Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Down with Chanukah 1972

From Barbara Ginsberg’s Desktop

Rabbi Meir Kahane Writings (5732-33) (1971-73)

Down with Chanukah
Written December 15, 1972

If I were a Reform rabbi; if I were a leader of the Establishment whose money and prestige have succeeded in capturing for him the leadership and voice of American Jewry; if I were one of the members of the Israeli Government’s ruling group; if I were an enlightened sophisticated, modern Jewish intellectual, I would climb the barricades and join in battle against the most dangerous of all Jewish holidays – Chanukah.

It is a measure of the total ignorance of the world Jewish community that there is no holiday that is more universally celebrated than the “Feast of Lights”, and it is an equal measure of the intellectual dishonesty and of Jewish leadership that it plays along with the lie.  For if ever there was a holiday that stands for everything that the mass of world Jewry and their leadership has rejected – it is this one.  If one would find an event that is truly rooted in everything that Jews of our times and their leaders have rejected and, indeed, attacked – it is this one.  If there is any holiday that is more “unJewish” in the sense of our modern beliefs and practices – I do not know of it.

The Chanukah that has erupted unto the world Jewish scene in all its childishness, asininity, shallowness, ignorance and fraud – is not the Chanukah of reality.  The Chanukah that came into vogue because of Jewish parents – in their vapidness – needed something to counteract Christmas; that exploded in a show of “we-can-have-lights-just-as-our-goyish-neighbors” and in an effort to reward our spoiled children with eight gifts instead of the poor Christian one; the Chanukah that the Temple, under its captive rabbi, turned into a school pageant so that the beaming parents might think that the Religious School is really successful instead of the tragic joke and waste that it really is; the Chanukah that speaks of Jewish Patrick Henrys giving-me-liberty-or death and the pictures of Maccabees as great liberal saviors who fought so that the kibbutzim might continue to be free to preach their Marx and eat their ham, that the split-level dwellers of suburbia might be allowed to violate their Sabbath in perfect freedom and the Reform and Conservative Temples continue the fight for civil rights for Blacks, Puerto Ricans and Jane Fonda, is not remotely connected with reality. 

This is NOT the Chanukah of our ancestors, of the generations of Jews of Eastern Europe and Yemen and Morocco and the crusades and Spain and Babylon.  It is surely not the Chanukah for which the Maccabees themselves died.  Truly, could those whom we honor so munificently, return and see what Chanukah has become, they might very well begin a second Maccabean revolt.  For the life that we Jews lead today was the very cause, the REAL reason for the revolt of the Jews “in those days in our times.”  

What happened in that era more than 2000 years ago?  What led a handful of Jews to rise up in violence against the enemy?  And precisely who WAS the enemy?  What were they fighting FOR and who were they fighting AGAINST?
           
For years, the people of Judea had been the vassals of Greece.  True independence as a state had been unknown for all those decades and, yet, the Jews did not rise up in revolt.  It was only when the Greek policy shifted from mere political control to one that attempted to suppress the Jewish religion that the revolt erupted in all its bloodiness.  It was not mere liberty that led to the Maccabean uprising that we so passionately applaud.  What we are really cheering is a brave group of Jews who fought and plunged Judea into a bloodbath for the right to observe the Sabbath, to follow the laws of kashruth, to obey the laws of the Torah.  IN A WORD EVERYTHING ABOUT CHANUKAH THAT WE COMMEMORATE AND TEACH OUR CHILDREN TO COMMEMORATE ARE THINGS WE CONSIDER TO BE OUTMODED, MEDIEVAL AND CHILDISH!
           
At best, then, those who fought and died for Chanukah were na├»ve and obscurantist.  Had we lived in those days we would certainly not have done what they did for everyone knows that the laws of the Torah are not really Divine but only the products of evolution and men (do not the Reform, Reconstructionist and large parts of the Conservative movements write this daily?)  Surely we would not have fought for that which we violate every day of our lives!  No, at best Chanukah emerges as a needless holiday if not a foolish one.  Poor Hannah and her seven children; poor Mattathias and Judah; poor well meaning chaps all but hopelessly backward and utterly unnecessary sacrifices.
           
But there is more.  Not only is Chanukah really a foolish and unnecessary holiday, it is also one that is dangerously fanatical and illiberal. The first act of rebellion, the first enemy who fell at the hands of the brave Jewish heroes whom our delightful children portray so cleverly in their Sunday and religious school pageants, was NOT a Greek.  He was a Jew.

When the enemy sent its troops into the town of Modin to set up an idol and demand its worship, it was a Jew who decided to exercise his freedom of pagan worship and who approached the altar to worship Zeus (after all, what business was it of anyone what this fellow worshipped?)  And it was this Jew, this apostate, this religious traitor who was struck down by the brave, glorious, courageous (are these not the words all our Sunday schools use to describe him?) Mattathias, as he shouted: “Whoever is for G-d, follow me!”  

What have we here?  What kind of religious intolerance and bigotry?  What kind of a man is this for the anti-religious of Hashomer Hatzair, the graceful temples of suburbia, the sophisticated intellectuals, the liberal open-minded Jews and all the drones who have wearied us unto death with the concept of Judaism as a humanistic, open-minded, undogmatic, liberal, universalistic (if not Marxist) religion, to honor?  What kind of nationalism is this for David-Ben-Gurion (he who rejects the Galut and speaks of the proud, free Jew of ancient Judea and Israel)?
And to crush us even more (we who know that Judaism is a faith of peace which deplores violence), what kind of Jews were these who reacted to oppression with FORCE?  Surely we who so properly have deplored Jewish violence as fascistic, immoral and (above all!) UN-JEWISH, stand in horror as we contemplate Jews who declined to picket the Syrian Greeks to death and who rejected quiet diplomacy for the sword, spear and arrow (had there been bombs in those days, who can tell what they might have done?) and “descended to the level of evil,” thus rejecting the ethical and moral concepts of Judaism.

Is this the kind of a holiday we wish to propagate?  Are these the kinds of men we want our moral and humanistic children to honor?  Is this the kind of Judaism that we wish to observe and pass on to our children?

Where shall we find the man of courage the one voice, in the wilderness to cry out against Chanukah and the Judaism that it represents-the Judaism of our grandparents and ancestors?  Where shall we find the man of honesty and integrity to attack the Judaism of Medievalism and outdated foolishness; the Judaism of bigotry that strikes down Jews who refuse to observe the law; the Judaism of violence that calls for Jewish force and might against the enemy?  When shall we find the courage to proudly eat our Chinese food and violate our Sabbaths and reject all the separateness, nationalism and religious maximalism that Chanukah so ignobly represents?  …Down with Chanukah!  It is a regressive holiday that merely symbolizes the Judaism that always was; the Judaism that was handed down to us from Sinai; the Judaism that made our ancestors ready to give their lives for the L-rd; the Judaism that young people instinctively know is true and great and real.  Such Judaism is dangerous for us and our leaders.  We must do all in our power to bury it.

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Rabbi Meir Kahane's Last Speech ...SO YOU SHOOT THE MESSENGER

From Barbara Ginsberg's Desktop 
Rabbi Meir Kahane's last speech
 
“…So You Shoot The Messenger”

[Twenty four years after the Rabbi spoke the warnings written in this article was the start of a severe economic crises in America. Morality is at its lowest level. Racial tensions are high. Anti-Semitism took a dangerous escalation- the Jews fear for their future.  Will they come home to Israel?]

Rabbi Meir Kahane’s last speech urging American Jews to make emergency Aliyah (excerpts of speech) November 5, 1990 – Cheshvan, 18, 5751


I was born in this country, and I can’t recall ever, in my life, as much open and vicious Jew-hatred as I have seen in our time right now, in this country.  I travel around from city to city, and in every city Jews tell me it is unbearable.  Attacks upon synagogues, attacks upon Jews, all of which are of course buried.  Because the synagogue doesn’t want it to be know.  The ADL wants to report “there were 55 incidents this year in the United States”, when actually, there were 55 incidents in one hour in the United States.  On radio programs which I am on – the telephone calls – open, open (anti-Semitism).

Two Reasons for Increased Anti-Semitism
           
            What has happened?  What has happened in natural terms?  Of course, in divine terms, the Almighty is ending it for us.  But what is happening in natural terms?  Two basic changes have taken place in this country over the last twenty years.  It began slowly, now it is reaching its crescendo.  We have seen the death of what I call the “Auschwitz syndrome”.  What is the “Auschwitz syndrome”?  After World War II, it was hard to be an anti-Semite, even for an anti-Semite.  It was just difficult.  And then the years passed – ten years, twenty years, twenty-five years, thirty years, and a generation arose which was not born at that time.  And the “Auschwitz syndrome” began to fade away, and the guilt began to fade away.  No matter how many Holocaust programs were shown on television, every year they had less and less impact.  Indeed, they reach a point whereby they encourage anti-Semitism, whereupon the anti-Semite says: “ Hey, you know, I know Jews, and the Nazis, and they were probably right.” That’s what happens today.  It fades away.  And to help things along, there was the rise of a strong Israel. Suddenly, Israel was winning.  And that allowed the anti-Semite to cut the albatross.  Now it was OK.  You see, the Jew are Nazis, and they persecute the Palestinians, and now it was OK.  So the “Auschwitz syndrome” faded, and it’s gone for all practical purposes.  And you hear people speak about the holocaust that the Israelis are perpetrating upon the Palestinians. A Holocaust…So all the Israelis and all the Jews who ever called me a Nazi and didn’t realize that when you call a Jew a Nazi, you cheapen the Holocaust.  And you cheapen the concept of Nazi, which is a very unique thing.  And by you calling a second Jew a Nazi, what you are telling the world is” Jews can also be Nazis.  Foolish people and tiny dwarfs and pygmies, grasshoppers.     

            So the “Auschwitz syndrome” is gone. And another thing has happened.  After World War II, and until perhaps ten years ago, the American people lived in an economic luxury such as we have not seen ever in world history.  No Roman emperor lived as well as the average American did from World War II on, until fairly recently.  Life was good.  And when life is good, the anti-Semite hates Jews quietly.  It’s not a big deal to him.  He hates Jews, but he’s too interested in the Monday night football game.  I myself am amazed that so many people are here tonight that don’t want to see the Giants massacre the Colts…

The Economic Crises
           
            So when times are good and he has his job, he has his beer and he has his TV set, he has everything – he hates Jews, but it’s not that important to him.  But as the economic sands of time begin to run out, and as things get bad and they get worse and suddenly there is a chill, there is a fear.  I can sense a fear in this country – people are afraid of what is going to happen, and they have every right to fear it.  This is a country which is on the verge of economic horror, horror.  In two years they expect the national debt to go from 3.7 trillion to 5 trillion dollars, so they work for months and months – this fiasco between Congress and this administration – and they say, “we are going to cut 500 million dollars in five years”.  Five years!  It is a joke – It’s a drop in the bucket.  This is a country which is dying because the thing that was saving it was the fact that the Japanese are buying Rockefeller Center, Rockefeller Plaza – don’t be angry.  If they stopped buying  it, no one is going to cover the national debt.  And they are stopping.


The dollar is a weak dollar today.  Can you imagine: The Israeli shekel has held its own against the dollar now for a year.  Don’t clap!  It doesn’t mean that the Israeli shekel is strong.  The shekel is weak; the dollar is just as weak.  The Japanese don’t want dollars anymore, they want German marks.  And they’re investing now in South Korea, Thailand, Singapore.  The banks here are shaking, they’re tottering.  In their greed, in the 1960’s and 70’s, they gave loans to anybody.  The Congo came – you want money, take the money.  Mexico came – take 100 million dollars – take, take it, take.  Suddenly, the Congo couldn’t pay back.  If that’s what a banker is…did he expect the Congo to ever pay back in total?  So hundreds of millions of bad loans are being held by major banks:  Chase Manhattan, Citicorp – and they are in deep, deep trouble today.  And on top of that, suddenly the real estate market has collapsed and they are now holding several more hundred million dollars of bad mortgages.  That’s the tragedy.  That’s why suddenly, there’s a hurry talk bout Chase merging with City. 

There’s a myth that your money is insured for $100,000. If the FDIC had 60 cents for every hundred dollars that you have, I’ll swim back to Israel.  There is a myth that they are going to bail out the Savings & Loan with 40 billion dollars.  If they can make it with less than half a trillion, it will be a miracle.


So for years, the new economists said, “Don’t worry about deficits, it doesn’t matter.  Deficits don’t matter?  I know that when my bank account is in deficit, it matters to me.  The bank calls me up and says, “Rav Kahane, we have a little problem.  Would you like to come and cover it?”  A city can go a little deeper into debt than I can, and a state deeper yet, and a country can go a little deeper yet; but, in the end you have to pay the piper.  So, America has lived beyond its means – extra credit, credit cards – and give anybody credit, give kids credit cards – anybody.  Now it’s time to pay the piper, there is no money, there is no money.  And should the economic collapse come it is the Jew who will be blamed.  It is the Jew.  You can hear it already. You can small it in the air.

The Racial tension – In all Colors
           
            I was on a radio program in Chicago.  Every single caller blamed the Gulf oil crisis on the Jews.  Every single call.  What you have now is the getting together of all these crises – the economic crisis, the racial crisis – and there is a serious racial crisis in the country.  It’s a serious one.  It is a dangerous one. Whites hate Blacks and Blacks hate Whites and they both hate Jews.  It is a terrible, terrible thing.  It’s not just Whites and Blacks.  Now in the West, it’s the Hispanics and the Anglos – tremendous crises, which only proves all the more the myth of the melting pot. Uh nechtiga tag –what melting pot? A melting pot is fine until there is a terrible crisis and then two “objects’ occupy the same job at the same time.  That’s a law of physics, which I’ve changed a bit…
           
            So it’s not an accident that Jesse Helms is now putting on TV ads talking about the unfairness of quotas.  Quotas are unfair.  Of course, that is his trump card.  People are angry about quotas and affirmative action, etc.  And Blacks are angry.  You think that Blacks have no argument?  You think they are all bad? – that everything the Blacks do is wrong?  You think that Bob Grant is your kind of guy?  G-d forbid!  This Jew-hating fascist type.  That he says something good many, many times –you’re right.  You think that bad people don’t often say correct things?  Of course they do – but watch him, watch him and be careful of such people!  People who are anti-Black will always be anti-Jewish too.  One doesn’t have to love Farrakhan or Jesse Jackson to realize that he should be careful of racism of all kinds – White and Black – be careful, because we get stuck in the middle.  Because the Whites and Blacks hate us both.

The Pre-War Depression: Not a Criteria
           
            We have a serious problem – the economic crisis cannot be averted. There is no way.  This country is in for terrible, terrible times.  People tell me in the depression it was also bad.  It’s true.  But first of all, who knows what would have happened in this country if World War II had not ended the depression?  If you think that Roosevelt ended it, you don’t know history.  World War II ended it.  It gave jobs finally, but more to the point, it was a different era back then.  The American people at that time were a much stronger people in character.  Today, after 40-50 years of good life and soft life, and the materialistic life, people are into themselves.  Unbelievable ego. Everything is me, me – my life, my body, my-me, my-mine.  People are incapable today of making sacrifices and that’s the great, great difference between today and what happened in the depression.  The person who is fairly poor and gets poorer – not so terrible. The person who has it and lost it becomes a wild animal, a raging animal. He’ll not accept it and will look for a scapegoat.  He’ll look for some target to blame.  We Jews are the most visible, the most highly visible in terms of power, in terms of money.  Of course, Wasps have more money than Jews have.  Certainly, Jews are not into U.S. Steel and banking and so on, and the real, real money is not Jewish money, but that doesn’t matter because Jews are in those professions that are most visible.

How to Gauge anti-Semitism: Go to a Bar
           
            So in the bars, it sits the jealousy and the envy of the Jews which leads to hate.  The tragedy as I’ve said a million times is that the average Jewish leader in this country has no idea what people say ago about Jews in bars, because the average Jew doesn’t go into a bar – and he should; he should be compelled to go into a bar.  Every rabbi before getting “smicha”, before being ordained, should be compelled to go into a bar and find out what the real world is like. It isn’t a joke.  I’m serious.  To hide in some little ghetto, you never know what the world is.  They hate us with a passion out there, with a virulence which is frightening to see and to hear.  On every radio program I go on, I hear, “why should we give you guys three billion dollars a year”?  Anytime some fellow from the Israeli consulate is asked that question, he comes up with the answer, “well, we help you too, etc.”  Baloney!  The only way to get rid of that question is to answer as I do, “I don’t want the money!  I want Israel to be a free enterprise state and allow private enterprise to flourish and then we don’t want your money, I don’t want your charity.”  So, that of course gets rid of the question, but it doesn’t get rid of the anti-Semite.  He’ll go home mutter in his beer and pretzels. He’s still there.  He’s still there.

Role of the Prophet – To See It and say It
           
            The rabbis tell us that G-d told Moses and Aaron.  “I’ll make you Jewish leaders on one condition that if they throw stones at you, you’ll accept it.”  Rather to be pelted with stones and not with dollars.  That’s what a Jewish leader has to be!  Say the bitter truth, even though they won’t like you.  They won’t like you; they’ll attack you, but tell the Jews the truth if you love them.  If you love Jews, tell them the things which will make them angry, but which can save their lives.  That’s what you have to do!  Think carefully about what I’m saying, and that is why we created this group called ZEERO, Zionist Emergency Evacuation Rescue Organization.  It’s a name that provokes.  And we hope that as we spread this idea it will provoke Jewish leaders to attack so we can debate the controversy that arises.  People will say he’s right; he’s wrong, and so on.  Of course, this is probably the worst thing you can ever tell any Jewish leader, any Federation leader – that he should leave here, and go to Israel.  What’ill do there? .
           
            The rabbis say: “Who is wise?  He who sees the future”.  It’s no big deal to see “today.”  A Jewish leader has to see tomorrow.

Living in Israel – Difficult; Living Elsewhere – Impossible
           
            It is coming here!  It is coming here!  Friday night I spoke in Brooklyn in shul, and I had to walk through Bensonhurst, a white neighborhood – nice people, because they’re white…Watching the people, the kids, you can smell the violence, you can see the hate, you can see the envy – frustrated, bored, looking for action.  You can see it.  Those are the potential mobs.  And G-d forbid, we will see it.  So ZEERO is a very serious project of Kach, and I mean a serious one.  And I know how hard it is to go to Israel – it is really hard.  Hard to make a living.  My son goes into the army every single year.  It’s dangerous and so on.  All of it is true.  Everything that’s all true.  That’s all true.  It’s hard to live in Israel, but it will be impossible to live here, and if we go to Israel, at least there we can change the country.  Of course we can change it and make it better and make it tremendous and make it safe.  Of curse we can do that if we have the power in the government, but here there is nothing you can do to change it, it’s out of our hands.  We are a minority and we are strangers here.  We’re stranger in this land, no matter how many years we’ve been here.

           
            It’s not an accident that so few German Jews survived the camps.  The Polish Jew did better.  Why?  Because the Polish Jew wasn’t surprised.  It didn’t shock him that gentiles could behave like this.  It didn’t surprise him, so he wasn’t shattered inside, he wasn’t’ broken.  But the German Jew was psychologically shattered.  How could this be?  I’m a German. I’m a German.  How could it be?  How can you do this to me?  The Pole knew he was a Jew.  The German was broken because his whole illusion was shattered.  And that’s how the American Jew lives.  “I’m an American”.  It’s the gentile who will teach you so quickly that you’re a Jew.

           
            It’s no just in the bars, in the working class bars the anti-Semitism that you see.  When you see the news media and their attitude towards Israel; it’s not anti-Israel – it’s anti-Semitism.  Do you know why they hate Jews?  Because among intellectuals there is a jealousy of Jews.  When Truman Capote, the famous author, a sickness, a disease who represents all that is sick about Western culture – when he spoke about the publishing business being a Jewish mafia – you can see the jealousy.  [He writes] how Jews are over represented in publishing, in broadcast, in movies, etc.  Of course it’s so – they have talent.  Untalented people don’t like to think it is because of talent.  They like to think they run it because their friends, their uncles, their aunts and so on and so forth.  The hate runs across the board.  You can see Peter Jennings’ anti-Semitism.  You can see it!  And when I hold press conferences in Israel and I see them sitting around, you can watch them all – the hatred.

The next article that I will be posting with be in or around six weeks, as I won't have availability to my computer.

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Sunday, October 12, 2014

War and Peace




Rabbi Meir Kahane – The Jewish Idea (Or Hara’ayon)
WAR AND PEACE (Excerpts)

“I will grant peace in the land” (Lev.26.6):  Perhaps you will say, “Well, there is food and there is drink, but if there is no peace then all this is nothing!”  Scripture therefore states, “I will grant peace in the land”  This teaches that peace counterbalances everything.

Its likewise says (Isaiah 45.7), “I will make peace and create evil.”  This teaches that peace counterbalances everything. (See Bamidar Rabbah, 11:5-6)

Since peace is limited to its own time, it follows that in wartime all traits associated with love, kindness and mercy are redefined.  It is then kind and merciful to go to war against the wicked.  Our sages teach (Kohelet Rabbah, 3:[8]1):

There is “a time to kill” – during war; “and a time to heal” – during peace.  There is “a time to break down” – during war; “and a time to build up” – during peace – There is “a time to seek” – during peace; “and a time to lose” – during war.  There is “a time to rend” – during war  “ and a time to sew” – during peace…There is “a time to love”- during peace; “ and a time to hate” – during war.  There is “a time for war” – during war; “and a time for peace” – during peace.

The word of the Living G-d!  And how relevant they are to our day:  there is a time for war – during war; and a time for peace during peace.  We might ask why Scriptures must tell us that there is a time for war.  Might anyone think otherwise?  Our sages were teaching that, in fact, some might really think so, especially with the insane, alien culture holding portions of our people captive in its sullied hands.   Above I quoted Tanchuma, Shoftim15:

“When you go forth to battle against your enemies (Deut.20:1)…  What is meant by “against your enemies”?  G-d said, “Confront them as enemies.  Just as they show you no mercy, so should you not show them any mercy.”

We have to realize that the non-Jew who goes to war against Israel is our enemy and not our friend.  How unaware people are nowadays of this simple yet profound principle!  Our sages also said  (Sifri Shoftim 192):

You are going to war against your enemies and not against your brethren.  It is not Judah against Simeon or Simeon against Judah such that if you fall captive they will have mercy on you…It is against your enemies that you are waging war.  If you fall into their hands, they will show you no mercy.
Indeed, a timely war is a mitzvah, a duty, a kindness and an everlasting act of righteousness. Ex.24:6, which enumerates G-d’s attributes, ends by mentioning “truth”:  The L-rd, the L-rd, Omnipotent, merciful and kind, slow to anger, with tremendous resources of love and truth.”  I have already explained that there cannot be “mercy, kindness and tremendous resources of love,” without “truth.”  We often find the combination of “kindness and truth,” to teach us that that same Deity who is “merciful, kind and loving,” is above all else a G-d of truth.

Likewise, G-d is described as follows (Ex.15:3): “The L-rd is the Master of war, ‘Hashem’ is His name.”  Despite His name being “Hashem,” a name indicating mercy, He is still “Master of war.”  That same Hashem of mercy is also a Master of war against the wicked.  All this is the plain truth.  There is a time for war and cruelty and a time for mercy, kindness and clemency.  It all depends on G-d’s laws, the laws of war by the Master of war.  Our sages said (Mechilta,Ibid): “The L-rd is the Master of war, Hashem is His name:

Our sages teach us a great lesson here regarding love for one’s fellow Jew and the duty one bears to him:  It is not enough for a Jew not to murder.  Surely, “Turn away from evil” (Ps.34:15) applies here, but a much weightier duty applies too: he must do all he can to save his fellow Jew from danger, to eradicate every danger and mishap, to defeat every foe who imperils the Jewish People before he can harm them.

A non-Jew who tries to attack or kill a Jew must be punished, and if that non-Jew flees to save himself from punishment, it clearly is not just permissible but a mitzvah and duty to shoot to kill him.  Whoever opposes this and orders that the enemy be allowed to flee, thereby enabling him to return later and kill Jews, will never be able to rise up and proclaim, “My hands have not spilled this blood.”  He is aiding a rodef, is allied to murderers of Jews, and should be treated like a criminal

(Moreover, such non-Jews not only fail to accept upon themselves taxes, slave status, and G-d’s and Israel’s sovereignty over the Land, but they declare war on the Jews, attacking and murdering us.  We are duty-bound to wage a milchemet mitzvah against them, a compulsory war, and they deserve death, as I shall write below.)
King David said (Ps 9:17), “The L-rd has made Himself known.  He has executed judgment.”  That is, the nations will know G-d and His glory only when he executes judgment in His war against them.

He also said (Ps 24:8), “Who is the King of glory?  The L-rd strong and mighty, He is mighty in battle.”  The wars Israel was commanded to wage were not meant to satisfy any selfish urge on their part, any craving for land or desire for personal glory, but to sanctify G-d’s name and cast down the wicked, who plunder and afflict the upright.  Just as every part of Israel’s life must be holy, so must be their wars.

Due to our sins, the reason we were exiled from our land, the laws of war, have been so corrupted and confused by so many fine students that ignorance on this matter has surpassed all limits.  Some have no understanding whatsoever of what a milchemet mitzvah is, and in their blindness ask whether the war between us and the Arabs today is such a war.  Woe, to the ears that hear this!

 Rambam writes (Hilchot Melachim 5:1) In a milchemet mitzvah, the king need not obtain permission of the court.  Rather, he may go forth himself at any time and compel the people to follow.  With milchemet reshut, howoever, he may only compel the people through a court of seventy-one.

Here is the law before us.  Clearly, no king is needed either.  After all, the judges who preceded Saul were not kings nor were the Hasmoneans when they rose up against the Greeks.  How long can our disgraceful ignorance of these laws go on?-      
Holiness and knowledge of G-d elevate a person from bestiality, fear and confinement to trust in G-d.  Kiddush Hashem brings the redemption “speedily.”

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Sunday, October 5, 2014

Next Year In Jerusalem - Maybe! Dec.1971

From Barbara Ginsberg’s Desktop

 

MEIR KAHANE

WRITINGS 5732-33   1971 -73

NEXT YEAR IN JERUSALEM –MAYBE!

 December 24, 1971

The synagogue if filled from end to end.  Every seat is reserved, every inch of space taken up.  The Yom Kippur Neila service is drawing to an end.  A day of repentance, prayer and charity fades to a close.  A congregation, elevated for a day at least, watches as the Shofar is raised and a long clear, vibrant blast fills the hall.  Five hundred voices cry out spontaneously –

L’Shana Ha’Ba’ah B’ Yerushalayim!  “Next year in Jerusalem!”

The crowd files out to begin yet another year of bitter exile amidst television and Miami Beach.

The synagogue is dark and hushed.  A few candles flutter in the corners, their flickering flames lighting the pained and saddened faces of the congregation sitting on low benches waiting for the Tisha B’Av services to begin and the mournful tune of the Eycha – Lamentations – rises softly, punctuated by the sobs of the mourners for Zion.  Every mind is shattered as the picture of the beloved homeland, bereft of its children, comes to mind.  Every pious Jew sitting in the room sighs and dreams of the day - may it soon come - when G-d will allow him to, once again, kiss the soil of the homeland – courtesy of a three-weeks American Jewish Congress guided tour, and then back home again to the painful fleshpots.

The dream of settling in Israel is a basic part of the Jewish faith.  It is an obligation but it is more than that:  “It is a dream.  How many seas would the tears of our ancestors have filled as they wept for the privilege of returning to Zion?  How piercing would have been the totality of their cries as they prayed to the yoke of nations and bring us upright to our land!”

Who can begin to fully quote the letter of the obligatory law to settle in the Land of Israel as expounded by our rabbis and who can adequately describe the acceptance of the spirit of that obligation by our ancestors, the dreamers of Zion?  What would they not have given for the opportunity of returning and walking four cubits on its soil?  How they would have flocked to the airports and harbors as the great vision approached fulfillment!

I write this as a traditional, observant Jew.  For myself I have written and spoken and pleaded a thousand times over to all Jews of America to leave and return to Israel – not for religious reasons – but for the elementary need to save their lives.  I believe in the marrow of my bones that the days of the Jew in the Untied States are numbered and that there is coming a storm of physical brutality that portends a holocaust.  What 48 prophets could not convince Jews to do, says the Talmud, Haman’s ring accomplished.  There is a Haman’s ring in the American Jewish future and for the sake of our children and grandchildren the time to evacuate is now.  I have said this and will continue to say this to all Jews.  But, for the observant ones there is another, an added; perhaps, an even more important reason.

Every traditional Jew must take a long and deep look at himself.  He must ask difficult and painful questions.  How is it possible to honestly pray three times a day to the Almighty to restore us to Zion when that restoration is ours at a cost of a few hundred dollars, courtesy of El Al?  What rationalizations can we invent to answer those who question our lamentations for Zion when the Jewish Agency is prepared to grant long-term loans for housing and transportation for those who wish to settle in Israel?  What can hide our shame as we fervently proclaim “Next Year in the Land of Israel” when next year has already come, when the gates of the Holy Land stand open, when the obligation to return can and demands to be fulfilled?

All this has nothing to do with the particular religious Jew’s attitude toward the government or State of Israel.  We speak here, not of political Zionism, but of the original and permanent obligation to go up and settle the Holy Land – an obligation that is clear and binding upon all - from the Mizrachi through the Agudat Israel to Amram Blau and the Neturei Karta.

What kind of Jews are we who profess a Judaism that builds up a dream in ritual and prayer – until it is at the very center of our aspirations – and then make a mockery of it in practice?  Those who are able to return and do not must cease to weep salted tears and put an end to insincere lamentations.  Let us rather admit that we have eaten too long at the fleshpots of Galut – Exile – and that the bribery of the good life has compromised and blinded us.  When a famous Rosh Yeshiva chided Ben Gurion on the secularism of Israel, the then Prime Minister cunningly replied: “Let the American religious Jews come here and put me out of office.”

He could well afford to be clever for he knew that most would not come.  The Catskills have overshadowed the hills of Jerusalem and the Rockaways conquered the Jordan and the Mediterranean.  Electric appliances have replaced the flame of sacrifice and the television set the Book of Lamentations.  In a sense it is symbolic of a general loss of ability to sacrifice on the part of the American Jew – and the religious one is little different.  It is a sad and dangerous thing.

From the religious point of view there is a double tragedy here.  What power lies in the hands of a dynamic religious immigration!  What a noble impression and Kiddush Hashem – Sanctification of the Name – it would create in the young Israeli mind if religious Jews showed the courage of their convictions!  What a Jewish State could be shaped out of a State of Israel!

Certainly it is difficult; to be sure there would have to be sacrifices in the economic standard of one’s life.  Yes, there is a language barrier and no doubt employment would be a problem for a time and life would not be quite as materially sweet as back home with the good life and the American Nazi Party.  But, since when has a religious Jew assumed that life was made to be sweet and that the Almighty placed him here so as to be comfortable?  Is the excuse of economic difficulty enough to justify, in the religious Jew’s mind, the rationale given him by the non-observant for violating even the rabbinical laws of Sabbath?  Is the Jew who tells us that economic need makes it imperative that his store remain open on the Sabbath since that is by far his busiest day, given dispensation?  Do we calmly accept the decision of people not to send their children to yeshivot because of the economic difficulty involved or do we call upon them to make that sacrifice that is needed for the great commandment of Torah study?

Yet, here, on a question that every authority in the past has conceded is a religious obligation we find the religious Jew ready to join behind the Hadassahs , the ZOA’s and the Bnai Births in their shabby attempts to transform the Galut - the Exile – of America into such tortured sophistry as “chutz l’aretz” (outside the land).  The very one who girds his loins for battle against all who seek to lighten some other halachic burden now suddenly descends into the intricacies of pilpul to explain that in reality Maimonides believes that the settlement of the land is only a rabbinical injunction (thus “merely” putting it on the same level as eating chicken with milk or doing business on the Sabbath); that one is free of the obligation if there is danger; that there are economic difficulties, ad infinitum.

No argument will blot out the shame of our craven surrender to materialism.  The words we mouth in our daily prayers; the slogans we shout at the conclusion of Yom Kippur and at our Passover Seder all become empty and meaningless words when we have no intention of following them.  It is up to the yeshivot to teach and to emphasize the religious obligation of a Jew to live in the Land of Israel.  It is up to the traditional congregation to take steps to implement it.  Mitzvat Yishuv Eretz Yisroel (the commandment to settle the Land of Israel) becomes more than merely another of the laws.  It becomes a mirror reflecting our weakness and hypocrisies.  Next Tisha B’Av it would do well for us to weep – not for the land but for ourselves.

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