Krav Maga Drills From a Chair
An Act of Courage
But Oxford's other definition of courage fits perfectly: "strength in the face of pain or grief." It should be life-affirming to associate with a synagogue community, rather than a source of fear. That connection should strengthen our resolve, especially in the face of life's greatest challenges. A visit to a synagogue (real or virtual), especially in the act of communal prayer, should not feel like a routine visit to a bar or supermarket, or even to a JCC; but rather it should be an acknowledgement that being a Jew is a fragile and precious gift, and an affirmation that this gift imbues our lives with purpose.
Even the first Oxford definition of courage is illuminating here: "The ability to do something that frightens ONE." For Jews, there is never just one. When we have a minyan, when we stand with community, there always are at least ten. That's why, even for those who have trouble accessing prayer, the connection with community - with ten - can be deeply meaningful.
At times like these, with Covid again spiking (hopefully peaking), we are all feeling life's fragility. The Colleyville captives touted their security training for saving their lives, particularly regarding the use of chairs. We've done those sessions too, and we plan to do another one soon. Meanwhile, see above a quick Krav Maga training film on the use of chairs for self protection. Leave it to Israel to come up with ways for people to fight back against hate.
We are deeply relieved and grateful for the Colleyville escape, and it's fitting to recite the traditional prayer thanking God for releasing captives (see below, third blessing down). Still, despite our gratitude, we know that, save for quick thinking, some timely training and a handy chair, we would all be grieving this week.
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