Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Riots I: Disgusting Behavior, Hoodlums Riot

So, I needed to tune into the 11PM news for a story and instead I get to see and hear about a riot going on as I type in Boro Park. My evening is absolutely ruined. I don't know if the man who was pulled over for the traffic violation was in the wrong. I don't know if the police officer is in the wrong. But, I do know that this behavior is disgusting. It's animalistic. It's a chillul Hashem on a grand scale. And, I don't want to be associated with this behavior in the least.

I am so sad that I turned on the news tonight. I don't want to know about this. I don't want to think about this. Fortunately, I don't live in New York, because if I did, I would be getting an even more up close look which could send my blood pressure through the roof. Hearing some of the people in Boro Park speak to the cameras and seeing the faces of all the people out on the streets (especially teenage boys whose parents should have told to get indoors and stay indoors) has made me angry beyond words.

I've lived in a number of metropolitan areas and in each area I've lived in, I've seen riots. The behavior of rioters is the lowest of the low. And, these riots appear to be no exception. How I wish that these rioters were not my brothers.

When (and if) I gather my thoughts, I may (or may not) post more on the subject. In the meantime, I can't remember ever being so angry, so sad, and so disheartened at the same time. I am so sad that Jewish adults and Jewish children are looking out their windows at this nightmare. I am so upset that Jews and non-Jews alike are seeing this chillul Hashem which is by far worse than any other chillul Hashem of recent memory. This is a Torah community? If I didn't see the faces, I would have thought this was another Islamic riot in France!

I am so sad that this is happening a week before Pesach, in the month of Nisan, when we should be looking for renewed inspiration and looking forward to celebrating as kings and queens, princes and princesses, not rioting like a bunch of criminals.

I don't know what to say or think, and can only cry. Seeing the photos is hurting physically and spiritually.


Anonymous said...

I think that after you calm down and the shock wears off you should re-evaluate what you wrote: the strong condemnation can stay but the analogies shouldn't.
Just a few points: there was no looting, gunfire, violence (in the real sense of the word) etc.
The reporter on cbs news made a point of mentioning these things. He stressed that it was not a riot but rather a street protest or demonstration. To compare this to the French protest where I saw pictures of men ganging up on each other and beating each other up is wrong. Don't you agree?
click on my name for the video, the reporter is very emphatic

Anonymous said...

Please don't call my fellow Jewish Brothers hoodlums. These are hoodlums. My Brothers are a bad imitation at worst and misguided at best.
"Demonstrators opposed to a new jobs law swarmed parts of downtown Paris on Tuesday, throwing stones, tearing down street signs and ripping up park benches. Riot police, firing tear gas canisters and making several charges, carried away protesters in handcuffs."

chareidi said...

I live 3 blocks from the episode. It was a little excitement. Not a big deal. The media makes it sound like the whole Brooklyn is under attack. Its a joke. Kids home from yeshiva need a little fun in life. Let them scream and smile. They did not hurt anyone.

Charlie Hall said...

The first time I ever visited Boro Park I ate dinner at Dougie's. A brawl broke out in the restaurant and spilled out into the street. Is there something in the water?

Anonymous said...

this was a protest not a riot. A few people got out of control but basically it was just lot of people in the streets.

Anonymous said...

Charlie - Dougie's is not technically in Borough Park, rather it's just outside it. Even if BP has long skirts and outskirts, it's still an important distinction that needs to be made. ;-) Dougie's is in a much more mixed area than the heart of BP. I don't mean to say that crazy things have never happened in BP proper, but nevertheless it's important to realize that.

Re something in the water - don't you know that some of the local Rabbis say now that the NYC water must now be filtered ? :)

AlanLaz said...

"Police in riot gear arrived on the scene after Hasidim surrounded a cruiser, trapping an officer inside. The officer called for help when one of the windows was broken."

If this is true as reported, this constitutes violence.

Jewboy said...

Ah, New York. What a shining paradigm of a Jewish community.

Anonymous said...

Videos are posted on www.yeshivaworld.blogspot.com

Harry Maryles said...

Kids home from yeshiva need a little fun in life. Let them scream and smile. They did not hurt anyone.

What are you talking about? Torching police cars is just some kids having fun?! Read the NY Times article:


Anonymous said...

For those who may not be aware, it is against the law to talk on hand held cellphone while driving in the State and City of NY. There are at least considerations of Dina Dmalchusa Dinah involved that all of the defenders of those who need to "scream and smile" seem to be ignoring.

Anonymous said...

what does dina dmalchusa say about protesting when an elderly gentleman who broke a traffic law is treated roughly? It says you have a 1st Amendment right to protest. If some individuals got a little to excited and vandalized police property that is to be condemned, but lets not condemn everyone. Would you prefer they turn their cheek the other way? Like in history, or are you a R Menachem Ziemba ztl fan? I thought so!

Orthonomics said...

>>>I think that after you calm down and the shock wears off you should re-evaluate what you wrote: the strong condemnation can stay but the analogies shouldn't.
Just a few points: there was no looting, gunfire, violence (in the real sense of the word) etc.

Also Shocked and Dismayed-An ungodly riot need not have looting and gunfire. There certainly WAS violence. I think the analogies stand, we have a bunch of hoodlums in our midst.

Like I said before, I've seen riots. Not every riot had looting. Not every riot had gunfire. It is the mob behavior and criminal behavior that defines a riot. We know it when we see it.

I will continue to strongly condemn these acts.

Orthonomics said...

>>>Please don't call my fellow Jewish Brothers hoodlums.

Reb Shlomo, I don't want to call MY Jewish brothers and sisters hoodlums either. There are different degrees of hoodlum behavior. What we witness were the acts of hoodlums. Was it as bad as the acts in France put on my the Arab street? No. Was it the behavior of hoodlums? Without a doubt.

Orthonomics said...

>>>Kids home from yeshiva need a little fun in life. Let them scream and smile. They did not hurt anyone.

Heshy, we all know that you are extreme (using the word lightly). But, it is amazing to watch you excuse serious, serious aveiras, like beating up cops, destroying property, and more.

Let these kids have a little fun. They could play basketball. They could play flag football. They could play a game of soccer. Unfortunately, in a society that bans every interest and consider real fun, assur, I guess we will have to settle for massive chillul Hashem.

Orthonomics said...

Charlie--Your story reminds me of my story. I was in Boro Park visitng a friend, walking on the Ave, when a man was being towed for something like his 50th unpaid parking ticket.

Little did the tow driver know that he was asleep in the car, when someone knocked on his window and he woke up. The man hit the cars in front of him and in back of him, trying to "run" from the tow truck. And, the crowds poured out of the street, begging the cops and the tow truck to leave a good Jew alone.

I don't know about the rest of you, but crashing into the cars in front and in back of you, certainly doesn't qualify as "good behavior" in my book.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who drags the Holocaust or R M Ziemba ZYL, HaShem Yimkam Damo into this issue simply cheapens their memory This was hardly an NYPD inspired pogrom.

Since when is there a right to protest a police officer's performance of his or her duty? Since when are we exempt from simply obeying such well grounded laws a double parking and talking on a hand held cellphone? Simply stated, I don't think that the First Amendment protects a mob from , blocking streets without a permit,engaging in destruction of public property even in the course of an otherwise legal protest. That can border on obstruction of justice. Mr. Schick himself condemned the lawless behavior such as burning tires and vandalizing police property which AFAIK is not First Amendment protected activity. I also wonder how the people involved could have invoked the use of the Al Sharpton motto "no justice, no peace."