Life + Style
Dinner in Boca with a Side of Anti-Semitism
I grew up in the Mattapan area of Boston during a time when overt anti-Semitism appeared to be waning. Today, it’s probably true that most American Jews have never experienced an anti-Semitic event. They might agree with my grandfather’s observation that “s’iz shver tsu zayn a Yid” (it’s tough to be a Jew), but they’d smile at the old-time maxim. No longer. The massacre of Jews in October at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh changed anti-Semitism from tough to horrendous. It is now personal for all of us. Even before Pittsburgh, I had indeed come face-to-face with a bigot who hated Jews—in Boca Raton, of all places. Here is my story.
You stand in line a lot in Florida during the winter. You wait to get into restaurants, to see movies, to play golf. December to March is peak immigration time, when grandparents travel south to escape the Arctic blasts and their children and grandchildren fly down to visit them.
About 9 o’clock on a Saturday night, a line of people was waiting to be seated in a Jewish delicatessen in Boca Raton. Virtually all delicatessens in Boca are Jewish. Boca has a large Jewish population, especially during the winter. It’s no coincidence that Jerry Seinfeld’s mother and father live in “Del Boca Vista” on Seinfeld.
I was standing in the line. My wife and her sister were moving about, reading the menu and checking out the decor. My niece was in the takeout area, investigating whitefish salad and hot pastrami. My brother-in-law was in the men’s room.
A group of eight—husbands and wives—was in front of me. They were obviously Jewish, probably in their seventies, and shorter than my 5 feet 9 inches.
“Irving, you’re paying.”
“Not on the best day you ever had.”
“I‘m dying for a bowl of good chicken soup.”
“Sylvia, if you get out of line, we won’t let you back in.”
I joined in. “Sylvia, I’ll let you back in for a dollar.”
The bantering continued as we waited for tables to open up.
Soon, I heard a man’s voice behind me, loud, almost shouting. I couldn’t understand what he was saying, but my first thought was of men who stand on street corners ranting unintelligibly and making passersby walk a wide berth around them. As he came closer, the blurred cadence of his words became more distinct.
“Jews…Hitler…finish the job…gas chambers…kill more of you….”
I hadn’t turned around, but I knew that he was right behind me.
“…Hitler didn’t kill enough Jews…too many of you people are still around…we’re gonna take care of you…how come you all aren’t wearing those weird little hats…”
It went on—a tirade of anti-Semitic invective, in Boca Raton.
I turned around. He was about 6 feet 2 inches tall, thin, mid-thirties. He wore his brown hair in a ponytail, along with a purple T-shirt and jeans. Two feet in front of me.
“…Goddamn Jews are ruining the country…Hitler should’ve finished the job…we oughta kill you all….”
The words spewed forth, but as shock and disbelief changed to alarm and anger, I no longer heard them. My wife tugged on my right sleeve. “Relax, relax, don’t do anything foolish.”
A man standing behind “purple shirt” spoke into his ear. “If you hate us so much, why do you want to eat with us?”
There was no reaction. The unthinkable words continued.
Fragmented thoughts rushed through my mind: “Stay out of it…do something…fist fight…40 years younger…has he got a gun?…where’s my brother-in-law…stay out of it…do something.” My heart was pounding.
I had recently read Daniel Goldhagen’s book, Hitler’s Willing Executioners. Goldhagen maintains that police units comprised of ordinary Germans—their social attitudes warped by hundreds of years of anti-Semitic teachings—carried out many of the horrors of the Holocaust. I was particularly disturbed by his thesis that these “normal” Germans considered Jews to be evil and subhuman, and felt that they were righteous by killing them.
When I was younger, my mother used to tell me that I had my grandfather’s temper. Now a grandfather myself, I had mellowed. But I could feel the flashpoint coming—when you act without considering the consequences.
I looked over my shoulder. The party in front of me, heads down and faces averted, were huddled together against the receptionist’s desk. They seemed even smaller and older. Suddenly, these were the Jews of Goldhagen’s book—the Jews of the Holocaust who stood in gas-chamber lines—and I had no alternative.
I shoved my face to within six inches of the anti-Semite and shouted, “SHUT THE F#8%&@!K UP!”
He kept ranting.
I grabbed both of his forearms. “SHUT THE F#8%&@!K UP!!”
He looked at me.
“You can’t talk to me like that. I’ll tell the police you put your hands on me.”
“YOU’LL HAVE TROUBLE TELLING THE POLICE ANYTHING WITH MY FIST HALFWAY DOWN YOUR F#8%&@!KING THROAT!”
Abruptly, the confrontation ended. Three waiters surrounded purple shirt and escorted him out of the building.
“Just because I hate kikes doesn’t mean you can keep me from eating here,” was the last thing I heard.
I stood there, trembling. My hands were still shaking when we finished our meal and left the restaurant. On the way out, several people thanked me. “You’ve got guts,” said one of the men who had been in line in front of me.
Guts? I didn’t look at it that way. I had reacted emotionally, partly because I was angry and partly because I realized instinctively that logic wouldn’t work—that confrontation was the only thing to which purple shirt would respond.
The man behind purple shirt who asked the question about hating Jews and eating with them pursued the logical approach. Jews luxuriate in logic. To many Jews, an argument is a conflict, words are weapons and logic is grand strategy. One wins with vocabulary and logic.
But logic doesn’t work with anti-Semites. If they really believe they are doing society a favor by ridding the world of Jews, no amount of reasoning will convince them otherwise.
This was my first anti-Semitic embroilment in many years. When I was very young, I was pushed to the ground by two older boys next to the Morton Theater in Dorchester, kicked and called a Christ-killer. Crying, I ran home to my father’s logical explanation that there were just some people who didn’t like Jews, and that I should stay away from them. But, he added, if I was confronted, I had to fight back.
Much later, while serving in the air force at Thule Air Base in Greenland, I quietly told a senior captain that if he kept calling me a “Jew lieutenant” I was going to shoot him in the kneecap (presumably that would have made the deed less onerous at my court-martial). He stared at me, said I was crazy, and never again referred to me as a Jew lieutenant.
But that was many years ago, when anti-Semitism was very much a part of everyday Jewish life in America.
While a single anti-Semitic incident does not a pogrom make, my encounter in that Boca Raton deli was a very personal reminder of the people out there who have an intense hatred of the Jews—a hatred that after an expectant lull seems to be resurfacing. That I was facing a person who may have been irrational makes it no less menacing. History has proven that one who appears as a bigot or extremist to some is often followed by (or follows) others who share the same amoral convictions while appearing acceptable to society. As a Jew, I can never take either my adaptation or my acceptance for granted.
Maybe, when no synagogue-goers have been gunned down for 20 years, no Jewish houses of worship defaced, no swastikas painted on gravestones or markers overturned, and no irrational haters intimidating elderly Jews, maybe I’ll concede that times have truly changed. Maybe.
Stanley Harris, after spending many years in the high-tech industry, began a second career as a writer of books for young readers. A native of the Boston area, he has also written a memoir about the agony and ecstasy of being a lifetime fan of the Boston Red Sox.
Shelley Sherman says
someone with that level of aggression could in fact have been dangerous that day or in the future. It seemed from this story that at least some of the people felt threatened. In the future i would advocate calling the police and explaining the threat. His behavior was intended to provoke and give him the opportunity to “defend himself” with his fists. Mr. Harris was lucky that his level of reaction didn’t spur a physical fight.
Kathleen Maher says
I would have called the police immediately.
Michael Caplan says
When seconds count the police are only minutes away.
Jan Golden says
I agree with Shelley Sherman. You never know who may be carrying these days. Calling the police as an emergency immediately would have been the safest, smartest approach. I fear that this man may, in fact, go back to that deli, or another Jewish deli, in the future, and the next time he will have his guns. This type of hate never ends well. It is terrifying and appalling that we should even be having this conversation in this day and age, and especially in this country.
Jerry klinger says
“You never know who may be carrying these days. Calling the police as an emergency immediately would have been the safest, smartest approach.”
Is that because Jews don’t, or won’t carry? God forbid, guns… call a cop when Jews won’t defend themselves…hope there will be enough time for the Cops to get there.
I carry, Every Jew should carry legally. I will never be a victim.
Ephraim Shalom says
In THIS instance, purple shirt did not engage in violent behavior sufficient to warrant the need to defend oneself or others with a firearm. Still, all well and good to be prepared for the future, in case (G’d forbid) it becomes necessary to defend against loons like purple shirt. (I’m an advocate of firearm safety & concealed carry.)
Judith C. Levine says
I refuse to carry a gun. The chance that I will prevent a crime is negligible, the idea that having one keeps you safe…well I am an RN who can tell you that is poppycock and I have treated my fair share of GSWs where the victims still had their guns on them. That said, I also don’t cringe in fear anymore. I refuse to shut up anymore. I am well aware that there are crazies out there and my family has been included in a terrorist hostage crisis in 1977. But I came to the conclusion that they must be faced down. So to that end I have become very active in Zionist and other Jewish causes. Never Again means not shutting up.
Joshua Guns says
Nah. It’s called “Trust Law Enforcement.” God Bless America.
Patricia L. Zake says
Mr. Harris did an amazingly courageous thing. If we truly believe in “never again” we must confront these Anti-Semites head on! I will always speak out when necessary! This was not a situation that called for “logic” it was one loud-mouthed bully being put into his place. Good for you Mr. Harris!
Richard Stein says
Maybe the police would show up.
Maybe in that town they would help.
As long as he had his first amendment right, why put yourself in jeopardy by bringing the officials in.
(Why do I have to go to jail to show this guy “Never again!!”)
Forget about civility to the unstable. We are still evolving with our democracy.
Thrashing and dueling was once legal. I guess we call this progress.
My Jewish iron cross holding grandfather took no crap from the SS in Vienna (until he disappeared)
Beth Garver Beha says
Unfortunately, the man in the purple shirt has the right to free speech and to be in the Jewish Deli.
Where do you draw the line though between Free Speech and Harrasment ?
Harris did what i probably would have done – called the man out, albeit this approach is dangerous on many levels.
Calling the police, video and voice recording his words and actions (if at all possible) and asking the restaurant to escort him out should definitely be part of the protocol.
Margo Vale says
On private property the owner has the right to remove people who are making a disturbance or, if a business, escorting out those who are bothering other customers. The deli manager should have asked purple shirt to leave—purple shirt has no right to disturb the majority of patrons. If the ranter refused, the manager should have called the police.
Carly Goldberg says
Disturbing the peace is a crime.
Paul Euus says
It’s time to start questioning the “right” to free speech. A “right” is something we grant to ourselves. We can just as well modify that “right.”
Free speech has it’s limits. You can’t yell “Fire!”in a crowded movie theater for kicks, and, you, cantmake terrorist threats. Saying “We’re going to get the rest of you ” after ” Hitler should have finished the job”, qualifies as a terrorist threat. Freedom of speech, yes. Freedom from the consequences of said speech, absolutely not.
Stephen Sarasohn says
Free speech means the government can’t stop you from speaking. The deli owner can. No one has a right to be in a deli. I wish I knew which deli this was. Don’t be worried someone might have a weapon. Have one yourself
Robert Malove says
You are wrong! He does not have the legal right to say these things because they are “fighting words” and not protected by the 1st Amendment. Not all speech is protected. A person can’t yell “fire” in a crowded theater and claim that the Constitution protects him. Plus this bigot’s speech is “hate” speech and subjected to an enhanced punishment as a hate crime.
He doesn’t have the right to threaten to kill people, which, bu Mr. Harris’ account he did. Hate speech is also soon to be a crime,, or should be in cases such as this..
Samuel Freedman says
After the Lebron James slur, my Rabbi gave me grief for suggesting that it’s 1936 again. More of these episodes will continue to happen if we do not respond with fury, major protest, and outrage. Let the media know — IT WILL NEVER AGAIN BE 1936 !!! Jews will NEVER AGAIN go silently into the night. “Purple shirt” should be purple faced. Call the ADL (anti-defamation league) and report this, and let them know we are not happy about Lebron James either. Public apology from him and Mr. Silver (a JEW), the commissioner of NBA is the least we should expect and receive. They were quiet in 1936. Don’t be quiet now. We live in a country that PROTECTS our freedoms — Race, Religion, etc… utilize this to eradicate the hate — not hide from it.
Ari L. Friedman says
You are right that he may have had a gun, especially in Florida. But the problem is nobody Jewish had a gun. We need to be able to defend ourselves.
Neil Kayw says
Mr. Harris’s reaction was appropriate and correct. If nothing dramatic had happened, the anti-Semite would have simply continued his ranting, and would probably do it again, in another public place. Some people only learn a lesson when there is a dramatic response. The traditional Jewish response of calling the police or filing a complaint means that a complaint will be filed and forgotten. That Jewhater will not forget this reaction .
Lawrence Reznik says
I came across this article today 12/29/2019 after coincidence of the recent stabbing of 5 yews at a Rabbis home in NY. I call for the JDL to reinvent itself ( not as a violent organization) but to protect and be a firm voice for us Jews and our children and their children. This type of behavior is intolerable and never again can be allowed. Don’t be intimidated!!!
joshua shemtov says
should have taken his photo and reported him to the police, they should have his finger prints and note his identity in case he pursues something in the future
Sidney Margles says
The gut reaction could have resulted in his being injured or maimed. What he should have done is step aside, get a phone and call 911. I assume anti-hate legislation would take car of this a.hole.
I too am a Boston native, having grown up near Codman Square. I went to a catholic school. My Mom was a hairdresser working for Sam Bluestein in Brookline. When I was in 1st grade, I told Sam I loved him because he was a Jew and Jesus was a Jew. When I was in second grade I told him I hated him because the Jews killed Jesus. I never learned this at home – sad to say I learned it at school. Well! My parents set me straight. No doubt the school heard from my Mother not to teach hated. Hatred is learned and I was fortunate to have parents who taught the richness that is diversity and to look for the good in people. I am sorry that you had to experience such an awful experience.
Jews need to own guns, know how to us them and carry them. IF you dont feel capable of protecting yourself without one you have the right as an American to own a gun for among other reasons, your self defense.
There is a group, other than the “Hated NRA”LOL out of the mid west JPFO, Jews for the preservation of fire arms ownership” well worth looking into. There should also be trading, proper legal ownership involved. And appropriate safety measures, as well. Thank you for the post.
Jane S. Gabin says
Good for you! Good for you! Good for you! These low-level cretins do not deserve a logical argument, they deserve a kick in the ass. I am a grandmother with slow-to-anger anger. If I am confronted, I’ll react.
Leah Szybowski says
I totally agree. Good for you and thank you!!
Judy r says
It’s not enough for Jews to confront anti-Semitism themselves when it occurs; non-Jews need to also, otherwise they are tacitly condoning it. Did any of the other customers or the staff call 911 when they saw what was happening? Would a Jew call 911 if another group was being attacked? I hope so.
Leslie Martin says
Yes! My thoughts exactly.
Beth Sherdell says
I agree! Why didn’t others join in to overpower him and get him out of the building? Why didn’t the manager immediately tell him to leave? Why didn’t other men come forward? Perhaps the people were older and felt vulnerable, but one of the worst parts of this is that no one spoke up until the writer of the article did. And even then, it was the waiters who escorted him out.
You are my hero. What you did, plus calling 911 immediately, needs to be done immediately. If they carried on this diatribe there they will do it again & again. The “other” segment of the population needs to step in and make it count! We can’t look away.
Marilyn Gessin says
Thanks for sharing your story.. I grew up in the 70s in New York and spent a lot of time protesting for so many important Jewish causes. I too would have had a hard time standing in the restaurant line listening to a racist scream aloud anti-semitic slurs and pretend as though nothing was happening. I applaud your quick reaction to standing up to am anti-semitic bully!!
On December 13, two friends and I were having coffee at a kosher Dunkin Donuts in Miami Beach; we regularly meet at 5:30 AM before a 6:00 class. A man came up to Michael, asked him if he had heard about the rape of a woman somewhere (none of us was clear where). Michael responded that he hadn’t heard about that, and the man (we found out later his name is Leroy) smashed Michael in the face and broke his glasses. (Afterwards a rock was found on the floor which very well might have been in his hand.)
Jack jumped up and threw my hot coffee in his face, then picked up a chair and hit him. I tried to tackle him, but he shoved me down. He ran out of the store, but not before Jack grabbed his hoodie and it separated from his shirt. The police dog was able to quickly find him based on the scent in his hoodie.
Anti-Semitic? The three of us wear yarmulkas. What do you think?
Michael sustained a concussion and I have a slight break in my sternum and major bruising on my chest.
a yid says
Saw this on media. Good on both of you for defending yourselves strongly. May you have a refuah shalema.
You described this story so well, and while the premise is awful, I found myself gleeful for your bravado and giggling at your descriptions of the people waiting in line. You are a terrific storyteller/writer.
Ruth Gutstein says
As a publicity volunteer for a Jewish Day School in Rockville, MD years ago, I found myself putting up a sign promoting the school’s Purim carnival at a busy intersection nearby. Traffic was stopped for a red light, and I suddenly found myself frightened because I was exposing myself as Jewish and who knew whether any crazies were in one of those cars who might attack me in some way. This reaction surprised me. Though I and my family had experienced low-level anti-Semitic attitudes a few times in Shaker Heights, Ohio, we had never really felt unsafe. Until then, I didn’t know I harbored such insecurity. The hope is that here in the USA, such hate never becomes government policy as it did in Germany. That is something we all have to fight against.
David chester says
You’ve hit it on the head. If you read Dershowitz , he has always said the problem is not if just people are antisemitic, it’s when the government is also . E.G Nazi Germany
Charles Gilinsky says
If you and others jumped him and held him down until police arrived I doubt anyone would whiteness against you. Just saying.
S Goldberg says
And you people think all of that anti-Semitic sentiment in Germany just disappeared after World War II? Just like anti-black sentiment dissolved 150 years ago in the US?
Keep buying your Nazi-mobiles and supporting Arab oil and see what the future brings.
Linda Johnson says
Many of these responders have lived in safe neighborhoods that are at least 50% and often much more Jewish. I recently warned my grandsons about thinking clearly and watching out for this kind of problem, recommending they donate to ADL. Jews have to react to nastiness exactly as other people would; cowering doesn’t work. I’d have called the police, yes. But when things got to the point they did in this story then toughness must be demonstrated. And of course the man should not be allowed into a restaurant. A business has the right to do that, see recent supreme court upholding rights of business in Colorado which didn’t want to make a wedding cake for a same sex couple. My basic point is that “never again” means not going willingly, but fighting for one’s right to exist. Sometimes with words, sometimes with fists, sometimes with bullets. But never again just going with the flow…
Marilyn Gilbert says
Mr. Stein – as a lawyer who spent 25 years specializing in constitutional issues, I should tell you that First Amendment Rights don’t go as far as you imply in your reply. Recall, the high court’s discussion of the FA, ending with ‘shouting fire in a crowded theater”? – this was one of those times. I can well appreciate Mr. Harris’ response (and without worrying about the idiot’s FA so called right – which he did not have in this situation), but I also would caution that a nut case like the purple shirt might in fact have a gun or a knife or even an outrageous desire to engage in a fight. Yep – call the cops – and let them deal with it – also, the restaurant should have called the cops immediately – not after Mr. Harris had the courage to challenge the nut case!
I hope the deli has hired an armed guard. Who knows what this vile man could do next?
Florida Lawdog says
I am proudly Jewish and was a police officer in south Florida before I retired in 2012. I can tell you that all the people here who said you took a big chance, and that the mishuganah could have had a gun, and that you should have taken his picture, and that calling the police was s safer action, and etc. are right. But you know what Stanley, sometimes you just have to tell a loud-mouth to “Shut the f***k up!” I’m glad you stood up to him and I’m glad it worked out for you.
Stan Moody says
Evangelical pastor in Bangor, ME wearing a hoodie in the pulpit with Star of David…
What scares me is where freedom of speech turns into action. I hope someone notified the police or FBI of this guy. For what? So when he does come uncorked and is the Florida Man behind another mass shooting, the reporters can say that this guy had a history of verbal assault but no one ever did anything to lock him up or get him help. He just toed the line.
Galia S. says
Where do I draw the line? If this anti-Semite has just said he didn’t like Jews maybe… but he was threatening to kill people and inciting to violence. Good for you, Stanley Harris, for stepping up and not hiding away. Unfortunately, you are 100% right that “Jews luxuriate in logic.” Anti-Semites must be handled in a way that they understand. Perhaps if the rest of the diners and those in line had turned around and confronted him (instead of huddling together with heads down), this united front would have “discouraged” Mr. “Purple Shirt” from continuing his tirade. That’s what is missing. I do agree that 911 should have been called immediately and this man investigated. Who knows what he’s capable of doing. But sitting back and waiting for someone else to confront the anti-Semites only leads to more incidences.
“Freedom of speech does not give someone the right to holler ‘fire’ in a crowded theater. A better counter to this anti-Semite might have been to go to the proprietor of the restaurant and report this. Management could have asked the man to leave, and if he refused, they could have called 911. The perpetrator could have been charged with inciting a riot or somesuch statute. Sadly, there is an increase in anti-Semitism in America. “Eternal vigilance is the price of Liberty!”
Leslie Martin says
Thank you for sharing this story. Just yesterday I received anti-Semitic hate mail addressed to me at my home. I’ve been through this before but have never felt so threatened, or so profoundly sad, as I do now during this free-for-all hatefest of the Trump years. I’m grateful for the JCRC of Minnesota and the Dakotas and our outstanding local police chief.
Although your response was risky, good for you for choosing to take action of some kind. Anti semitism as well as racism and other forms of bigotry and hate persist when people stand idly by. Silence is even more dangerous!
Ellen Lerner says
Where was management in all this? Seems reasonable to me for this rabid anti-Semite to be told that hatred is not welcome in the restaurant, and asked to leave.
Ivan Abrams says
All of us know the logical and dignified way to handle this sort of incident. However, I think that we also need to remember that logic and dignity didn’t save the 6,000,000. Sometimes the direct physical confrontation of evil is the only way to defeat it.
David Ravanesi says
I m a 78 yr old Christian, Italian and former Marine, live in Hillsboro Beach and a chum around , golf, eat out with many Jewish friends and I m glad I wasn’t there because I d probably be in trouble today because I, like the gentleman who stepped up would have been in his face and I don’t know if I would have been as nice as him. Some people are sick but you have to be careful because a lot of people DO carry. Why did so many put their heads down is mind boggling. By the way I m from Everett Mass.
G-d bless you.
Betty Elias says
it makes me angry when we as Jews do not confront are acusers like in the Resturant some Hung their heads and ignored instead of standing up for being a Jew. I am from Pittsburgh and we are still a month later not over the incident that happened Oct. but we will prevail just like we have over thousands of years.
Ken Rubman says
Thank you. Your story forced me to think of what I would do. I believe I would have dialed 911 quickly. I also believe that the restaurant should have called 911. Freedom of speech does not allow you to “incite a riot”. I could be wrong and I don’t think so. We must never forget and if any good came out of Pittsburgh it was the reminder to today’s youth that Anti-Semitism is alive today. (Munich and WWII seem like ancient history. ).
Charles Moskowitz says
Uzi Silber says
Good for you! You da man.
To the people who thought he should have done nothing, that means that you are now part of the helpless and an uninterested bystander. What about my right to feel safe? I have a right to feel and be safe in the public and personal sphere as do the customers at a restaurant. The best answer was asking why this anti-semite was eating a Jewish deli. Yes, reporting him to the police may or may not have a helpful but the reality is that the anti-semite is connected to other anti-semites and jail is a great breeding place for more anit-semitism. Sometimes standing up for ourselves really is the best approach, American Jews have always made an effort to stand up for others, why are we not standing up for ourselves? And where are the “others” when we need them?
Barbara G. says
You did exactly what we must do. Stand up to these haters no matter who they hate. I am an 67 year old woman who’s parents were survivors. More then 75% of the families on both sides were lost.
I will not stay quiet from fear I will stand up against the hate!
You were terrific. Thank you!!
Nina G. says
Oh my God. I was a college student working as a ship’s secretary one summer in 1962 on a Great Lakes cruise vessel, recording waitresses’ receipts on a cash register. A bar customer strolled by chuckling, “Playing your Jewish piano, huh?” I was too dumbfounded and intimidated to respond, but for years regretted saying nothing. I vowed next time I would speak up. Many decades later, I did. Nina G.
stephen specterman says
My story goes back to the war in the UK. I was just a kid-My mother a 5 foot nothing Lady who spoke her mind to anyone- In London food was on ration . There was a Jewish grocers who always had plenty of stock. Consequently there was always a long que (LINE) / Standing in the que holding her hand , there was a muttering of Jew this and Jew that. “Why is it this Jew shop always has plenty” etc etc. My mother suddenly schlapped me by the hand stood in the middle of the store and shouted out- If you dont like Jews then get out of this Jewish shop and find your food elsewhere. Then as my feet left the floor she took up her place in the line exactly where she left it. From then on you could hear a pin drop. So its not just today that this problem has occurred.
G-d bless your mother.
In a world where hate is on display everyday it is impossible to imagine Jews are not among those who are ignorant hate. If there were a simple answer we would have found the solution long ago. Ultimately we live in a country where ultimately protections dominate. Sadly, a President who preaches division and hatred and glories in his own misguided beliefs makes Jews and any others more vulnerable.
He is the most pro-Israel, pro-Jewish president ever. His daughter is an orthodox Jew. He has Jewish grandkids.
A mir gesucht ….
Ava Cohn says
I was at a restaurant in Boston a couple of years ago and the table of men next to my husband and I were talking about “Jews doing this and Jews doing that.” It was very uncomfortable. My husband who is not Jewish went straight to the manager and complained. The manager moved us to another table but I was still shaken and ate my dinner fast to get out of there quickly. Maybe we should have confronted them. But I’m 5’3” and over 60 and they were a table of six big men.
David Peller says
I’m not certain whether I could’ve/would’ve reacted the same way, but I congratulate the gentleman who had the b—s to tell the idiot in the Deli off, as well as his Captain. I feel embarrassed to say this, but he did the correct thing and I would encourage all – including myself- to (re-act) in the same way.
Randi Kandi says
American Jews must be trained in how to use and carry guns for protection. We should not kid ourselves or ever feel too secure. Keep supporting Israel for their bravery. If Israel doesn’t exist, I doubt we will. Learn to speak up and defend yourselves.
Emil Braun says
It’s truly unfortunate that the US is now experiencing more and more acts of this and worse type. Our ancestors gave their lives for this in the 30’s & 40’s, it is no longer safe for Jews to live in France and many other European countries, what you did was necessary and thank Hashem that you were there to stand up against this A___hole and set him straight! I would hope that the next time (there WILL be a next time) more people stand up and beat the aggressor to a pulp, that’s what I would do, Am Yisrael Chai!
“Jews fight back” is an important and necessary message.
Aaron Biston says
I admire your strength to stand up against anti semitism
You did the right thing.
Joelle Oiknine This is a hate crime and a senior crime. Just because the Anti Semite didn’t hit one of us doesn’t mean he didn’t try to cause or scare old Jewish people. I understand that there is freedom of speech but that it in a public place and I don’t think that carries any over to a private establishment.
In this day and age; I would have recorded the individual and allowed him to cross the line. I also would have blasted him on social media so everyone knew who he is. Maybe it would have affected his personal life (work).
Sara Meckler says
Don’t you think it’s time to make Aliyah???What are you all waiting for????
Irene Rabinowitz says
I am amazed that you are the first person on this thread to mention aliyah. Life without having to deal with snide comments (“Jewish lightening” “Jew you down”, etc.) and with blatant Jew hate in a place where we are barely tolerated guests makes no sense. Living in our Jewish nation with 50% of our Jewish global population (and rising) is so much better than having to deal with this crap. My saying for decades has been that every Jew in America needs 2 things: a gun and a passport.
David Zimmer says
I carry, at the request of my Rabbi and the President of my delray Beach Synagogue. The management should have called the police, not the customers, and the man was obviously a coward since he picked a place with old people who he knew wouldn’t fight back. If he was carrying he would not have used words he would have started sho