The “mean streets” of New York got a little meaner when Rabbi Uriel Vigler was heading to morning prayers on Tuesday as he does every day when a Black man began shouting anti-Semitic insults at him, allegedly even calling him a “devil”:
“Instinctively, I moved away,” he told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. “I moved to the other side of the street, and he follows me and he said, ‘Are you nervous, are you scared?’”
As Vigler neared the synagogue, he said the man lunged at him. When the assailant noticed the congregation’s security guard, he turned around and called the rabbi “the devil.” The rabbi recorded the end of the incident and shared the video on Facebook.
Though the man did not harm Vigler, the rabbi believes that if the security guard had not been present, the assailant would have physically attacked him. Vigler has filed a report with the New York Police Department but has yet to hear back.
The incident comes just days after a shooter attacked a Chabad synagogue in Poway, California, killing one and wounding three.
Vigler, who leads the Chabad Israel Center on the Upper East Side along with his wife, Shevy, said he would not let the incident deter him from doing his work.
“We are not afraid,” he said. “We are going to continue our mission to spread goodness and kindness in the world, to reach out to Jews with unconditional love.”
If the Jews are “not afraid” of being teased like this, then why did Vigler make such a big deal about it, and why is this minor incident being reported by major jewish media outlets around the world? Again, as the Russian proverb goes, “The Jew always tells you what happened to him but will never tell you why,” and from the video Vigler posted, we can clearly hear him egging on the Black man, trying to get him to do something that ultimately could get him arrested. We have to wonder what the rabbi said to his man to perhaps instigate this whole interaction in the first place.
If Vigler and his fellow Jews indeed have “unconditional love” for humanity, even Black antisemites who allegedly “lunge” at them on the streets, then why do we need hate crime legislation to make this kind of vibrant interaction between two ethnicities a potential crime? If the rabbi was unharmed, why did he file a police report? People get harassed on the streets of New York City every day, but only when it happens to a Jew, does it become international headlines. This non-case will be chalked up by the ADL as yet another example why we need to make “antisemitism” a criminal offense.