I grew up in a neighborhood and a time where anti semitism was normal . We were spit at, threatened, and had our bikes stolen fairly consistently. I never realized how much it hurt. All of the sudden now a lot of trauma is coming back to me and I’m reliving it for the first time. I am angry and physically sick about it. A few days ago, just passing on the street a bunch of High School aged kids mumbled racial epithets at me. I’m not okay and surprised at my own reactivity.
I say, bring back the chapsem. For those of you too young to remember the lawless Dinkin’s days of NYC and earlier, chapsems were developed by certain chassidish communities to fight back against the city’s passive enablement of anti-Semitic crimes. If a person was threatened, he or she would yell “Chapsem!” (Yiddish for grab them) at the top of their lungs and everyone who heard would run out and stop the crime. A reverse Kitty Genovese. This time the Litvish should get smart and join the movement. It’s not an accident that there are certain areas in Williamsburg and in boro park that one can walk at anytime of day or night, even young children running to the grocery store at 1am erev Pesach, without fear of any crime. Believe me, it wasn’t the NYPD that accomplished that.
We actually need a “Chapsem App” that is tied into our GPS’s. Whenever you push the button, every registered user within a few blocks radius gets a text and GPS instructions where to run out and show up. A “Framber Alert”.
The time has come. Any smart, frum App developers out there? Seriously, if someone approaches me with the ability to develop the app, I’ll bl”n use this network of bloggers to promote it.