web analytics
February 1, 2015 / 12 Shevat, 5775
 
At a Glance
Blogs
Sponsored Post


A Jewish Hero Grows Up in Brooklyn


Rabbi Meir Kahane

Let’s continue our Book Week tribute to Rabbi Meir Kahane with a look at a truly wonderful biography published last year, Rabbi Meir Kahane – His Life and Thought written by his wife, Libby Kahane, who lives down the street from me in Jerusalem. The biography is Volume One of the never-dull story, covering the years 1932-1975. Presently, the Rebbetzin is working on Volume Two. I don’t want to give away my age, but for me the book is a combination of nostalgia and a saga of modern Jewish history, covering the Rabbi’s early years, his development into a passionate Jewish leader, willing to risk everything in his towering love for the Jewish People, the struggle for Soviet Jewry, the birth of the Jewish Defense League, the Kahane family’s aliyah, and Reb Meir’s first political battles in Israel. All in all, it’s an inspiring story of a true Jewish hero that every Jew should read.

Today, we will look at a passage about the Rabbi’s early days at The Jewish Press, which continued to publish his writings for thirty years until he was murdered by an Arab terrorist during a visit to New York.

Tomorrow, God willing, we will post a surprising section describing his youth that had a dramatic impact on me, teaching me that everyone has the potential and ability to build himself into a person of greatness, in whatever field of endeavor that he or she chooses to pursue.

From Chapter 8, Newspapers (1961-1963):

One year, Meir took the children to the annual “Salute to Israel” parade in Manhattan. The kids came home waving small Israeli flags Meir had bought them. The next morning, our light blue car had the word JEW painted on it in large black letters. After hours of scrubbing, I finally managed to remove all the black paint. I never felt the same about my neighbors again.

Since he had to drive through Flatbush for his editorial job at The Jewish Press, the location of the Mirrer Yeshiva was now more convenient than that of the Chaim Berlin Yeshiva. Every morning after his newspaper deliveries, Meir went to study at the Mirrer Yeshiva.

Meir drove a manual-shift Austin, which was handy for stop-and-go newspaper delivery, and I had a secondhand light blue Rambler for shopping and car pools. We lived modestly but comfortably on the income from Meir’s newspaper route, occasional private Hebrew lessons, and The Jewish Press.

Meir’s earliest writing in The Jewish Press reflected his preoccupation with Torah study. His first weekly column was “The Shiur of the Week.” Topics included the permissibility of delivering clothes to a laundry that would wash them on Shabbat, the lighting of Shabbat candles, and the blowing of the shofar on the High Holidays. He wrote “The Shiur of the Week” under the pen name Hamaor Hakatan (the small light), a play on the name Meir, which means giving light.

He began to write another column, “A Small Voice,” under his own name at about the same time. The first few columns had the title “A Still, Small Voice,” a phrase from I Kings 19, in which the prophet Elijah hears the word of God: “… but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire, a still small voice.” From 1960 to 1962, “A Small Voice” dealt with topics such as South African Jewry, religious laws in Israel, the Eichmann trial, the Bnei Israel Indian Jews, Christian missionary activity among poverty-stricken Israelis, and freedom of speech for Nazis in the U.S.

In “A Small Voice” of June 10, 1960, Meir attacked critics of David Ben-Gurion:

“No one can deny the tragedy inherent in the picture of a Jewish prime minister publicly contradicting the Bible… [But] among the voices of criticism raised were clearly heard those of the Scandal Mongers. They are the voice of those that are always ready to criticize the government of Israel…. Every sin and every transgression is shouted forth, while the good is always interred in silence….”

Meir then gave details of recent Israeli legislation that promoted adherence to Jewish law. For example, “The husband who defies the rabbinical court and refuses to grant a divorce to his wife will be jailed for contempt of court until he complies.” This legislation freed many women from being agunot, chained to their husbands, a situation all too common among Jews in the United States. “Certainly there is much that is wrong with Israel today…. But there is much that is right with Ben-Gurion and with Israel also, and I would be more impressed with the tears of the Scandal Mongers if they acknowledged this…. ”

About the Author: Tzvi Fishman was awarded the Israel Ministry of Education Prize for Creativity and Jewish Culture for his novel "Tevye in the Promised Land." For the past several years, he has written a popular and controversial blog at Arutz 7. A wide selection of his books are available at Amazon. The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not represent the views of The Jewish Press


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “A Jewish Hero Grows Up in Brooklyn”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Tzvi Fishman, author of the Jewish Press blog Felafel on Rye and author of more than a dozen books.
Current Top Story
Arab attackers smashed these windows on an Egged bus in Jerusalem's Old City.
Egged Bus Attacked Traveling to Western Wall in Jerusalem
Latest Blogs Stories
Ultra Orthodox Jewish youths studying religious texts at a Yeshiva in Jerusalem

In the Hareidi world, Torah study is worshipped to the exclusion of all else. Nothing else matters

IDF vehicles attacked by Hezbollah with anti-tank missiles at northern border.

Chances are, like in the South, terrorists are building a sophisticated network of tunnels in North.

Hezbollah shooting at Har Dov

9:31pm The Mt. Hermon ski resort on the Golan Heights will be open for business tomorrow morning — having receiving permission from the IDF. 8:03pm Channel 2 reports that Hezbollah terror cell was located 5 kilometers from Israel, and not within Israel as originally thought.Soldiers in 2nd vehicle were saved after they jumped out of […]

Jordana Brown: Ready, willing, and able!

I need a job, my friends. A real life, full-time, pay-the-bills, up at 7, home-after-nightfall JOB!

Ha’aretz claiming Glick is “far from a household name to non-English speaking Israelis” is erroneous

Distinguishing between manipulating and influencing people + 3 steps towards positive communication

Despite “excuses” about not wanting to influence Israel’s election Netanyahu’s views should be heard

Israeli leaders deny reality: Nothing we can do will make the Arabs accept a viable Jewish state

How do we make sure the Holocaust is relevant to new generations?

In 2006, Amona kids saw their teachers and rabbis being thrown from windows as if they were garbage

No money should go to terrorists or their families; anyone involved in terror must pay the price

Responsible Jewish outreach encourages BTs to retain and to enhance their relationship with parents

Israelis will vote for Likud because of Caroline Glick, but she’ll just be Right window dressing.

What are the dynamics of running a family business and what are its impact on family relationships?

The Hareidi paper HaMevaser wanted to have their cake and eat it too: use the photo; lose the women

Producer Chuck Wang explains how you can learn from mistakes and move on towards success.

More Articles from Tzvi Fishman

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/felafel-on-rye/a-jewish-hero-grows-up-in-brooklyn/2012/06/05/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: