These Jews have an axe to grind after the Jersey City shooting — and they’ll learn how to do it at a synagogue self-defense class.
“Rabbi sensei” Gary Moskowitz, a former NYPD officer, and martial arts expert, is hosting an axe-throwing “counter-terrorism” class in Williamsburg Monday and says Hasidic Jews have been clamoring to sign up in the wake of the kosher market massacre that left four people — including a cop — dead.
“The situation in Jersey City changed everything. In a few lessons and with practice, this is the quickest way for Jewish people to have a chance to mitigate terror and murder. At least they’ll have a fighting chance,” Moskowitz, also the president of American Jewish Security Council, told The Post.
“Civilians need training. No one can help you but yourself — you need zero response time.”
The seventh-degree black belt says the Orthodox community feels under siege amid a spike in anti-Semitic hate crimes this year and claims their best defense is to literally bury the hatchet.
In his two-hour class at Beth Jacob Ohev Sholom, the 62-year-old will also demo how to stop an attacker by hurling spears, mallets, bricks, and weights — but not with a gun.
“I’m teaching people to throw axes — it’s a fatal strike with immediate stopping power. If you shoot someone, it could take a while. When you get struck with an axe, it’s game over,” he said, adding that it’s easier to train someone to throw a 2- to 5-pound axe than to use a gun. “No one’s going to get a gun permit in NYC, so why teach it to someone in NYC when they can’t carry it in NYC?”
“We’re not looking to kill people, we’re looking to stop them,” he added.
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Elliott Gordon, an Orthodox talent agent from Flatbush, is one of at least 10 people who’ve signed up for counter-terrorism course.
“The idea is we really have to be prepared with weapons at hand that anyone can get. If we can grab an axe, a brick, anything we’re allowed to have and know how to use it, to hit the guy on the head with a brick, problem over. A pistol isn’t the only weapon,” Gordon said.
“We have to know how to fight back. The only self-defense that I have ever used was my hands.”
But one Jewish security expert said the tactics didn’t cut it — arguing axes and spears are impractical and could potentially land you in legal trouble.
“Self defense training is critical in that it empowers individuals with skills necessary to react quickly to defend against dangerous situations. It’s important to train with what you will have on hand in the event of an attack, such as your arms, legs, hands, feet, elbows or even a fire extinguisher,” said Deena Seelenfreund, NJ Regional Manager of Community Security Service, a volunteer group that protects Jewish sites.
“If you are training with objects that can be considered illegal with the intent to harm and are not readily accessible, such as spears, axes, mallets etc., then you will be at a loss to defend. The idea of someone carrying a mallet, spear or axe, is impractical.”
Source: New York Post