The Mystical Lights of Efrat
Shabbos in the Judean town of Efrat, Israel is a deeply moving experience. As the sun falls it gently folds itself into the surrounding hills and valleys. The same Judean hills where Jews have lived, worked and fought since Biblical times.
The unearthly light makes a final golden splash.
I look around for the SFX (special effects) crew, but no I am face to face with the hand of HaShem.
With my brother-in-law, I walk to shul. We are just two, and then a few men approach from another street, several more from another. Suddenly we are dozens converging into one road and approaching shul.
It’s like that breathtaking scene in producer David O. Selznick’s Duel in the Sun, 1946, where director King Vidor exquisitely choreographs over a hundred horseman, at first single and double units riding from all directions, into a seething mass, all galloping steadfastly towards one destination.
In every window I see Shabbos candles, hundreds, no thousands, glittering white, yellow, blue and red. It’s an awe inspiring sight for the flames gutter in various rhythms creating a mystical dance of light welcoming Shabbos.
Glock and Daven
I count seven Glocks and two M16’s. There is, undoubtedly, more firepower in shul, but these men are not vain, wild west gunslingers. Most sidearms are concealed under shirt tails, or, as in the case of my brother-in-law David—who dresses for Shabbos like he’s still back in Monsey—his Glock 17 is hiding under his nicely tailored suit jacket.
It is comforting to daven in a room with armed and well-trained citizen soldiers. We know from experience that in Israel, it is armed citizens who are the first line of defense against the Arab-Muslim terrorists who have been killing Jews since time immemorial.
One of the most irrational and shameful political positions taken by Liberal American Jews is the demand for the abolition of the right to bear arms.
If Jews in Europe owned guns there would be several million dead Nazis and their collaborators—and far fewer dead Jews.
The Last of the Bensonhurst Kids
Meet Larry, my buddy from Bensonhurst. Okay, so it’s not Larry. But Larry looks exactly like William Powell in The Thin Man.
Out of the corner of my eye I spot Larry, not his real name.
We’re both from Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, a tough neighborhood even by Brooklyn standards. We attended Brooklyn Talmudic Academy together, a tough Yeshiva even by San Quentin standards.
We have been friends forever.
Larry’s parents are Holocaust survivors and as Larry often tells me, his father obsessed over the fact that so many Jews were unprepared, mentally and physically, to fight the Nazis.
“He’s written thousands of pages about this,” Larry confides.
Thus, it is only fitting and somewhat ironic that several years ago, here in an Efrat supermarket, Larry bravely confronted an Arab Muslim homicide bomber and deleted this piece of human garbage.
After shul, Larry and I embrace. We study each others’ faces. Yes, we are older, middle-aged, we have children and grandchildren, but we are still our impish and dopey childhood selves.
“Nobody lives in the old neighborhood anymore,” Larry says.
“Yup, they’re all gone.”
The Next Generation
We step outside where men and women gather before going home for the Shabbos meal. Friends make plans to visit each other. David and Elana’s son Jeremy, is home for Shabbos, on leave from active duty somewhere quite dangerous in the land of Israel.
Jeremy, Hollywood handsome, but utterly unaware of his good looks, is exhausted, but now he’s with his friends, boys and girls, making plans to meet later in the warm embrace of David and Elana’s home.
These are all good religious kids, rock solid in their Zionist ideals. This is the next generation who will sweep away, by sheer force of numbers and conviction, the appeasers, the cowards, the multi-culturalists, and the EU financed Peace Now traitors.
Already, over 80% of the officers in the IDF are observant Jews. They will not allow the chimera of a decadent, defeatist post-Zionist mind-set to advance in the land of Israel.
Again, Larry and I go over the killing of the terrorist. Details are all important in counter-terrorism.
“The Glock is a good weapon when every millisecond counts,” says Larry. There’s no safety, which can take precious time away from shooting. You can keep a round in the chamber, then just draw and fire.”
Larry totes his Glock in a Fobus speed holster.
“What kind of rounds did you use?”
“I keep hollow points in the Glock, but my spare magazine has full metal jackets. The day I killed the terrorist, I put him down with the hollow points. Don’t want to use full metal jackets in a crowded supermarket, they’ll go right through and kill an innocent bystander.”
“The Efrat supermarket was crowded?”
“Very. Look, the terrorist was here,” Larry demonstrates using his body and mine, “and behind him were several women and children.”
“How close were you to the the terrorist?”
“About fourteen feet.”
Most gunfights, contrary to popular mythology, take place within seven feet. Fourteen feet can seem like a yawning chasm when the adrenalin is pumping, innocent bystanders are all around, and a determined terrorist has his finger on the detonator.
“The full metal slugs would have gone right through him and there’s no telling…”
Larry’s voice trails off.
My childhood buddy is a sweet man, a devoted husband, father, and grandfather. There is no bravado in Larry. He’s fine with killing the terrorist, but it does not define who he is.
Me, I’d write and produce a self-glorifying movie, play hero on talk shows, try and cash in.
It’s time to go home. It’s time for leave taking.
There is an entire culture and religion bent on eradicating Israel and Jews.
We are so few; we are so vulnerable.
But there are, Baruch HaShem, many Larry’s.
Larry and I hug.
I say: “You’re my hero.”
The town of Efrat, in Judea, in the holy Land of Israel