So, it seems a Boston-area rabbi is picking up a tip or two from the IDF. Excerpt:
BOSTON — A rabbi here has asked congregants to consider bringing guns to religious services as a form of protection in response to recent shootings at synagogues across the country.
Rabbi Dan Rodkin of Shaloh House in Brighton, a Boston neighborhood with a large number of Russian-speaking Jews, told the public radio station WBUR that the rise in hate crimes across the country and the loss of life at the Chabad at Poway and the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh influenced his thinking.
Rodkin fears that increased safety measures implemented at Shaloh House — they include security cameras, reinforced glass windows and panic buttons — are no longer sufficient protection. The rabbi said the actions of an off-duty officer at the Poway Chabad center, where one woman was murdered, may have prevented further casualties.
“I know it sounds horrible, but I think it’s a very logical approach for the situation we’re in,” he said in an interview on the WBUR “Morning Edition” program. “I don’t want people to have guns. But I think to protect our families, it’s a necessity now.”
Several of his congregants, including former soldiers and retired police, are now carrying guns into daily services at Rodkin’s synagogue, which also operates a day school.
I think I understand why the rabbi is reluctant, even as he made the right decision. If this were an ideal world populated by ideal people, nobody would need to carry guns for protection – at least, not from other people.
But it’s not an ideal world, and there are no ideal people, although my late father and mother came damn close. There is only the world we live in, and in this world, for some insane reason it seems like it’s getting rather less safe to be a Jew. I’m not sure why; the Jewish people I’ve known have all been fine, upstanding folks.
Rabbi Rodkin is concerned for the safety of people for whom he feels responsible. I can understand that, having taken a platoon of 32 people into a combat zone. My people were armed. There’s no reason why Rabbi Rodkin’s people shouldn’t be armed either.
And if anyone demands justification for their decision to take up arms, here it is:
A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.