You Want to Be A Tough Guy?

Jameel has a good post up about some guys in America who are supposedly putting together a “kitat konenut” (First Response Team in Hebrew) in New York. He points out, not only in the body of the post but in the comments section, some very practical reasons why this is a joke.

He also expresses what I feel too – you want to be a tough guy? Pack your bags, sell your house, move to Israel and actually LIVE here. Pay taxes, learn a new language, put up with the political system (which is awful), and live day to day. Maybe your sons will join the IDF, and then you can REALLY prove how tough you are – by having to worry every day they serve.

THAT is the tough thing to do – not playing out some fantasy in the Catskills.

I have learned a lot of things by living in a yishuv and making friends with Israelis.

One of the main lessons is that the real heroes do not come out of central casting. The real heroes are the guys like the mild mannered librarian, who looks like he would faint at the sight of blood, who goes for extra training in the IDF in order to identify dead bodies, because that is a huge mitzvah. Or the guy with the pot belly and six kids at home, who refuses to stop doing miluim (reserve duty), even though he has an out. Or, my personal favorite, the vegetarian, who refuses not only to eat meat but wear leather because of his beliefs, who is part of a combat unit in the IDF because he knows that it is a mitzvah to protect Jews from getting killed.

They are all “tough guys” – but not just by what they do in a uniform. Because in addition to their service (which doesn’t get a lot of press, by the way), they are also regular citizens. I consider myself very lucky to have them as my neighbors.

Come live here, mister “kitat konenut” and prove just how tough you really are.

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8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jameel @ The Muqata
    Jul 28, 2008 @ 16:24:15

    My thoughts exactly.

  2. shabtai
    Aug 01, 2008 @ 01:35:16

    wow. that is a lot of bravado from behind your key board. Is it possible that not everyone can live in israel.. for family, work or personal reasons? does that mean that you are all better than , tougher than, more authentic than those who dont live in israel? is that how you think of your connection to G-d.. as one of geographical moral high ground? shame on you for your arrogance.. that is decidedly NOT want hashem wants from us..
    you are are a disappointment.

  3. bec
    Aug 01, 2008 @ 05:31:40

    maybe if there had been more “tough guys” living in galut, episodes in our history such as expulsions, pogroms, the holocaust could have been averted. and now, despite israel’s existence, there are still jews living in galut (technically we all are until moshiach comes) who should be able to protect themselves and others. kol hakavod to ALL jews who serve ANYWHERE to protect jews, jewish interests, and innocent people. the right to do so is not reserved only for those living in israel.

  4. westbankmama
    Aug 03, 2008 @ 15:05:54

    Shabtai – my criticism of this person was centered on his taking on the tough guy persona – I did not criticize everyone else who does not live in Israel, nor did I mention anything about his (or my) relationship to G-d.

    Bec – If you read Jameel’s comments on his post, you will see that the idea of “Kitat Connenut” is completely impractical. A few guys with guns in all of New York State cannot reach the scene of violence against Jews. In order to protect yourself against pogroms, you need an organized army. Bottom line, the only place in the world that is set up with an army whose express duty is to protect Jews is Israel. Learning personal defense is great – but what this guy proposes to do is much more grandiose – and useless in the end.

  5. Yair
    Aug 04, 2008 @ 06:18:23

    You should be ashamed of yourself for criticising giborim like these who are moser nefesh for am Yisrael! Who do you think you are that you’re so holy to put down other holy Jews who are doing a job no one lese does and save Jewish lives in America? If I was young enough I would gladly join their organization, but being someone who can not participate in this mitzva I at least have the common decency to salute these brave young men for their heroism.

    Also what does any of this have to do with living in Israel? Wake up- millions of Jews live in America and aren’t going anywhere any time soon. Someone needs to protect Jews in America and if you’re not up for the task at least don’t talk lashon hara demean those who do.

    A proud Jew proudly living in America.

  6. shabtai
    Aug 15, 2008 @ 11:52:02

    but you did mention your connection to hashem… isnt this all about living in eretz yisrael, being a part of am yisrael…… it is ONLY ABOUT YOUR CONNECTION TO HASHEM.. and that is what is so offensive and downright obnoxious about your post… If hashem, connection to the divine were not relevant, your blog would just be another navel-gazing attemp to let the world know about your fascinating insights, instead, it is how you sacrifice to live in a place pre-destined by the almighty as the only true home etc.. It is for that reason that your moral elitism is at best, misplaced.

  7. Truthspeaker
    Sep 14, 2008 @ 17:47:37

    Really tough guys kill children.

  8. 2 true 4 u
    Aug 18, 2009 @ 20:00:02

    jews around the world must cultivate a militaristic survivialist way of life .
    this city dweller,fat belly office worker do nothing is what puts them in danger and allows many to suspect they are eazy prey.

    in additon to a bar mitziva each boy must learn to fight mma style and use wepons of all kinds..

    where are the palace guards when they are needed ???.

    you cant buy or pay off others to do your dirty work ..train your own fighters from and early age .. this means every jew in every county in the world must be a fighter!!!!.

    its too bad for mister fat belly and his check book ..

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