Jewish Preppers?

Some people finding our website may be wondering what is a Prepper and why does it have a religious affiliation? Well the short answer is...A Prepper is the modern day survivalist. It's not (necessarily) a right-wing militiaman preparing for Armageddon in the boondocks of Montana. But better represented by a normal, educated, middle class individual perhaps living in the most urban of cities, preparing themselves physically and mentally for any upcoming disaster, natural or man-made. This could include anything from earthquakes to volcanic eruptions, social unrest to an act of terrorism. Preparations include: food supply, medical supply, weapons supply etc. and the knowledge and skills to use them. Of course, a Jewish Prepper is just a designation for a small niche of the Prepper Community that is of the Jewish Faith. We are non-profit and nonpartisan. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Ma Titzak Alai? - For what do you cry out to me?

When the Jews stood near the Red Sea with the Egyptians close behind them and they cried out to G-d, G-d said to Moses "Ma Titzak Alai, Daber el Bne yisrael Ve'yisa'u- For what do you cry out to me? Tell the Children of Israel to go forward!" Exodus 14:15

This seemingly could be a Biblical source for Prepping, since we see that Moses was commanded to take action instead of sitting by and praying. But as I delve more into this theme, I find a disturbing trend of Jews that have a very different interpretation of this verse.

The Emek Davar's (Naftali Zvi Yehuda Berlin (1816-1893), known as the Netziv) commentary on this verse, explains that Moses was being admonished by God for praying to him at a time of spiritual peril and since it was not a 'natural war' it was deemed inappropriate. While he notes that when the Jews fought Amalek (and the battle at Jericho) and Moses had his hands raised to the heavens in prayer, it was a physical war and was then appropriate to pray.

I've discussed this concept with others who confirm this viewpoint and note that Rabbi Elchonon Wasserman HY"D (1875-1941) made a speech shortly before being killed explaining that they should consider themselves as holy sacrifices and should spend their last moments in prayer and repentance.

Now although you do hear of isolated cases of religious Jews joining the resistance movement, the vast majority did not resist. Why? Hypothetically, and without passing any judgement (since who are we to judge people that were there?) why didn't the heads of the multitudes of Yeshivas instruct their deciples to grab kitchen knives (assuming they had nothing else to arm themselves with...) and at least kill or injure their attackers? Even if they were all slaughtered in the fight, some of the attackers would be killed and preventing from killing others in the future!

Now, I can possibly accept the point of view that in the beginning of the war (WWII) it was thought that if there was an organized uprising, the rest of the Jews would have to suffer greater and would perhaps put more lives at risk. But by the end of the war, wasn't the enemy's intent clear? Wasn't it obvious that they wanted to wipe out all the Jews? And if so, why don't we hear of more cases of resistance?

It seems to me, that this approach is incorrect and that Jews are obligated to defend themselves and their brothers whenever and however possible. It is, in my humble opinion, so mandated in the Torah and is unwise, and perhaps criminal to not act!

I'd love to hear your opinions on this. Please continue the discussion...


Anonymous said...

Working my way through both -
And had some similar thoughts. Why was the partisan movement largely comprised of non-religious, or at least not Yeshivah bound/Haredi (in modern terms)Jews?

I am not sure how I became a prepper coming from a MO/Yeshivah light background - but certainly many of those I grew up with, and half of my family (particularly the more observant members) are not preppers, whereas those of us OTD are much more so.

Odd sociocultural development. An interesting thought experiment.

Survivor said...

...a great movie as well!

Anonymous said...

I think it's very clear. We can not "stand idly by".

Larry Leitgeb said...

If I may jump into your conversation... this is a conflict us Christians share. Throw in the belief that Christians will be raptured out before the real bad stuff hits the fan into the mix and you end up with an "Eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we rapture" attitude.

The Lord has said over and over, most notably in Hosea, Due to a lack of wisdom, my people perish. I believe that these words are so true today.

All too many Christians today are total passivists. They claim that they are modelling their lives after Jesus as He submitted to the Father, even to the cross. But they ignore our scriptures which explain that Jesus will come again with a sword in his mouth and His saints behind him (Revelation) executing judgement on the nations.

All throughout our Old Testament, the Lord admonishes His people to practice truth, righteousness, and justice. How are these to be achieved with passivity?

Then again, the Lord did tell Judah to surrender to Nebuchednezer(spelling?). We need the Lord's guidance on such matters. There is a time for peace and a time for war. The key is knowing the when and where for each! Pray!

paul said...

Please don't forget the Bielski brothers in Belorussia who not only fought the Nazis,but saved and protected over 1200 Jews in the forest village they built. It was recounted in the book and movie "DEFIANCE ", as well as the book," THE BIELSKI BROS.," by Peter Duffy. Their story is an inspiration for all Jews everywhere.