Friday, November 25, 2011

Kennedy Yahrzeit

48 years ago today we buried President John F. Kennedy, assassinated November 22, 1963. As it happens, even if he was Jewish the funeral would almost certainly have been delayed that long. As in all homicides, an autopsy had to be performed. Since it was Friday afternoon, nothing could have been done that night or the next day. Dignitaries had to fly in literally from all over the world.

I watched the obsevances on television. The catafalque that once bore the body of Abraham Lincoln taken from the Capitol rotunda on the shoulders of men, the stately procession to Arlington, the horse-drawn caisson, John-John saluting on his third birthday, the riderless horse, the missing man formation above,. . . .

At its destination, the flag-draped coffin was placed on the catafalque over the open grave and Catholic prayers were recited. Then - everybody left with the casket still suspended over the open grave. A few months later my grandfather a"h left this world and I prevailed on my parents to let me attend the kvura. Back in 1964, few eleven-year-old boys did. The plain wooden casket was lowered by hand into the grave, and the men present shoveled earth into the grave until it was filled. Even I clumsily put in a shovelful or two. Four years ago I lost my mother-in-law, and since my wife comes from a small family few men attended the burial in Old Montefiore, where the two latest Lubavitcher rebbes are buried. It was pouring rain, as it was when the Rebbe was buried; that is supposed to mean that the heavens were crying. But the heavens weren't going to make a minyan, so I went into the Rebbe's Ohel and asked if they could spare a few good men. They did, several men in black frock coats trudging in the pouring rain th the graveside. Not only did they complete a minyan so my father-in-law could say kaddish, they took shovels in their hands and filled in the grave along with myself and my son, the only men present who were strong enough to handle a shovel.

So family and fellow Jews performed the last kindness that could be done for my mother-in-law on the face of the earth. Our way is a better way.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Mayhem in Midwood

Last Friday, residents of Ocean Parkway between Avenues I and J in the Midwood section of Brooklyn were awakened before dawn by sirens and the sound of burning cars. Vandals had set three automobiles afire, apparently by placing gasoline-soaked rags under them and igniting the rags. Swastikas, "KKK" and anti-Semitic slogans were scrawled on the sidewalk as well. This occurred the day after the anniversary of Kristallnacht, the infamous pogrom in Germany that presaged the Holocaust; authorities believe it was not a coincidence. This afternoon, it was discovered that vandals defaced a sign at the Avenue J subway station, renaming it "Avenue Jew."

Torched cars along Ocean Parkway

Sign at subway station, defaced to read "Avenue Jew"

Two days ago was the Yahrzeit of Rabbi Meir Kahane hy"d. When attacks like these happened 40 years ago, he knew what to do and didn't hesitate to do it. Young, strong, tough members of the Jewish Defense League would fan out over the neighborhood beat up anybody they caught attacking Jews and Jewish property. The language of Eisav is the only language these goons understand. We will never be comfortable with it, I hope, but sometimes we have to "speak" it. The police promised to do what they can, but they cannot be everywhere at once, and their numbers are sharply curtailed because of the bad economy. Thank God, nobody was hurt in these incidents, except Holocaust survivors who probably suffered severe emotional trauma at the sight of swastikas on the sidewalk. These were crimes against property, which the police usually assign low priority. Murders, rapes, armed robberies and such get first dibs on the limited resources of law enforcement.

Here is what we can do:

1. If you're strong, take care of yourself and stay strong. If you're not strong, get strong. We know how; we're just lazy or we have our priorities screwed up thanks to two millenia of that crime against nature known as galut.

2. No Jew has any business smoking. It is a one way ticket to sickness, weakness, a miserable life and an early death.

3. Be alert, but follow your normal routine. Show no weakness and no fear. Walk with your head held high, and your hat (black or otherwise), kippa sruga or whatever securely on it. The people who do these dirty deeds want to instill fear in us. Let's instill a little fear in them. Don't be the rasha, the wicked son who lives in the generation of redemption but refuses to be redeemed.

May we all live to see the redemption come to its glorious conclusion.

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Monday, November 07, 2011

Happy Anniversary

Today, November 7, is the 94th anniversary of the Russian Bolshevik Revolution, which they know as the October Revolution. Leave it to those dumb Commies to have an October Revolution in November (the revolutionaries switched from the Julian Calendar to the Gregorian, being the last major country on earth to do so). I remember studying at Columbia in the early '70s. Lenin was God ever there. We had to read selections of his works in our Contemporary Civilization classes, not a bad idea in itself; we came to college to challenge and be challenged, and it it always beneficial to know one's enemy. But from listening to our professors you would never guess that Lenin and his system were the enemy, that they had to build a wall to keep their people in, that it was a crime to attempt to leave the Soviet Union or any of its satellite countries, or "captive nations." As long as the Soviet Union stood, November 7 was a holiday throughout the country, which was the largest nation on earth in terms of land area, spanning eleven time zones and incorporating 104 recognized national groups, most of them seething at Russian domination. The anniversary was also celebrated at Soviet installations throughout the world. In New York that meant the Soviet airline Aeroflot, the trade organization Amtorg, and above all the Soviet mission to the United Nations on East 67 Street off of Third Avenue, across the street from Park East Synagogue.

The Jews in the Soviet Union were one of the recognized nationalities. Stalin even tried to designate a territory for us, the barren wasteland of Birobidzhan near the border with North Korea. Some Jewish Communists actually settled there, but were kept from having any semblance of Jewish life, there or in any part of the Soviet Union. We were forbidden to pray, to observe our holidays and to study Hebrew, the authorities having designated Yiddish as our national language and proclaimed Hebrew the language of the Zionist fascists and imperialists. So we would gather at the mission building to demonstrate aganst Soviet oppression of its Jews. At first the police tried to confine us to the National Guard armory a block away, but we wanted to demonstrate at the mission building so the Commie pigs could hear us. After a struggle in the courts the police were forced to allow at least a small group to demonstrate across the street from the mission, that is, directly in front of Park East synagogue. In a parody of the Russian folk song "Volga Boatman," we would sing:

Russian Mission Boom
Russian Mission Boom
Russian Mission Russian Mission Russian Mission Boom,

the "Boom" expressing a hope that someone would blow up the Russian Mission. In fact, militant Jews did set off some homemade bombs at other less well guarded facilities
Another chant was:

One Two Three Four
Open Up the Iron Door
Five Six Seven Eight
Let Our People Emigrate

When we saw a Soviet yellow submarine unloading diplomats' children coming home from their special school (they wouldn't deign to send their children to America's bourgeois public schools), we would chant in their direction: Yob Tvaiyu Mat! It's a very nasty thing to say to Russian kids. It means "Fuck your mother." The Russians would complain to their ambassador to the United Nations, who would complain to the Embassy in Washington, who would complain to the U.S. State Department, whose officials weren't very happy but had to explain to the Russians that, unlike their hellhole of a country, our citizens were free to speak their minds no matter who is offended.

Hardly any of us would have thought that in 1989 young Germans would tear down the Berlin Wall overnight with chisels and their bare hands as citizens of other captive nations, supposedly contented in a Communist workers' paradise, liberated their own countries, and that by the end of 1991 the Soviet Union itself would be but a bad memory and those who miss it would be able to meet in a telephone booth. Soviet Premier Nikita Khruschev once boasted that he would bury us and that our grandchildren would live under Communism. It's hard to believe that the high school students that I teach never heard of the Berlin Wall or the Cold War - to them that is something they read about in history books. We buried their system, and their children and grandchildren leave for Israel and the United States to live in freedom.

So now November 7 provides an occasion to reflect on the difference between our way of life and theirs, and on how fortunate we are to be where we are. With all its faults and troubles, and they are many, our country is still a shining city on a hill, a beacon of hope and freedom to all the world's oppressed.


Sunday, November 06, 2011

I'm back

Sorry for not posting for over three months. I had a very busy summer, what with my daughter's wedding and all. I hope to post more often now that the dust settled somewhat.

While I wasn't posting, the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon occurred. Here is a video that you will not see in the mainstream media. The PC police are forever railing about Islamophobia, but it's not a phobia if it's rational and we're not paranoid if the Muslim fanatics are really trying to kill us. Watch it and pass it on to your friends.

One of the talking heads in the mainstream media suggested that henceforth the annual commemmorations should be toned down, the names of the dead not be publicly read, and so forth. No! Remember Amalek! Read the names; every one of them was a human being with a story, and every one of them was murdered by stinking bastards - in the name of God no less. Read the names, and if I could I would set up a giant Jumbotron at the site showing this video over and over.

We also observed the 39th yahrzeit of the Munich Eleven, the Israeli Olympic athletes, coaches and officials murdered by Arab barbarians to make a political point. Shortly after the murders, we learned that the Libyan dictator Muammar Qadaffi was behind the operation. We would demonstate at various locations in Manhattan, chanting:
Who do we want? Qadaffi!
How do we want him? Dead!

Praise God, we got our wish. The brutal dictator is dead, at the hands of his own people, fed up with his tyranny. Now the families of the murdered athletes, and those of the 200-plus victims of the Lockerbie bombing, also orchestrated by Qadaffi, will have some closure. It appears that the Arab Spring will be followed by a winter of Jewish discontent, as the new governments emerging in Libya and Egypt are likely to include Islamist elements hostile to Jews, Israel and the West. But even here there is a silver lining; the government of Israel and the liberal Jewish establishment here will no longer be able to delude themselves about the nature and desires of the Arab-in-the-street. They want us dead, and there is no talking to them. We have to prepare for war, with our immediate neighbors and also with Iran. And if we face the truth with confidence and courage, God will be with us as He always has.

I wish my readers a happy and healthy 5772.

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