Now and again I make a personal note public without revealing the name of the person who I am speaking with.
It tends to get me into trouble. This is one of those cases:
I am sick to death of seeing my brothers and sisters in Israel and in Crown Heights constantly come under attack and the justification or indifference that my left-leaning friends provide for those attacks.
The Chassidim of Crown Heights are, essentially, family, although unlike them, I am assimilated. The movement was created by Baal Shem Tov who lived in Medzhybizh, Ukraine, as did my father's side of the family with a few thousand other Jews in that wretched shtetl.
To this day, Chassidim from NY make a "pilgrimage" to Medzhybizh for the purpose of visiting Baal Shem Tov's grave. So I consider those people family. My father's father, Beryl, left Medzhybizh in the early 1920s, with my grandmother, Sarah, and my father, Harry, in her arms. They did so after the pogroms, but before the Nazis came during Operation Barbarossa and murdered the rest of my father's side who stayed.
In any case, the emphasis today among world Jewry is self-defense. I cannot carry a Glock legally in Oakland, but I can carry a stun gun. I do not expect to get attacked by anti-Jewish racists, but it did happen once on a MUNI bus in San Francisco when some black guy spit in my face as I was talking with a student about Chassidic rapper, Matisyahu. That student would have kicked his ass right there on the corner of Haight and Baker, but I chilled him out and hopped off the bus because it was my stop, anyway.
My intention is not to carry the stun gun around with me on a daily basis, but I will have it on my person when I am out of the house in Oakland at night.