On Tuesday evening, Rabbi Jak Rubin was inside his home making final preparations to welcome members of the Jewish community.
“I’m a director of OLAMI Dallas, which is under the nonprofit Dallas Area Torah Association,” Rubin said.
According to the OLAMI website, they are a community of young Jewish professionals.
“We have, every Tuesday night, students that come together. Sometimes they’ll be here for classes, social events.”
Rubin said he heard someone yell however, could not understand what was said.
“I hear yelling outside. I had no idea what it was. I didn’t think anything of it. But I had my phone out, and I see a notification pop up on the top,” Rubin said. His surveillance system notified him someone was on his property. “It shows a person just jumping up like this, and he’s covered in a keffiyeh.”
The surveillance video shows a man wearing a traditional Middle Eastern headdress, pull down an item, run off and shout in Arabic.
“I’m told it translates to ‘long live free Palestine’,” Rubin said. “I beeline outside and look and find that the flag is gone.”
Rubin had hung the Israeli flag a month ago.
“As soon as the attack happened a month ago, that’s when I said I’m putting it out and making sure that we’re telling all Jews and Israelis come together, stand together, be proud of it,” Rubin said. “It’s not because we’re trying to say that the people who are dying in Gaza don’t matter. It’s us saying very strongly that Hamas needs to be eradicated if we have any hope for peace.”
Dallas Police said the incident is being investigated as a theft however, a hate crime detective has been assigned to the case.
“You can sense that even that short clip, you can sense the immense hate and evil in that person’s heart,” Benji Gershon said. Gershon was not present Tuesday during the incident but learned about it through Rubin.
Although shaken, Gershon and Rubin said they are not intimidated. Soon after the theft, Rubin hung another Israeli flag outside his home and placed it a little higher.
“We can’t allow evil and intimidation to dictate what our actions are. So, we have to stand up,” Gershon said.
“There’s a lot of fear going on in many in the Jewish community. But then there’s the second feeling of resilience,” Rubin said. “And the recognition that we can stand up for ourselves, which from much of human history has not been the case for the Jewish nation.”