot in Huntsville, Alabama.  I know some of the shooting community down here.  There are a number of Churches that have gone in for parishioners to be armed as volunteer security.

You drive by a church on a Sunday morning and every other car in the parking lot is a truck with an NRA window sticker.  Come hunting season, half of them are still covered in mud from Saturday’s drive out to the tree stand or blind.

A mass shooter might be inclined to try to rack up a body count at one of these houses of worship, but I don’t think it will go well for him.

Only if Synagogues were the same way.

Spread the love

By J. Kb

5 thoughts on “It’s about damn time the Jews figured this out”
  1. Some have figured it out.

    Some will in time. Some never will. Just like the rest of humanity. 🙂

    And I smile because otherwise, sometimes, I’d just want to weep for our species.

  2. I wonder if the Tactical Rabbi has spent any time talking to Rabbi Dovid Bendory (of the JPFO), or read his blog articles.

  3. “Wolkind, a reserve officer with the Los Angeles Police Department, said while he wholeheartedly believes in prevention, he is not convinced that arming worshippers is the answer.”

    So he’s not happy with just any ole citizen carrying and protecting themselves and others without EXTENSIVE training….. BUT, it’s too dangerous for those same people to get training, because then they just might use it if Goblins show up and they need it.

    Got it. Thank you for your OPINION Mr Only One.

    Now go pack sand….. It’s MY RIGHT, whether you understand it, believe i it, agree with it, or not. That’s why it’s called a RIGHT and not a government granted privilege.

  4. Left of Bang:

    Combat profiling.

    Very good read for the fundamentals of situational awareness and avoiding the conflict, instead of reacting to the conflict.

    However, Wolkind is speaking about that concept like someone who glommed onto a cool phrase during a half hour training period. Not like someone who has actually read the book, or better yet, taken the training. From what he said, and what little I know (I read the book, nothing more), he is absolutely clueless about working to the left of the bang.

    Tossing around some cool sounding jargon does not make you an expert.

Comments are closed.