“Go to the ant, you sluggard; see her ways and become wise, for she has no chief, overseer, or ruler; yet she prepares her bread in the summer; she gathers her food in the harvest.” (Proverbs 6:6-8)
With predictions of imminent war in Israel, the threat from Iran, worldwide economic instability, the final blood moon of the current tetrad and the end of the Shmittah year just days away, the importance of being prepared for emergencies is amplified. However, according to Jewish prepping expert Josh Wander, the average Israeli is completely unprepared for an apocalyptic event.
It was Wander’s service in the Israel Defense Forces and his subsequent experiences with terrorism that made him realize the importance of being prepared for any emergency. Distinguishing preppers from survivalists, Wander explained to Breaking Israel News that preppers “live in urban environments and believe that it’s important to be prepared for any eventuality.”
Wander has developed a niche, teaching Jewish people to be prepared. “One of the basics of being a prepper is understanding that it’s impossible to prepare alone,” Wander said. “You have to have a group of people. Prepping 101. The group is built according to skill sets. Emergency medicine. Communication. Food and water storage. Security.”
This idea is familiar to Jews who understand Jewish life based on community. Wander elaborates on this connection. “The relationship between Judaism and prepping is very strong. Matzah, I believe, is actually the ultimate prepper food.”
The United States has a history with prepping and most of the prepper movement is concentrated there. There is no prepper movement to speak of in Israel. Wander suggests several reasons why Israelis are ill-prepared.
First, there are space issues. People in Israel live in much smaller quarters than in the US, making it difficult to store supplies. Second, says Wander, “The Israeli attitude of yiyeh b’seder (everything will be okay) is the exact opposite of being prepared.” And third, “The history of the US has cultivated the mentality of being suspicious of government. People in Israel are very dependent on the government and the army.”
Wander told Breaking Israel News, the Bible “is full of examples of preppers. Noah prepared for the complete destruction of society. Yaakov (Jacob) prepared for war for against Aisav (Esau). During Yetziat Mitzrayim (the Exodus from Egypt) we prepared to live off maan (manna) and had to survive in the desert for 40 years. We prepare every week to live without the regular use of electricity on Shabbos (the Sabbath). On Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles), we prepare for living outside our homes for a week.”
“Jews by nature are preppers,” Wander continued, “but we haven’t internalized that part of the Torah (Bible) for whatever reason. Jews should be the most prepared people in the world, considering our history of being tossed out and, unfortunately, we are the least prepared.”
For those who would like to be more prepared for what might be coming, there is still time to take reasonable precautions. Asked how Israelis should prepare for war or any other disaster that might be imminent, Wander advised Breaking Israel News, “Real preppers know that we can’t foresee what can happen, so we have to be prepared for whatever is coming. If you are broadly prepared, you can be prepared for anything. The most important areas are food and clean water, gas masks, communications, medicine and security.”
Currently, clean water is easy to find – bottled water should be the first thing you store. Calculate a gallon (4 liters) of water per person per day. Canned foods and other foods with long shelf lives, such as peanut butter and honey, are also still easy to acquire.
Wander recommends getting a ham radio device and a license through a ham radio club. Even when cell phone service goes down or the internet crashes, ham radios will not go down.
People with chronic illnesses (such as insulin dependent diabetics) must have backup medications and everyone needs basic first aid. “There’s no excuse not to learn CPR. It’s necessary to be prepared on some level and that doesn’t take away from emuna (faith in God),” Wander chides.
Wander also recommends that people who are eligible get a licensed gun, since “desperate people might try to take your supply.” He emphasized that “preppers come in all shapes and sizes.” Some are religious, some are atheists, some are anti-gun and others pro-gun. Don’t let any misconceptions about preppers stop you from taking reasonable precautions.
Wander’s bottom line message? “The population doesn’t have to depend on the government to save them. They can take measures to save lives.”