By COLlive reporter
Addressing the annual reception celebrating Jewish Heritage Month at Gracie Mansion on Wednesday, New York City Mayor Eric Adams thought of a joke – and one that he didn’t necessarily like.
Wearing a flamboyant polka-dot blazer, Adams told rabbis, community activists, elected and city officials the joke of the two hunters in the jungle who find themselves in front of a hungry lion.
“They come up against a lion and one of the hunters said: “We need to run.” The second hunter said: “We can’t outrun the lion.” And the first hunter replied: “I don’t have to outrun the lion; I just have to outrun you.”
“I laughed when I heard that, but then I thought about it for a moment,” Adams added. “We cannot outrun each other because if the lion devours you, that lion is still in the jungle of life.”
The Mayor used it as an analogy of the shared responsibility of residents of New York. “We must make sure that we come together and defeat the lion of crime, the lion of antisemitism, the lion of homelessness, the lion attacking your yeshivas, the lion of going up against each other,” he stated.
To the crowd’s clear approval, Adams said: “The goal is not to outrun the lion. The goal is to get the lion out of our jungle so we can live in a level of safety and prosperity that we deserve.”
He added, “We must raise our voices. We must send a loud message that our secret weapon is our ability to live among each other. And hidden in the crevices of this community is a powerful term called “mitzvah.” Built into your culture is giving back.
“… We are united. And that unification is going to determine who we are going to be as a nation, the greatest country on the globe because this is the greatest city on the globe.”
Adams mingled with the crowd that included the new acting consul general of Israel, Israel Nitzan, Knesset Member Yitzhak Pindrus, members of the New York City Council, and representatives of the Jewish community of Crown Heights, Boro Park, Williamsburg, Flatbush, Queens and others.
Participants enjoyed a kosher spread of sushi and other delicacies while listening to the joyful and soulful music of star Jewish singer Benny Friedman. “Listen brother, listen friend, just a little smile, a helping hand and our hearts will find a loving kind humanity,” he sang, perfectly reflecting the event’s general mood.