High Holiday season is always a stressful time for Rabbis, but the word “stressful” usually describes how they feel about their sermons, the High Holiday appeal, the synagogue’s financial situation, the latest pow-wow the Rabbi got into with the president of the board, those sort of things. But this year, a group of Rabbis is taking their stress-coping strategies to a new level and teaching congregants how to beat up terrorists that may otherwise infiltrate a group of Yom Kippur worshippers and harm them.
The group is called the International Security Coalition of Clergy, founded by Rabbi Gary Moscowitz. Yes, he’s a black-belt and a former NYPD officer. In a quote that I happen to really like, he said “Jews are not like Christians. If I turn my cheek, I’m coming around to make a kick.” I second that. Nobody’s messing with me anymore.
What inspired Moscowitz to do this? It was an event last May when police discovered a terrorist organization of American Muslims planning to attack New York City synagogues.
He claims he doesn’t fear Muslims specifically, but extremists in general. “We’re just worried about the safety of the houses of worship that are being threatened with rhetoric on regular basis and extremism,” Moscowitz said.
His course is a 100 hour martial arts course that will hopefully turn Jewish worshippers into lethal weapons that defend their houses of prayer. Or something of the sort. At the beginning, nobody took him seriously, but he was just interviewed on Fox News and there’s even a video on Foxnews.com about him.
The course teaches rabbis and synagogue-goers how to take down a terrorist who succeeds in entering the houses of worship, use tables as means of defense against gunfire, and to pull out a handgun while performing a flip.
“A terrorist could put a yarmulke on, say, ‘Happy holidays,’ and blow the place up,” he warns. That’s why he’s not relying only on the police.