Self Defense

Commentary by Dr. Ursula A. Falk



Hoppe, hoppe Reiter

Fallt er hin dan schreit er

Fallt er in den Graben

Fressen ihn die Raaben

Fallt er in Kanal

Schwimmt er wie ein Aal

Fallt er in den Sumpf

Dann macht er einen Plumpf


Jump, jump rider (horseman), if you fall you will scream, if you fall into a ditch you will be eaten by the ravens, if you fall into the channel you will swim like an eel, if you fall into a deep morass a loud noise will be heard.

 There is another ancient expression which explains consequences:  He who mixes himself with pig fodder will be eaten by the pigs.

 This German children’s story must always be remembered.  Every deed has its consequences and we must be aware what to expect before we leap into unknown or dangerous “waters.” We know that we will suffer an electric shock if we place our hand into unprotected electric wires.  We also know that we will drown if we jump into the ocean without knowing how to swim.  We are aware that we cannot convince anti-semites that the Jewish people are decent, honest people.  We must know what to expect, the realities of life, the history of humanity, and that of the Jewish people.  Above all we must be realistic.  When we examine our deeds, our acts, our feelings, and our personalities, and study history, we can determine what heals and what does not and much more. 

There is so much to remember, so much to learn and know.  We must remember the Holocaust, the Hitlers of this world, our Jewish people who helplessly without cause were tortured, thrown into gas ovens.  They had no defense, no weapons, were a small minority in this world and were annihilated.  We did not think of defending our people or ourselves.  We had grown up to be a peaceful people.  We believed that we were helpless sheep going to be slaughtered.  Through this experience, we the minute number who survived learned that giving in, standing helplessly by, will never help anyone.  That is not the way to success.  The Jewish citizens in Israel will never be labeled as martyrs, masochists, cowards, or victims.  They have taught us all to be strong, defend ourselves with all of our might, and never ever again give in to the naysayers, our opponents, our enemies. 


 Dr. Ursula A. Falk is a psychotherapist in private practice and the author of several books and articles.

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