Before getting into the reason, it is important to read the wording of the 2nd Amendment, since much is said without taking the time to read the words nor understand the importance of commas.
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.
The Amendment covers two distinct areas. First is defense of state through the use of militias. Second is defense of self and others through private ownership of arms. There is no comma between people and infringed, which makes it an individual right.
Every Amendment making up the Bill of Rights has direct reference to individual rights. There are seven that are specific to individuals, with the other three being in regard to individual rights and other groupings, such as state, militia, press, etc.
Is it permissible by God for Jews to own firearms for the purpose of defending themselves and others? Another way of asking is if God allows for American Jews to exercise their 2nd Amendment right to bear arms for the purpose of defense?
Defense of self and others is acceptable to God. Jews are supposed to minimize violence when possible, but not refrain. Shulchan Aruch, is the Codes of Jewish Law, which was written in 1563, is very clear about the subject. Defense of self and others is included within those Codes. Shulchan Aruch is not some ancient book that used to have importance, but the most widely consulted book on Jewish law to this day.
One Biblical example of God allowing defense of self and others can be found in the Book of Esther. Since many are familiar with the story, there is little need to go into great detail. King Xerxes had already ruled that the Jews were going to be slaughtered. Xerxes was unable to take a law back once written, so Esther came up with an idea, which he acted upon. The order was given that the Jews were required to fight back.
When the Jews fought in defense of themselves and others, their families and friends, they did not do so empty hand. They were armed with swords, daggers and whatever weapons they could get their hands on. The Jews did not just win the battle, but slaughtered their enemies without violating a single law of God.
God’s word is unchanging. Just as it was permissible for Jews to defend themselves and others during the time of Esther, they can do so today. Swords may have been replaced by firearms in many parts of the world, but the law remains. It is not just acceptable to defend yourself and others, but expected by God.
New York City Rabbi Gary Moskovitz, gave an interview to the New York Post in 2018 regarding firearms ownership. “Rabbi Gary Moskowitz said of armed congregants. “A guy comes in with a gun, and what can they do? Throw chairs at them? We’re sitting ducks here.” The rabbi believes that arming the congregants is ultimately a better solution than using private security or police protection because a member of a synagogue would be able to spot more things out of the ordinary. A cop or guard would not be as familiar with the temple, Moskowitz said.”
In 2020, due to increasing attacks against Jews, ABC News reported more Jews are learning to shoot. “Mr Stern, a former Israeli Defence Force soldier who runs a tactical training business, says he’s been swamped by requests from fellow Jews who’ve had enough of the recent attacks against them.”
Stu Bykofsky, a columnist for The Philadelphia Examiner who happens to be Jewish and started to arm himself over 2 decades ago, wrote an opinion published in 2018. “Millions of my people were pushed into gas chambers or shot into enormous pits. After the killing ended, the world chanted, “Never again.” To me that means, never again be so helpless… During the Holocaust, Jews did fight and die on their feet — notably in the Warsaw ghetto — when they got guns. Were they so different?”
From the Los Angeles Time in 2019. “In the days since the shooting, Chabad leaders in California have scrambled to secure public safety grants and to calm frightened congregants, mobilizing hundreds more through active-shooter drills and community defense training. In Southern California, religious security experts such as Cohen, who calls himself the “Tactical Rabbi,” are quickly becoming their own cottage industry.”
From the Jewish Telegraphic Agency in 2019, “A rabbi here has asked congregants to consider bringing guns to religious services as a form of protection in response to recent shootings at synagogues across the country… Several of his congregants, including former soldiers and retired police, are now carrying guns into daily services at Rodkin’s synagogue, which also operates a day school.”
From The Times of Israel in 2018. “The Jewish owner of a gun shop in Colorado has offered to give rabbis semi-automatic rifles for free following the murder of 11 worshippers at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh.”
All of the above have one thing in common. They were articles written after a tragedy occurred. There was no one armed who was able to stop people from committing murders by armed assailants.
By not being in a position to defend self and others from harm is to be in violation of God’s law. It should not take a tragedy to occur before Jews arm themselves, but should be armed and go through training long before one occurs that could have been prevented by armed Jews.
Those who wish to do away with the 2nd Amendment or bastardize to the point of making it unrecognizable seem to think that people who break the law will suddenly become law abiding. People commit murder every day in the United States, which is a violation of the law in every state. Laws only impact those inclined to follow them.
Countries who have banned private ownership of firearms did not result in polite criminal and terrorist activities. Parris was attacked on November 13, 2015. Terrorists with firearms and explosives, both already illegal, were used in a coordinated attack that left 130 people dead. It took armed police to bring an end to the carnage, since very few people in Paris were and continue to be armed.
In 2015, Tablet Magazine ran an article about European Jews arming themselves. “Arming Europe’s Jews against the jihadi psychos who are trying to kill them for is not the sort of proposition that decent, liberal people like to entertain. Decent, liberal people believe in reasonable measures. Sadly, the savages who shot Uzan do not. Nor do the beasts who twice attacked a synagogue south of Stockholm last summer, or the lowlifes who desecrated hundreds of Jewish graves in France earlier this week. Nor did Mohammed Merah, who shot up a Jewish school in Toulouse so he could upload a video of himself killing Jewish children as they screamed in terror.”
The Torah does command defense of self and others. Vayikra or Leviticus, 9:16 states things quite clearly. “You shall not stand by the shedding of your fellow’s blood.”
American Jews are in a unique country where they are free to arm themselves as the law allows, which is no different than gentiles. Throughout much of the world where they live, they have no such option. Today, Jews are being targeted for death with no means to defend themselves in many parts of the world.
Pushing for gun control measures is to push for a violation of the Jewish laws requiring defense. Many American Jews have no problem with being disarmed, since they believe that criminals will suddenly follow the law, which has never happened. Any American who supports government force, which is what would be required, to disarm Americans can just as easily have that same force turned against them as has happened many times throughout their long history.