Everybody in Midwood knows Officer Khosh somehow – especially if you text whilst driving. Day in day out he patrols our neighborhood, keeping us safe. Filipp Khosh was born in Khmelnitsky, Ukraine 36 years ago. Like so many others in the former USSR, he grew up in a home with no knowledge of Yiddishkeit whatsoever. In 1992 he immigrated to New York and became a police officer. Khosh then served in the army in Iraq. Upon returning home he rejoined the police force in the 63rd precinct in Brooklyn. And for the last few years, if you talk on your cell whilst driving, you will hear from the law.
But it was a totally different side of Officer Khosh that the community got to experience this week. At 36 years of age, he took the plunge and was zoche to enter into the bris of Avraham Avinu. He tried to explain what prompted him to do it. But no rationalization was satisfactory, or necessary. All said and done the real answer is that despite so many decades of anti religious communist propaganda, the Yiddishe Neshama comes shining through – A Jew wants to do the Will of Hashem. More than anything else this is the living proof that Yiddishkeit will prevail no matter the odds.
And where else do you see a community embracing so warmly a cop who issues them summons! One hundred people showed up to celebrate with him. Tickets or not, we are one. The Seudah was held at Mayan Yisroel, Merkaz haChassidus on Ave N.
It all began a few years ago when Dave Roth met the officer whilst being issued a ticket. Upon discovering that he is a yid he informed Rabbi Vigler, who behashgacha pratis, went outside his Shul the next day looking for a Tzenter. “Are you Jewish?” He asked the officer after he finished issuing a summons. And a tzenter was indeed found.
Slowly but surely, people got to see the other side of the Officer, who comes in to Mayan Yisroel to join a Shiur from time to time, put on Tefillin and…have a Bris…
“I always knew I would do it – it wasn’t a matter of if but only a question of when, and finally thanks to the influence of a few people – Rabbi Vigler, Chaplain Raphi Treitel, as well as Moty Bistritzky. Yossi Kleinman and a few others I decided that the WHEN is actually NOW”.
The Seudah was beautiful with everybody marveling at the mesirus nefesh and wondering how an “FFB” could incorporate mesirus nefesh into his life too. For his part, Officer Khosh, whose Jewish name is now Efroim – said he realized a bris is just beginning. “Let me recover from this, he said, and then we can talk further.” And of course, we need to get some of the officer’s family members to also take the plunge and have that bris.
Mazal Tov Efroim, and to that special person behind it all – his Eishes Chayil, Tanya.