Relishing Our Victory at the Battle of Kindergarten

Despite the title here, I don’t want to make it look like I’m a בעל גאווה, a guy who just loves “winning battles” and stepping on the Covidians. I do not enjoy these fights. They make me sick, to tell you the truth.

But I do get a glimmer of relish, knowing fully that I am on the right path and that as long as we – my wife and I – keep moving in the right direction, that God will help us in going there. Just like Abraham, who had no idea where he was going, he just went, and ended up in the right place.

Anyway, after the initial Battle of the Kindergarten, we were walking away, feeling nauseous. I do not particularly enjoy fighting verbally with kindergarten teachers in front of children. It’s really, I mean REALLY not my thing. But these are crazy times, and we have no choice.

We were very emotionally flustered, on the verge of tears. And then the small comforts came from Heaven. The first person we see is a guy on a skateboard, a friend of mine, who’s on our side. I was glad to see him. We told him briefly what happened. He smiles. As we keep walking the next person to see us is in a car, rolls down her window, it’s a friend of ours who hosted our first “maskless minyan” so we could pray without masks on High Holidays 2020. We told her briefly what happened, and she cheered.

My wife had an errand to run that same day, and she picked up a hitchhiker on her way. He was wearing a mask. She bravely told him to take it off, no masks in our car. He thought she was joking. She was not joking. She told him to take it off or get out. He would not take it off. She stopped the car and for the first time ever, kicked a hitchhiker out of the car.

As soon as he was out, it started pouring. For about 2 minutes. Then it stopped. He got what he deserved.

Anyway, we had enough signs we were doing the right thing.

So, we go to the kindergarten this morning. The teachers greet us respectfully. We respond respectfully. We sit down, with our 4 year old daughter, to do a puzzle. We do the puzzle, nobody says a word. The adult that was lecturing us about “endangering hte children”, seems she’s staff, said not a damn thing.

We finished the puzzle. We get up to leave. I walk over to the head teacher and I say, “Thank you very much for the respect you have shown us today.” Very formally, very coldly. She responds, “Thank you as well.”

There are no illusions. She knows we are at war. She knows she has lost. She has capitulated. There is nothing in just war more satisfying than showing cold respect for your opponents. These people are slaves. And we have shown them that we are not. We are masters. Of ourselves.

When a slave sees a master, they obey. That’s what they do. Use their nature to win.

How We WON The Maskless Battle at Kindergarten

Another day, another battle. We won at the pool. We won the battle of the Covid tests. We won the Battle of Supersol and Battle of the Maskless Shabbat.

Today, we won the Battle of Preschool.

We have a four year old daughter. When the End of the World as we Know It happened, my son was 5, in kindergarten. He is now in 2nd grade. I used to play a game with him at kindergarten before leaving him for the day, in the mornings. From March 2020 until today, I didn’t play with my son, nor have I with my daughter in the mornings at preschool.

Today, my wife and I decided to open up another front. We went in to the preschool, without masks, we sat down, and we played with her. For the first time in nearly 2 years, we played with our child in kindergarten.

We were immediately harassed about masks. Told to put one on. We said no, and kept playing. They move all the other kids away from us, as if we’re endangering them. Then another adult comes in and says we’re endangering the children.

“I don’t want to fight with you,” she says, “but you’re endangering us all.”

“Then stop fighting with me and be quiet,” I say.

There was a back and forth for a while, something about obedience versus rationality, we finished a puzzle with my daughter while being attacked. It was very unpleasant.

“There are rules,” says the adult. Not sure if she was staff or not. Uh huh.

We walk out, my wife not feeling well emotionally about this. Neither am I. I don’t want to attack anyone.

We get home, and there is city security at our gate. He used to be my neighbor. He asks if we had problems at the kindergarten this morning. I say no. He says something about masks, I say we are exempt. He asks if we have an exemption in writing, I say you’re not allowed to even ask that.

He says he wants to talk to me for my own good, as a friend. I say I don’t see you as a friend. I see you as an enemy. Then he gets mad and says, “OK, now I’m changing my tone with you!”

“Oh no, what do I do now? You’re changing your tone!”

“Look,” he says, “You come into the kindergarten again without a mask, and you’re going to get a really big fine!”

“Good,” I say. “Go ahead. Fine me. I’ll fight it in court.”

He turns his back, and starts to walk away. As he’s walking out, he says, “You’ve always been a couple of idiots!”

Heh, he couldn’t resist a childish swipe after a smushed his ego.

Hours later, I go to pick up my daughter. As I get close to the kindergarten, there are three cops waiting for me. I know these cops. One of them is the Chief. They booked me back in December for bareface and never gave me a ticket for it though. He knows me. The basic points of the conversation, skipping the dumber portions of the back and forth. It took about 3-4 minutes I think.

“What’s your name?” he says.

“Did I do something?”

“You’re talking to a cop. Tell me your name.”

“Do I have to answer that? Tell me what I did. Can I pick up my daughter?”

“I know you. We’ve met before. You can’t come into a Kindergarten and yell at people. It’s bad for the children.”

“I came in to play with my daughter and they told me I was endangering children.”

“Look, next time you just say you have an exemption from masks and that’s it. You can’t just go in to a kindergarten, disrespect the teacher in front of kids, because later the kids grow up and think they can stab policemen.” (Yes, he actually said this.)

“I’m against violence. But I’ve said I am exempt many times before and they still bother me.”

“I will tell the teacher that you have an exemption and not to bother you then.”

“So I can come in tomorrow, to the kindergarten, without a mask?”

“Yes, just be respectful.”

“Of course. Thank you for your help. I really appreciate this conversation and I respect you.” I say. I’m serious. This cop is sort of reasonable. Still trying to intimidate me, but sort of reasonable.

I pick up my daughter and go home.

There are no Covid rules. It’s all a sham. Just keep acting as if they do not exist. Because they don’t. I wonder what I’m going to fight next.

Kindergarten conquered. כיבוש ארץ ישראל.

How We WON The Battle of The Covid Tests

I danced and won at the Street Battle of the Maskless Shabbat. My wife won the Battle of Supersol. Our whole family fought and won the Green Pass Battle at the Pool. September 30, 2021, we fought, and won the three-front battle of the Covid Testing at the Schools and Kindergartens.

This battle was a crazy one, and it was the scariest one. It was the only one we announced our attack in advance. We were told that in order to send our kids to school and kindergarten, we would have to show them a negative Covid test, or our kids would not be allowed in. So we called both the principal and the kindergarten teacher, and we announced in advance that we were going to fight them. That we were not going to back down. We were going to send our children to the school and kindergarten they are registered for, without a Covid test, against the tyrannical mandates of the Israel Ministry of Health, and the next move is up to them.

If you do not understand why it is such a crime against humanity to require disease testing on healthy children in order to get into school, then stop reading this article. It is not aimed at you. I am only speaking to those who understand the importance and sanctity of human liberty and of the principle of innocence until proven guilty, and of the holiness of one’s ownership over his own God-given body. If you don’t get that, then you are not worth talking to, so leave.

For those who understand, let me put it simply. Last year it was forced “declarations of health” on a piece of paper. This year it’s Covid testing and nasal rape. Next year it’ll be forced injections for babies toddlers and children. We made a big mistake last year not fighting the health declarations. We just filled them out. That made this last battle that much harder. We still won, but it was not easy. Had we refused the health declarations, the path would have been much easier to winning this battle. But for those who do not fight nasal rape of children now, you are going to have a very hard time fighting forced “vaccinations”. But for us, I hope it will be easier, because now they know where we stand, and they know we know they are cowards and backed down.

Just like my kids are no longer bothered about masks because they refuse to wear them, all you have to do is win once and it gets easier.

First let’s go into the completely asinine nature of the “mandatory Covid testing”. It is only once a week, and those that don’t go to school on the day it is required, do not have to submit one on any other day. So it is very easy to avoid, and it won’t prevent the spread of anything. We could have easily just not sent our kids on September 30 as so many parents refused, and rightly. But this was about taking a stand, and letting them know we will not submit nor will we run away anymore. Come get us, you empty cowards. You are all empty, none of you believe in what you are doing. As Worf said of the Borg, “The Borg have no honor nor courage. And that is our greatest advantage.” Hollow automaton obedient shells.

So last night I called my son’s teacher, a man I do have respect for. He is a very good teacher. I can tell he does not like this coercion, but he does not have the fortitude to endanger his job to fight it head on. I feel bad for him. But I can tell he understands. I call him and tell him very clearly, I am sending my son to school tomorrow, without a test, and I expect him to be accepted and taught as normal. I told him that if my son is not allowed into school, what happens to him will be his responsibility and the school’s,  and that he, the teacher, will be guilty of denying my son a Torah education and Bittul Torah, cancelling Torah, one of the worst sins that can be committed by a Jewish educator specifically. I said to him on the phone that he will be judged in Heaven for this, and I know that the Holy One Blessed Be He is watching him, and watching me, and God sides with me. I am sure of it, period. What about you?

No answer to that.

But he said he understood but my son cannot come to school without a test.

“He is coming, whether you like it or not.”

That was the end of the conversation.

Then the principal calls my wife’s phone about 5 minutes later. I do not like this man. Perhaps I would respect him under different circumstances, but he was in full bureaucrat empty soulless mode. He asks me in a dumb tone, “I hear that there is something you do not understand about the testing mandate tomorrow? What is it that you don’t understand?”

I found this question to be insulting and idiotic, so I began to lose my temper completely, instantaneously. I told him I understand perfectly, and then I got real nasty. I was taken over by something and I went on autopilot.

I told the principal the same thing I told my son’s teacher. That he’s coming to school without a test, and anything that happens to him will be the school’s responsibility. The principal responded that there are laws and he has to follow the law.

“You sound like Adolf Eichmann,” I reply. “You are hiding behind the law like a Nazi and you are disgusting. My son is coming to school tomorrow and there is nothing you can do to stop it. If you try I will hold you responsible.”

“Your son is not coming to school. You cannot send him here without a test.”

“Yes I can, and that’s what I’m doing.”

This yes-no-yes-no-yes-no sending him not sending him went on for about 2 minutes straight. I wouldn’t let him get a word out. Then he ups the ante. He says to me if my son shows up at school without a test and I refuse to pick him up, he will call the police.

Ah! Now we’re getting somewhere! A bureaucrat punches, I counter. “Go ahead. You do that. Call the police on a boy who wants to learn Torah! I dare you, you empty nothing!”

“Your son cannot come to our school. You can send him somewhere else, but not here.” he reiterates.

“You’ll be seeing him tomorrow. Make sure you remember the number for the police.”

“Is this conversation over?” he asks.

“You haven’t hung up yet, so I will say again. I am sending my son to school tomorrow without a test. I suggest you call the police on him.”

He hangs up the phone. I scream into the air.

At this point I get weak, adrenalin rush over. Fear overtakes me and I have doubts. But my wife is adamant that we now must follow through. If we don’t, we’ll look like idiots and we will never win another battle, and there are many more that need to be fought. This is one and done. We lose one, we lose them all.

In the case of my two older girls, my wife asked the oldest’s teacher if she agreed with this policy. She replied that she does, because “we’re all in this together” we are “all Klal Yisrael” (common Israel) and other Marxists platitudes, and in any case it doesn’t matter what she thinks because these are the Health Ministry guidelines and my daughter is welcome in school if she has a negative test. My wife wrote back that this is communism, not Judaism, and basically cut the crap.

Anyway, we wake up the next morning and we tell the kids we are sending them to school ourselves. We drop the four year old at her kindergarten early. She walks in, no challenges. We drive the two other girls and my son to their schools, about a 20 minute drive. We drop the girls off first, and tell them that our car will be in the parking lot down the street if they can’t get in.

We park the car, and my wife gives my son a pep talk, to just walk in past the guard and be brave. He starts walking, and comes back crying that the guard won’t let him in because he didn’t take a test. I’m not sure what actually happened here since we didn’t want the school to know we were there as well, so we weren’t with him when he crossed the gate. I suspect he just got scared and turned back. At this point my fear takes over and I’m thinking we should give up, but my wife gets possessed and insists he try again.

Meanwhile, the phone rings. It’s our local government education bureaucrat woman, who insists that we must come back to the kindergarten to pick up our four year old girl, because she does not have a test. My wife screams at her that there is no way she is picking her up early. She is healthy, and she will pick her up at 2pm when the day is over as normal. Screaming back and forth. I’m holding the baby. The only line I remember from her side was, “I’m her mother! I decide what goes into her body! Not you!”

Eventually the woman hangs up on my wife after giving up fighting with her.

Meanwhile, my wife, who now looks a bit crazed, takes our son back near the school gate and tells him to try again, just walk past the guard. This time he makes it through. 2 minutes later, the phone rings again. It’s the principal I had a screaming match with the night before. (I’m shortening this dialogue to the main points.) I tell my wife I cannot talk to him. I’m out of energy. She answers the phone.

“Your son is here. You have to come and pick him up.”

“No,” says my wife. “You have to let him in. He has come to learn Torah and be with friends. He belongs to the State now, which says we must send him to school by law, so you are responsible for him now by law. You cannot turn him away.”

“You can do homeschooling, you can’t send him here.”

“No, I can’t, because I’m just a stupid immigrant with a Masters in education but I don’t have the resources. He is healthy. If he was sick I would not send him to school.”

Meanwhile, back and forth yelling for about 5 minutes, repetitive, attrition. Then my wife says, “He already had Covid and now he’s fine.” For some reason this changes the direction of the conversation, and we do not know why.

“Really? When did he have Covid?”

“On Rosh HaShanah.”

“Well, OK then, that’s fine with me. He can stay.”

We were trying to figure out why he buckled at that. We believe it is because a letter came through at that moment from the Teacher’s Union saying that it was unlawful to turn away a child from school if the child did not get tested. But I’m really not sure why he buckled.

So we have just the girls to worry about now. We drive back to their school a block away, into the parking lot, and we see them outside, alone, behind the gate on the school property but not in the building.

I asked my oldest what had happened later when she got home. Apparently, what had happened was that as she was walking into class her teacher who my wife had been texting with the night before, actually slammed the door in her face as she (the teacher) was totally flustered to see her there.

Apparently they took my two daughters out of class and kept them outside alone, gave them a bucket of paint and told them to “do an art project”. They refused. That’s when we showed up and saw them from the other side of the fence. This was about an hour into the day already. We whistled them over and asked them if they want to just come home. I was ready to give up. But just then, as I was sure we had lost, we hear an adult voice call them over and say they can come inside now. And so they do. And so we drove off, 4 year old in kindergarten, two older girls in their classrooms, and my son in his school.

We won this one, but only with God’s help at the last second. Every time I was about to give up, my wife stood up and refused to back down.

Every battle gets harder. But the victories become more significant.

We spread the word to our groups that we had won. And then reinforcements came. Other parents who were keeping their kids home that day arrive, and send their kids to school, knowing we cleared the path already.

Hopefully next time we will not be alone. The next battle will probably be the battle of the vaccines, and we are going to need more troops.

Be brave and know that our enemies are essentially empty. They do not believe in what they are doing. They have neither honor nor courage. They have no conviction, only fear of retribution. They are merely obeying. But we believe in right and wrong, and we believe in the God of Israel, not as some fake religious concept to make ourselves feel better, but as a real force that is watching our every move. Because He is. And that is our greatest advantage.

How We Beat the Green Passport and the Covidian National Socialist Hypochondriac Party

Thursday, August 19, 2021. The winds of Covidian Nazism are blowing strong. Pfizer lab rats, to the right. Those who insist on maintaining their humanity, to the left.

We have a family membership at the country club for the pool and the gym. I work out there several times a week and we take our kids swimming often as well. Management knows us.

We do not carry the green Swastika. We have no “green pass”. We will not even be part of it by getting a fake one. We have never taken a single serological or PCR test. We never, ever, wear masks, we do not quarantine (unless we are actually symptomatically sick and it makes sense of course). We are not part of the Covidian National Socialist Hypochondriac Party. We do not consent, and we will not comply.

We drive to the pool. Me, my wife, and my 5 kids, ages 11 to 2. Our plan is to walk straight in, ignore any requests to present a green pass, and just go right to the pool. Before we enter, we pray to the Holy One Blessed Be He to protect us from Covidian Nazis and to give us strength to maintain our calm. I tell my kids, “As long as we are doing the right thing, Hashem (God) will protect us.” I look each of them in the eye. We walk on.

We get nearer to the door, and there it is. That revolting green Swastika. That nauseating green pass sign that says we are now less than human because we refuse to submit to a mass medical experiment. We ignore it. We enter the building, and walk past the turnstile.

“Do you have a Tav Yarok (green pass)?” asks the clerk.

“No, we do not.”

“Then you have to come here to take a corona test.”

“No, we will not.” And we keep walking.

“Wait! Stop!”

I turn back to her as I’m walking in the direction of the pool.

“Call the police if you want. We are going swimming.”

She picks up the phone to call the head manager. We head to the pool and put our stuff down on the turf. There is almost nobody there at all. Very rare for a hot August day, day one of Green Pass enforcement. We see the manager, who knows us, walking towards us. Before he even gets near us, I say loudly, “I’m not interested in talking about it at all. Call the police if you want to. We are going swimming.”

He says he is calling the police. He picks up his phone and walks away.

Thirty minutes pass by as we enjoy the pool, almost alone. We explain to our older kids what is going on and why the police might come and arrest us soon. They understand. We are shaking in the pool as the 4 year old is swimming between us. We are trying to maintain calm, wondering if the police are going to come fish us out of the pool any second. All the sudden the manager comes back out and asks politely to me, “Can I talk to you for a second?”

This sounded reasonable, so I said yes, sure.

“Look, you’re my customers, and I don’t want to call the police on you. Nobody’s coming anymore and I don’t want to lose you as customers. I know a lot of people like you and I understand. But there are laws in this country and I have to follow them.”

“I will not follow them. The Nazis had laws, too.”

“I can’t say anything to that, but I won’t bother you. Just, there are ways to go about this. You don’t just barge in like that,” he says. Fair enough.

“Look, I’m sorry about that. You know me. I’m glad that you understand, and I respect you and I thank you. I’ve been under pressure for 18 months now and I am sick of the injustice of all this. I’m sorry I barged in, but I’m just very short on patience. I don’t want to cause you any trouble at all. Just know that I am going to keep coming here, I will walk straight in, do my work out, I do not have a green pass, and I will never take a single test, ever.”

“Then that’s at your own risk,” he says.

“Of course, 100%. It’s my responsibility, not yours. Thank you very much, and I’m glad we’re on the same page.”

My wife and I hug, he turns back and sees us, he smiles. We have a very nice swim with our children. I ask my 7-year-old son how he’s feeling. He says to me, “I knew the police weren’t going to come.” He seemed very confident, without a worry in the world.

“I wasn’t so sure, but I guess you were right. I should be more brave like you,” I tell him. Pride swells and I have a lump in my throat. He is a good man.

Anyone can do this. Anywhere. You must do this. Just walk in, and call their bluff. Tell them to call the police. The worst that will happen, if you are calm and stand your ground, is that you will get a ticket, that you can then appeal in court, and the ticket will be cancelled, because they do not want anything going to court, lest they lose, there’s precedent, and the whole totalitarian system crumbles.

Call. Their. Bluff. This is all just fear. There is nothing to be afraid of. Pool conquered. Gym conquered. Supermarket conquered. The counterattack progresses.

Thank you God for giving us the strength to do Your will and to fight back.

How My Wife Bravely Defied the Maskers

Today, August 11, 2021. I went to the gym this morning. I live in Israel. I do not have a green pass. Technically, I am not allowed in to the gym. As I walk there, I’m thinking what to do if police prevent me from going. Do I go in anyway or back out, jump the fence and work out?

It turned out not to be an issue. Nobody was at the front desk so I just walked in, did my work out, and left.

I walk home, and when I turn the corner to my street, I’m reading The Tower of Basel so I’m not looking up. I hear my wife scream my name and immediately my blood pressure shoots up. She’s unloading groceries with my two oldest daughters, 11 and 9.

Apparently, as I was working out at the gym, my wife was having a workout of the mind and soul at the supermarket.

“Rafi, they called the police on me!”

“What, is everything OK? Does this have a happy ending?”

I immediately want to know if this is a good or bad story. I have been constantly on edge for about 18 months now, and I am in no condition to handle any sort of suspense at all.

“Everything’s fine,” says my wife. I breathe a sigh of relief.

“So what happened?!”

A bit of background. My wife and I made a pact a while back. We would not put on masks anymore for any reason. Not to keep a job, not to placate the police, nothing. (The last time I put one on was for an interview to get a weapons license 3 months ago, and I had to annul vows for that.) Why are we so adamant? Because it is time to set an example, and so we are. Neither I nor my wife have ever gotten a ticket for not wearing a mask. I’ve been threatened, even booked and detained by police, but never ticketed.

She begins the story. She’s heading into the grocery store with our two oldest daughters. The guard stops her at the entrance and tells her she can’t come in without a mask. She says yes, she can, and that she does not have to wear a mask. She simply walks past the guard. The guard follows her inside and continues to harass her. She just continues shopping, with an asinine back-and-forth about what the “law is”.

“Show me your exemption,” says the guard.

“I don’t have to show you anything,” she insists. And keeps shopping. My daughters are witnessing all of this, also unmasked.  

As this is going on, the manager of the store comes out and takes my wife’s side, which was nice. “If she says she doesn’t have to wear a mask, then she doesn’t have to wear a mask! Enough already!”

The guard slinks off. Meanwhile, random masked grocery shoppers continue to harass my wife in front of my kids. She ignores them all and keeps shopping.

Then, she gets to the self-checkout counter and starts scanning her stuff. She swipes her credit card, the machine says there’s a problem (what a coincidence) and to call a clerk to help. A clerk comes, and she says, “Sorry, this checkout isn’t working. You’ll have to start over. And the police are coming. You have to put on a mask.”

“No, I don’t,” says my wife.

Then the store intercom starts blaring. “The police are on their way. Everyone must make sure their mask covers both nose and mouth.”

My wife just stands there, with my daughters. She can’t leave, because payment hasn’t gone through. She suspects someone shut down the machine to pin her there as the police were coming. Plus, my oldest just happened to have a bee sting on her foot from the day before that was swelling up again and needed to be iced, but my wife did not want to use that excuse to leave, because it would look cowardly. It is time to stand up. So she just stood there calmly, unmasked.

Police arrive outside the supermarket, taking pictures. They do not come in.

Still waiting, she’s the only person unmasked in the entire store. The checkout machine comes back to life. A new screen pops up on for a manager to swipe a card again. My wife calls the manager over, she swipes the card. The machine now says to swipe the credit card again. She does. Receipt comes out this time, finished.

She’s now walking out of the store, my oldest’s foot in a lot of pain. She gets past the guard again, and she simply walks past three policemen standing there. As she passes them, the guard says, “That’s her that’s her!” to the cops. But my wife just keeps walking to the car, two daughters in tow. They help her load the car, and she drives off home.

That’s it. That’s the whole story. This is all one big bluff. Our enemies are empty shells. Evil is emptiness.

Show no fear. Stare the bastards down. Keep your calm. They’re nothing.

I would bet that nobody in my entire city has the sheer courage of my wife. I am blessed with the most amazing woman in the world.

In Memory of Robert Wenzel, The Titan of San Francisco

The Titan of San Francisco has fallen.

The liberty movement has many leaders. There are the political leaders like Ron and Rand Paul. There are organizational leaders like Lew Rockwell, social leaders like Tom Woods, and academic leaders like Walter Block. Robert Wenzel was a unique kind of leader. I would call him the consummate intellectual street fighter. He was a boxer of the mind. Built like a fighter, wrote like a pit bull and armed with the gift of a strategic and tactical mind that rivaled Sun Tzu. Robert Wenzel was the philosophical and liturgical Bruce Lee of liberty.

It’s said that Bruce Lee was the master of muscle contraction of all things. He could pack more power in the shortest of punches than any man on Earth. That was Bob Wenzel. He could knock you out with one tiny hit and you’d be on the floor before you even realized he threw a punch.

He had a depth and breadth of intellectual vision that was hard to describe. He could get quick and concise points across with so few words, right down to the root of a point, that made everyone else’s writing look like a flowery waste of time by comparison.

Bob had more influence on my day-to-day life than any other libertarian. I say that simply because ever since I discovered EconomicPolicyJournal from Lew Rockwell, out of which grew TargetLiberty, I visited them every single day I used the internet, literally without exception. My mundane, everyday life will be very different now that he’s gone.

Now when I type the letter “e” on my browser and the autocomplete fills in economicpolicyjournal, a lump comes to my throat. Sometimes in the middle of the day I remember something he wrote and a tear falls from reddened eyes. I have to cry for a few seconds just to let it out. And then I continue walking.

Bob got me through the insanity that was 2020. Without his calm, collected, rational mind, I may have completely lost it. As the world has turned into a progressively (pun intended) more frenetic insane asylum, with people now literally dressing up as lunatic germophobes complete with ridiculous masks over their faces and most people shooting themselves and their children up with wildly experimental drugs, Bob’s was the steady voice of stability and strength I turned to when I felt I was on the verge of going completely mad. He was never hysterical about anything, not even masks or experimental vaccines. He was simply levelheaded and logical.

I remember on a particularly bad day, Bob knocked me back to my senses with one of his signature punches. You see, for Bob Wenzel, this whole craziness has been nothing more than an educational experience about defiance. How far can you push back against lockdowns and mask mandates, and how best to do it? Who are the easiest targets, and what are the most practical approaches? He saw it all as an exercise of libertarian muscle to prepare for the future. He gave his suffering readers a guide to doing battle in an age of totalitarian madness.

In my neighborhood I come across people who really battled in this war together with me, people for example who literally ran to the local police station to badger the cops after they heard I was booked for refusing to mask up. I embrace these people when I see them now in an understanding that only war buddies in the trenches have, I would imagine. I feel like I was on the front lines with them being shot at by lunatics, that we really saved each other’s minds.

I feel exactly that way about Bob too, except Bob wasn’t just a foot soldier in the field. He was certainly that, but he was also a general, directing battle orders to blazing pockets of liberty resistance all across the world. I call him the Titan of San Francisco because only someone with titanic mental stillness could possibly roam around the Ground Zero of totalitarian lunacy that is San Francisco and simply observe it with a keen sense of level-headed intellectual interest.

He had no desire, it seems, to move to Florida or Texas. He stayed in the trenches, behind enemy lines. He did it for us, because he could handle it, while most of us simply cannot. He knew it was ugly, but he loved to study the ugly, to find its weak points. To probe it. He had that unique ability. He never really complained. He just analyzed and moved forward.

There’s another thing about Bob that was singularly unique. I can’t think of any other libertarian in the world who did not belong to any specific “camp” within the movement. Bob was a lone wolf that disparate parts of the liberty community came to for wisdom. He was entirely his own thing. He stood entirely on his own and shone brightly because of it.

Bob Wenzel had this incredibly keen bird’s-eye view of liberty and political strategy and how the two could be woven together. He could spot a fake instantly, direct us against going down a wrong path he saw as dangerous, and sounded the alarm to us all when he saw the movement making what he thought was a mistake. He wasn’t against reaching out on principle across enemy lines though. He was able to discern when the liberty movement could and should unite with a different group against a common enemy, and when it was inappropriate to do so.

I did not agree with Bob on everything, but I was always 100% sure of two things when it came to Bob’s stance on any issue.

  1. I knew he would always arrive at his conclusions from consistent principles. This seems like an obvious point for libertarians, but it’s not. There is almost always some position on some issue that just doesn’t seem to fit, an outlier you just can’t understand why or from where. So usually you just let it go as some quirk. With Bob, all his positions were entirely thought through, logical and internally consistent without exception. He gave you his entire reasoning process from the beginning. Even if you didn’t agree with him, you always knew where his positions came from.
  2. This is even more important. Bob was not one to take a position on something he didn’t know much about. If he did not know all the facts about any area of controversy, he would be honest about it and say he didn’t know enough to take a stance. The intellectual honesty required for that is immense.  

Bob also had some serious moxie, chutzpah. I think he may have been the only street libertarian in history to get himself invited to the Federal Reserve to speak. He took full advantage of the opportunity and finished his speech with the only poetic flourish I ever heard him use. When a pit bull intellectual street fighter gets poetic, you know it’s got to be good. And boy was it. He closed his epic speech with a call for all the fed officials there to “leave this place to the four-legged rats.” Whenever I’m overwhelmed with sadness that he’s no longer here to guide me, I think of that line, laugh to myself, and it fills me with strength.

Finally, I want to address a touchy subject. With God’s help I’ll do it appropriately. I’m a Biblical guy with a Rabbinic background. When I see leaders I automatically compare them to Biblical figures. Bob Wenzel died during the week of the Torah portion of Beha’aloscha in the book of Numbers. In that portion we read these verses:

Numbers 10:29-32

Moses said to Hovav son of Reu’el the Midianite, Moses’ father in law, “We are going to the place that God said He will give us. Come with us and it will be good for you, for God has spoken well for Israel. [Hovav] said to him, “I won’t go, for only to my land will I go.” And Moses said, “Please don’t leave us, for you know our journeys in the desert and you have been our guide. If you come with us, the good that God said he will do for us, will be for you as well.”

The medieval Rabbis, the Rishonim, ask what Moses meant by that last statement. What good, exactly? Both Hizkuni and Nachmanides say that Moses was giving Hovav an inheritance in the land to live alongside the Israelites as allies. And so they did.

But there’s another question here. What is this name, Hovav? In Exodus, the name of Moses’ father-in-law is Yisro, Jethro. In the Torah it seems this one guy has seven different names and it’s unclear why. He’s like this mysterious shadowy character, a supposed priest of Midian who can’t even afford security for his own daughters to draw water from a well. Moses had to save them, which is how he met his wife.  And yet this mysterious guy is extremely influential.

Jethro is the one who gives Moses advice on how to organize a society politically. Initially Moses was judging all cases by himself, killing himself with the entire burden. Jethro, AKA Hovav, tells Moses this is a very bad idea and this wise Midianite sets up an entire administrative judicial system for Israelites which they followed in the desert.

When I think of men like Bob Wenzel, I think of Jethro, the man with a shadowy identity, the man with seven different names. Nobody really knew who Robert Wenzel was. He supposedly had different names as well. But you know another Biblical character whose name we never knew? Moses. Moses was obviously named by his mother Yocheved who hid him from the Egyptian government for three months, but we do not know what that name ever was. The name “Moses” was given to him by Pharaoh’s daughter when she found him in the basket floating in the Nile.

Bob was certainly a mysterious character, but those that would criticize him for maintaining that mystique are shallow, superficial, and basically whacked out of their minds. We knew him as Robert Wenzel, whatever his name may have been. He was a gift to this world, and I thank God for putting his soul here for 63 years.

I was honored to be called “the Great Rafi Farber” on EPJ just a few days before he died. I hope I can live up to that honor. I will do my best. In my final correspondence with him, I asked him for a review of an article I wrote arguing that Mises’s monetary regression theorem implies that the very existence of fiat money is actually a logical impossibility, and all of what we call “fiat money” is actually just gold substitutes inflated to varying degrees. I asked him if I got the logic right on that or if I was missing something. He responded, “Hi Rafi, This will take an extended reply, so give me some time.”

I wish I could Bob. But time is not mine to give. I was really looking forward to your Bruce Lee smackdown, if that’s what was coming to me.

Last thing. I recall one EPJ post where Bob said that if his blogs help inspire many libertarian foot soldiers but only a handful of leaders and generals, he will have considered his life a success. I’m no general, at least not yet, but perhaps I’m a battalion or division leader or something. Without Bob’s guidance I would not be where I am today. His life was a smashing success.

Bob, you were what Jews call a Gadol HaDor, a great man of his generation, and your work deserves to be canonized in the Misesian libertarian tradition forever.

I love you Bob, and I miss you. Yehi Zichro Baruch. May his memory be for a blessing.

Take Off Your Mask And Remind The World Of Your Humanity

Last Friday night, January 8, 2021, for the first time in my life, I prayed to my Creator. In a vacuum it’s a strange statement to make for me because I’m an Orthodox Jew who “prays” three times a day. But I never really knew what that meant until Friday night. Here’s my story of how it happened.

I hate masks. I hate them so deeply it’s impossible to put it into words. But I’ll try. When I see a mask it’s like a gut punch to my soul. In Hebrew, the word for soul, Neshama, is the same as the word for breath – Neshima. It has the same root. According to Genesis, when God gave the first man life, he breathed life into none other than his face. Life is breath. It is a Divine kiss from the Creator.

It’s so obvious now that masks do absolutely nothing health-wise against this virus that it’s not worth repeating. What masks are – their entire essence – is pure dehumanization. You order someone to cover his face, and you are telling him to cover his humanity, to hide his soul. If you cannot see someone’s face you cannot see what they’re feeling or thinking. You can’t see them smile or frown. They become blank. You can still say words to people, but you can’t really communicate.

I know dehumanization when I see it. I know it well. Whether it’s a yellow Star of David on your chest, a tattooed number on your arm, stripping you of all clothing and shaving your head, or a damn mask right across your soul, it’s all the same thing. Your rulers see you as less than human. They always have. Now it’s just more obvious. To some of us at least. You are not a person. You are now simply a vector for disease.

I live in Israel. It’s a complete, absolute mess here. We are on our third lockdown, our children are becoming progressively emptier, people are committing suicide from the loss of their lives, their families and their livelihoods, and Israel is supposedly “leading the world” in mass experimental vaccination against this nothingness, as if Jews are once again lab rats for the testing of Dr. Mengele’s insane proclivities. No, I am not an antivaxer. My kids are vaccinated with the standard complement. But I know what this is. This is mass experimentation on human lives and I will not be part of it.

Leave it to the political Zionists to be proud of something completely crazy like this and broadcast it to the world as if it’s some kind of great accomplishment. They always do that, the political Zionists. Look for bragging rights like some snot-nosed kid who just knows that he’s a singularity of pure infinite awesomeness when he doesn’t realize everyone else knows he’s just a little nothing pisher.

Last Friday Jews read the first portion of the book of Exodus. In Hebrew, the name of the book is Shmot, or simply Names. “These are the names of the children of Israel who came down to Egypt,” the book begins. Then it lists all their names. Why? We already know their names from Genesis. The answer is that the book begins by emphasizing their humanity. Their individual names as people. They are about to be the victims of vastly expanding state power and mass murder. They are about to be gradually enslaved to the point where they will be forced by the state to drown their own baby boys in the Nile. But they all have names for the love of God. Do not forget that, begins the book of Names.

I am working on a serious personal project right now. It is a libertarian commentary on the Torah, the Five Books of Moses, gathering all relevant liberty sources from the medieval Rabbinic commentators. I’ve been stuffing notes in the margins of my holy books. I am calling the work “Liberty on the Tablets”, or in Hebrew, “Herut Al HaLuchot”. My books are now covered with beautiful highlighting in different colors.  One color for points of economics, principles of ownership and property and such. Another color for issues of State power and points of political philosophy. It’s going well, thank God.

In this portion, I came across a hauntingly beautiful comment by Nachmanides. He notes, among other commentators, the peculiarity of Exodus 2:1-2. The decree to murder all Israelite baby boys is now in force at this point. The verses read, “A man from the house of Levi went and married a daughter of Levi. She became pregnant and gave birth to a boy, and she saw that he was good so she hid him for three months.”

What’s the peculiarity exactly? Simply that this is about the birth of Moses, and Moses was the third child of Yocheved and Amram of Levi, not the first. Miriam was the first born. Aaron the second. Moses was the youngest. So on the face of it, this verse doesn’t make any sense. The simple explanation, the pshat as the Rabbis call it, is that the births of Miriam and Aaron are simply skipped here because they are not relevant to the story. Yocheved and Amram were married beforehand, and this is not exactly purely chronological.

But there is another possibility, a deeper explanation, the so-called exegetical drash.That is, this is actually speaking of the remarriage of Yocheved and Amram. What happened, say the Rabbis, is that Yocheved and Amram initially separated in despair when the government decree to murder all baby boys came into force. They couldn’t bear the risk of having another baby and so they got a divorce.

Here is where Nachmanides comes in and quotes the Talmud. The Talmud in Tractate Sotah tells the story that Miriam, the oldest, was the one that insisted her parents get back together and have another kid. Miriam was a prophetess, and she foresaw that their next baby would save Israel. But not only did she insist. She made a small wedding party for her parents. She made a wedding canopy, and they went through the wedding ceremony all over again. And Miriam and her then two-year-old brother Aaron, too young yet to understand what was even going on, danced and danced with happiness around their parents in the midst of this terrifying and crushing despair and fear.

Because of this defiant party and this happiness, Israel was redeemed, says the Talmud. I highlighted that one with two colors earlier in the week, thinking of defiant dancing and parties and happiness in the midst of evil lockdowns against life itself.

I have a tradition in my family that I dance with my kids to a Sabbath song Jews sing on Friday night called Lecha Dodi, after I come home from synagogue. It’s a poem about welcoming the Sabbath as if she is a beautiful bride and we are all getting married to her. It is probably the most famous poem about the Sabbath ever written.

So last Friday night, I leave my house and I immediately break the law the moment I pass my gate. I do not wear a mask, of course. Ever. So I head to the only place where I can sit and pray with other Jews without being harassed about my exposed face, my exposed breath, my exposed soul that everyone can see and that I proudly show to everyone. It’s an outdoor quorum of Chabad Lubavitch Hasidic Jews. We are not allowed to pray inside anymore. I am not a Chabad Hasid, but these are the only ones who leave me alone unmasked and don’t give me dirty looks, God bless them.

One Chabadnik gets up and starts giving a Dvar Torah, a point on the Torah portion. This Jew, I notice, was not wearing a mask. It was beautiful. He asks a simple question. “Who were the ones throwing the babies into the Nile?” Good question. Who, actually, physically, picked up these newborn baby boys and threw them into the Nile river to die? He quoted the Lubavitcher Rebbe of course, who said that it was the fathers who did the horrible deed.

Why the fathers? Simple. They were making a logical calculation. Either they kill their own sons, or their whole family gets murdered by the government. You can’t really fault them. It makes sense. The same thing is happening now. We are all killing our children with these lockdowns, he says. Sitting them in front of screens all day, depriving them of life, killing them slowly, because we do not want to get fined and shamed by the sick Israeli taskmasters.

Until someone puts his foot down and says “Enough!” this will not stop. If you think the “vaccine” is going to do it, you are deluding yourself. And I thought back to Miriam, insisting her parents get remarried and have another baby, and the defiant wedding party she threw her parents, and how Moses was born. Enough. I thanked him for his words. They were beautiful. We then begin the Friday night service.  A few minutes later, we are about to begin the Lecha Dodi poem about the Sabbath bride.

Now, there happens to be a bad guy who lives on that very street we are praying on. This guy is completely rabid nuts about masks. He poses as a religious Jew, dressed in Sabbath clothing with a hat and long coat kaputteh and the whole shebang. (I wear a black leather jacket.) This guy calls the police on anyone he can identify who is not wearing a mask. I know him. He knows me. As Lecha Dodi is about to begin, I see this guy walking down the street, eyeing us. Most in the quorum are wearing masks. Then he sees me. I am not. We make eye contact. And Lecha Dodi begins. My wedding song I dance to with my kids about the Sabbath bride, begins.

I’m not a big dancer, not in public at least. All of the sudden, almost as if not even by my own volition, I feel my legs starting to take steps towards this man. I cannot stop them. Step after step, my legs pull me to him inexorably. I do not know what I’m doing exactly. I have no plan. Our eyes are still locked in eye contact. I cannot tell what he’s thinking, of course, because he has a mask on.

Then I start singing loudly as Lecha Dodi goes on, right at him. He starts walking along in the middle of the street. So I follow him, singing louder. And then I start jumping. And dancing in circles around him while singing Lecha Dodi as loud as I can as he walks down the street. I know everyone is looking at me, and everyone else is singing, too. I’m clapping, jumping as high as I can, singing at the top of my lungs along with everyone else cheering me on, though I am the only one dancing around him. I must have done 10 laps around the guy at least. A furious, ecstatic wedding dance and I just cannot stop myself.

He gets to his house and I break off, sitting down in a chair on the sidewalk, out of breath. Lecha Dodi is over and people shake my hand and pat my back. I’m wondering whether I did the right thing. I’m having doubts now. What happens now?

Then the next part of the evening service begins. This part is called Ma’ariv. There is a part within it called the Amidah, or “The Standing” where the worshipper begins by taking three steps forward into the presence of God, and prays silently, feet together, with everyone else in the group, taking three steps back when finished. During the Amidah, one is forbidden to talk or move or even signal to anyone. The Amidah is a conversation with God and must be completed without any interruption.

Ma’ariv begins, so we have only a few minutes until the Amidah begins. A few minutes pass and I see a police car turn on to the street. That mask fiend, dressed as a religious Jew, obviously broke the Sabbath to call the police on me. A religious Jew can only break the Sabbath when lives are literally at stake, mind you.

Right before the policeman gets out of the car, the few people without masks quickly slap them on. Except for me. I never carry one. I know exactly what’s about to happen now.

He walks towards me. He’s about 30 seconds away from me now. And we have about 30 seconds untilthe Amidah begins. My heart is thumping. Did I do the right thing? Or did I do something stupid? I lock eyes with the policeman. He reaches me. 15 seconds.

“Put a mask on,” he says.

I nod no. You can still nod signals until the Amidah begins.

“Corona!” he yaps.

I stare at him.

“I’m talking to you!” he barks. 10 seconds. I keep staring. Heart hammering.

“Then move to the side,” the cop barks again. “Don’t be next to anyone.” The guy next to me moves away. I stand completely still, staring the cop down.

And then I felt what I can only describe as a Divine shield falling all around me, protecting me, blocking the cop completely out. I knew at that moment that I had done, and was doing, exactly the right thing.

The leader of the prayer group then chants, “Amen,” signaling that the Amidah will now begin. I take one last look at the cop. I close my eyes. And I take three steps forward into the presence of the God of Israel. And for the very first time in my life, I pray.

When I open my eyes, the cop is gone, and tears of happiness and relief are streaming down my exposed, unmasked face.

Everyone, all human beings with a soul, I call on you, I implore you. Don’t let them dehumanize you. Do not wear that yellow star like a slave. Take your masks off. Show the bastards you are a human being, that you have a face, that you have a name, that you have a soul, and that they will not succeed in destroying your humanity. And if you are on lockdown, get up. Get out there. And dance!