Activist community

Victim of brutal attack appeals to Crown Heights community

Operated by Crown Heights activist Yosef Hershkop: “The time has come. We can no longer sit idly by. After years of attritional fire directed at us from enemies in our community, in recent weeks it has become a full frontal war.

By Yosef Hershkop

Hillel says, “If I am not for me, who will be for me? But if I am only for myself, what am I? If not now when?” Pirkei Avos, 1:14

The time has come. We can no longer sit idly by. After years of attritional fire directed at us by enemies of our community, in recent weeks it has turned into a frontal war.

While at one time we were allowed to live our quiet lives, that is no longer the case. The enemies have pushed us into a corner where they are assailing us with physical blows and even more dangerously with spiritual blows.

We now know that our advocacy for both silent hishtadlus and more public petitions (over 300,000 in favor of Yeshivos) is unfortunately not enough. The government will put our most basic efforts mesorahs on trial and they will be encouraged by the NY Times and prominent social media personalities.

More personally, as some of you may know, I was the victim of a heinous crime several months ago. Because of this, I have unfortunately gained a great deal of experience of how vile victims of crime are treated and how unlikely violent thugs are to suffer any consequences. (Only 1 of the 4 perps were arrested).

The root of this is certainly the lack of leadership from the top. This lack of leadership also impacts our overcrowded hospitals, the inability to get proper mental health care for those who need it, and the shameful way our children with special needs have been treated since March 2020.

Kathy Hochul does not even pretend to solve all this; in fact, she’s really, really proud of the way things are going and will double down on the worst politics.

Some are asking us to leave the state on a large scale. Others call for preparing to live in hiding, just as the Hasidim did in the Soviet Union.

The Aibishter, however, gave us a third option: we have the right to vote, which Yidden almost never had historically. Not only can we vote, but we actually have the rare opportunity to vote for someone who truly respects our community and has shown a willingness to publicly stand with us.

On Tuesday, November 8 (14 Cheshvan), we must vote as if our lives depend on it. Nobody – and I mean nobody – has the right to stay at home.

Let’s all take a stand for our community and our way of life, and vote proudly for our fellow congressman Lee Zeldin for Governor.

The above is an opinion piece. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author.