The Short Answer is: Never again. Longer answer: The Jews in Israel have learned the value of self defense and their example is seen by people around the world.
When you are a member of a minority group that is targeted for violence you should be prepared to act in your own self defense.
by Samantha Melamed
November 5, 2018
On Friday afternoon, with just a few hours before sundown and the start of the Sabbath, David Parvey hurried to a South Philadelphia gun shop called Firing Line to get his new 9-millimeter pistol.
To Parvey, who attends an Orthodox Jewish synagogue in Center City, it felt like the only rational response to the Oct. 27 mass shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, where 11 congregants were killed.
“I legally have the right to at least be able to match evil with some sort of response, and in my mind I would be dumb not to,” said Parvey, who on Wednesday went to the Philadelphia Police Department’s Gun Permit Unit to apply for a concealed-carry license. “I don’t want to hide behind the bimah waiting for my turn to get shot.”
Parvey is not the only one to reach this conclusion. A simmering conversation about safety in the face of anti-Semitic violence that began several years ago with attacks on Jewish targets in France — a yeshiva in Toulouse, a kosher supermarket and the Bataclan theater in Paris — has boiled over in the last week. While some are responding with prayer and peaceful protests, there are those who feel that a pistol is just more reliable.
“This shooting in Pittsburgh has turned me into an activist,” said Rahel Pachter, 61, of Merion, who met up with a couple of women from her synagogue on Sunday for breakfast, followed by a conversation about gun safety and a group trip to the firing range. “I feel like I have to start moving this, and I have to start getting more people involved in their security.”
It’s controversial, said Pachter, who got licensed about a year ago and, in frightening times, takes comfort from the reassuring weight of her Ruger LCP II or Taurus 709 Slim in its holster. Her rabbi doesn’t want congregants carrying in synagogue.
“It’s not something you’re supposed to even touch on the Sabbath,” she said. “I’m a daughter of a Holocaust survivor. I lost all my aunts and uncles in the Holocaust, and I’m going to go down fighting. I’m not walking into a gas chamber. I’m not going to stand there like a sitting duck … and get shot at. I refuse.”
This week, she contacted Jose Morales of Philly Firearms Academy in Willow Grove to see about group training.