Rav Avigdor Miller on Defending the Jewish Community
Recently there have been a few instances of goyim in the neighborhood beating up on Jews in the community, in particular yeshiva bochurim. What’s the proper way to handle the situation?
What’s the proper way to handle a situation when hoodlums are mistreating the frumme boys?
This I’m going to leave to experts in this. I don’t have much experience in that and I wouldn’t even attempt to tell you.
Of course, the minimum is that there should be a popular outcry. There has to be pressure. Not to ignore it; not to disregard it. If enough people would put up a big protest, they’ll get some results; there’ll be some action. And this brings us to a subject that’s worth talking about for a minute.
Nowadays, when there’s so much corruption and wickedness and crime and everything else, it’s up to the small group of people who have a certain intelligence – an original fresh intelligence – to speak up. If people would just write letters to our assemblymen, to city councilmen, to state senators, letters to congressmen, letters to U.S. senators on every issue; against crime, against everything else, you’d be amazed how big an effect your letter has.
Imagine if you would write one letter a week. It costs 20 cents – one letter a week. Fifty letters a year and let’s say there are a hundred people here, maybe there are more. Do you know how many letters that is every week?! A hundred letters every week. It’s the equivalent of a hundred thousand people who don’t do anything. You’d have a big effect on the policies of the city, the policies of the state. The police would react differently. Everything would be different. It’s because the frummeh are not trained to do anything – they keep quiet. And they suffer one indignity, one outrage, after the other.
Now, I’m not saying you should fight back – it could be. I’m not opposed to smashing the face of a bum, but the question is, if you’re not going to do it, are you going to ignore it? Here they shot a Jew, a father of eight children; they killed him. You’re keeping quiet?! What about an outcry demanding to restore capital punishment? Everybody should be fighting for capital punishment. There should be a big fuss about it. And there are a lot of things like that.
And the fact that we don’t do anything puts the blame on us. You can’t blame the irreligious Jews; they don’t care a thing. The freiyeh Jews – they don’t know and they don’t care. But we are organized. We are under one banner of Torah, so why shouldn’t we speak up?!
I want to tell you a secret. I spend a lot of money every week sending letters. I personally spend a lot of money every week. And time! I can’t afford the time – I’m very busy. But I spend a lot of time sending letters. Constantly I send letters out. If everybody would send one letter a week, you’d be amazed at the effect it has.
Some people who are lazy and cynical say it doesn’t have any effect. It’s not true. Sometimes when we send a petition from here, from the shul, a petition with thirty names, and the recipient, an assemblyman or a congressman, sends thirty letters to back to them. If he can read the handwriting, he sends thirty letters to them at their homes. So you see it makes an effect. So it’s important to react.
And this is something that’s easy to do. Maybe there are better things – I’m sure there are better things, but this is easy to do. And everybody should react.
Sometimes telephone calls. If you can organize a lot of telephone calls to the senators, to the assemblymen and to the councilmen, you get action. Because one telephone call from somebody who’s wide awake is equivalent to ten thousand people who are fast asleep.