In a recent article from Rabbi Yitzchak Schochet in his blog he tells the story of how he went with his children on a Friday night from Mill Hill Shul when they were verbally and racially abused as they walked home.
Now listen to a recent Kenton story that happened to me....
Remember the Shabbat a few weeks ago when it snowed and snowed. O.K it wasn't two feet of snow, something more like three inches but you know how klein keppeldig some people are and they'll make a story out of everything.
Well, anyway in the afternoon I ventured back to Shul just before the end of Shabbat. For those people wondering, we had davened Mincha early and gone home in the "blizzard". Now it was about 4.45 p.m just prior to Motzei Shabbat and I was on the way to Shul. My sons and a few Yeshiva bachurim were about 300 metres behind. I had gone ahead to be there to open the shul.
As I walked through Woodcock Hill park in Kenton, there was nobody around, the silence was deafening, there wasn't a car to be heard, all the planes had been grounded, and my thoughts were away with me. Maybe I was deep in a Shiur for the next morning. Perhaps I was thinking thoughts of Torah. It doesn't matter because it was my space, my time for myself, and that's something we all need to possess and nurture for our own sanity and goodness.!!
Then suddenly I was awoken from my private space by the words ****** Jew!!
I didn't see the people who hurled the abuse at me. I don't know how many of them there were. I heard three distinct voices. I don't even know what the colour of their skin was.
I was alone, because there was nobody else around. The nature of the verbal abuse that they continued to hurl at me I cannot even repeat, because it was violent and sexual (!) as well as anti semitic. I didn't look around because I didn't want confrontation and I was alone. I just kept walking and pretending that I had heard nothing.
So what did I do about this?
I saw our Security Officer in Shul that evening and told him about this. He took this seriously and told the CST. I didn't tell the police because I didn't see anybody- I didn't bother to look in their direction.
What are my thoughts about this?
I am walking along. I have my own space and my own time. I invite people to join me all well and good. But this is an assault- it's a trespass of my space, my freedom, my time. It's rude, it's foul and it's ugly- and it just shouldn't happen.
We need Maschiach more than ever!!