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May 3, 2016 / 25 Nisan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Kahane’

Over 1,000,000 Jews in New York and God Weeps!

Friday, June 15th, 2012

A couple of days ago, The Jewish Press reported that there are over a million Jews living in New York. Nearly half of them are “Orthodox.” What’s the celebration? Hashem gazes down from the Heavens at His children in New York City and weeps. That’s right. That’s what our Sages teach in the Talmud. During the night, the Holy One Blessed Be He sits and roars like a lion, saying, “Woe to the children who I have exiled among the nations of the world” (Berachot 3A). It’s like a King who builds a beautiful palace for his children, but they don’t want to live there. They prefer to hang out with the harlots. If we feel proud that there are a million Jews living in New York (when they could very easily be living in Israel), then something is very wrong with our Jewish Identity. On the contrary, we should all hang our heads down in disgrace.

But why listen to me? Let a real Rabbi explain it to you. Rabbi Meir Kahane was a true Jewish leader. For example, he could have gone into politics in America but he chose to go into politics in Israel instead, because he wanted to teach the Jews of America that they belong in the country of the Jews, and not in the countries of the gentiles. He wanted to teach them that Jerusalem was their capital, and not Washington D.C. Rabbi Kahane wanted to show by his personal example that what was really important for a Jew was what was happening in the Eretz Yisrael, and not when a new kosher pizza shop was opened in Boston or Beverly Hills. Yes, the pastrami and corned beef may be better in Brooklyn, but, personally, I’m happier eating a felafel on rye in Jerusalem, knowing I’m in the place where Hashem wants me to be.

Here’s part two of Rabbi Kahane’s chapter on the Mitzvah of Living in Israel, condensed from his book, The Jewish Idea:

Eretz Yisrael is acquired through suffering and devotion. The deterioration in our values, and the blunting of Israel’s emotional attachment to Eretz Yisrael, emerged because we distorted the halachah, due to the wretched exile which conquered our minds and souls. We are also tempted to flee the difficult challenge and duty of isolating ourselves from the nations, and the hardships of earning a living in rebuilding our homeland. It all goes back to our Sages’ comment in Berachot 5a: “God gave Israel three fine gifts and all come only through suffering: Torah, Eretz Yisrael and the World-to-Come.”

A person’s whole life is a test to see whether he will accept the yoke of Heaven and of mitzvot. There is nothing precious that does not exact a heavy price. Eretz Yisrael, a precious gift, requires self-sacrifice, as befits a treasure of the Chosen People.

Wherever we go, we are obligated to prove our faith and trust in G-d, and certainly so in Eretz Yisrael, the Chosen Land, symbol of Israel’s isolation and their belief that “The Lord alone guides them” (Deut. 32:12). Yet time after time we have failed in this. Our Sages learned (Tanchuma, Tazria, 6):

“A kohen who used to observe plague-spots (see Lev. 13) became poor and wished to leave the Land. He summoned his wife, saying… “Let me teach you how to observe plague spots. If you see that the well-spring of a person’s hair has dried up, know that he is smitten, for God created a well-spring for every single hair to drink from”… His wife replied, “If God created for every hair a well-spring of its own, how much more so will He provide a livelihood for you, who are a human being, with much hair, and have children whom you support!” Therefore, she did not let him leave the Land.

Lack of trust in God’s ability to support and defend us was, from time immemorial, the plague that severed us from the great mitzvah of living in the Land, causing us to distort the mitzvah and contrive all sorts of warped excuses to exempt ourselves from it.

How could we as a nation have failed regarding this mitzvah, fleeing the suffering entailed in the settlement of Eretz Yisrael, when ultimately it is the greatest gift God gave us? As it says (Jer. 3:19), “I gave you a Desirable Land.” So terribly has the cursed exile warped our nation, that many see no personal duty to leave the exile, and they do not at all consider it a punishment! What a perversion this is! This is a distortion of the Torah — through love of the Exile.

Tzvi Fishman

Letter to a Reform Jew

Friday, June 1st, 2012

Suppose a lecturer in medical school taught that the most effective treatment to cure a disease was to remove the patient’s heart. Obviously, you couldn’t call this person a professor of medicine. Similarly, if a reform “rabbi” teaches that a Jew doesn’t have to follow the commandments of the Torah, obviously he isn’t a real rabbi.

I was going to write about the poisonous decision of the Attorney General of Israel to force the government to pay salaries to imposters who pretend to be rabbis. But why listen to me when you can get the explanation from the world’s first and best blogger of all time – Rabbi Meir Kahane, of blessed memory, may the Almighty avenge his murder.

Of course, his thirty-year column in The Jewish Press wasn’t called a blog back then. Since its establishment, The Jewish Press hasn’t simply reported the news like other newspapers, week after week, The Jewish Press made the news. I wrote about the important role which The Jewish Press played in the initial success of the Volunteers for Israel/Sarel, and in helping free the “Jewish Underground.” With holy boldness, The Jewish Press has led scores of campaigns on behalf of the Jewish People and Israel. But, perhaps more than anything else, The Jewish Press has been a beacon of Torah to millions of Jews, and perhaps the greatest light of all came from the pen of Rabbi Meir Kahane, who spoke the truth and nothing but the truth about Judaism and the Jewish People for 30 years in the pages of the Press.

As Book Week begins, it is only fitting that we dedicate a series of blogs to the incomparable writings and books of Rav Kahane. This essay, “A Letter to a Reform Jew,” which first appeared in The Jewish Press, has been reprinted in an incredible set of seven volumes, Beyond Words, a collection of articles written by one of the greatest Jewish leaders of our time. These books belong in every Jewish library and in every Jewish home. Rabbi Kahane’s insights into Judaism and Jewish life in Israel and the Diaspora are as fresh and true for today as they were when he wrote them. In upcoming blogs, we will speak more about the Rabbi and dig through the archives of The Jewish Press to republish some more of his mindblogging writings. First, in answer to the latest issue of the day, “A Letter to a Reform Jew” …

From Rabbi Meir Kahane

My dear Brother/Sister Jew,

This letter is long overdue and for that I apologize. But its lateness is compensated for, I hope, by my love for you and for all those who describe themselves as “Reform Jews,” a love that motivates the letter and that permeates its every word. In short, it would not have been written did I not care for you as my brother/sister. And, most important, it is written as a cry to you to help prevent the greatest of all tragedies: the permanent division of the Jewish people into two camps, separate and forever apart. And so, I beg you to have the patience and courage to read this letter fully, and think it over carefully.

Let me preface my message by saying that I really do not want to refer to you as “Reform.” I really believe that there is no such thing as a “Reform Jew,” (can you really give me a positive definition of this, that goes beyond the anarchy of “a Jew who decides for himself what Jewish laws, customs or idiosyncrasies he will observe?) No, there are no Reform Jews, there are only Reform rabbis and temples; and that is the crux of my words to you.

It is, one might argue, a personal choice that one makes when he decides to abandon the traditions of Judaism (that which you call “Orthodoxy,” another word I abhor). The personal decision of a Jew to cease observing the Sabbath or eating kosher food or adhering to the rituals of the commandments is a source of great sorrow but it is, hopefully, not a national or, certainly, not a permanent tragedy. For on the one hand, this is a personal decision that in no way directly affects other Jews, and, on the other hand, it is a thing that is reversible, that can be changed through personal decision to return to the ways of Torah. In a word, the desecration of the Sabbath this week, by an individual, can, hopefully, be turned into observance next week and the damage repaired. And so, until a certain point in modern Jewish history, the growth of Reform was sad but not necessarily a national tragedy.

Tzvi Fishman

Convicted Terror Leader Appointed PA Advisor On Eve of Negotiations

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas Monday appointed a convicted terrorist as his advisor for local governments on Monday, the eve of the PA’s internationally-brokered meeting with an Israeli representative in Amman.

Mahmoud Awad Damra, “Abu Awad”,  was released from his 15 year prison sentence in October as part of Israel’s deal with Hamas to exchange 1,027 convicted criminals and terrorists for kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit.  Damara is the former commander of the PA presidential guard, Force 17, established by former PLO chief Yasser Arafat.  Damara was arrested outside of Ramallah and convicted in 2006 for his role in planning and coordinating numerous terror attacks, choosing locations, training killers, and supplying weapons.  His victims include US citizens Esh-Kodesh Gilmore and Rabbi Binyamin and Talia Kahane.

Rabbi Kahane was the son of the controversial Jewish activist Rabbi Meir Kahane, who was also murdered in 1990.  The “presidential decree” promoting Damra came just 2 days after the 11th anniversary of the murders of Binyamin and Talia, whose 6 children are now being raised by Talia’s sister.

Two years ago, while Damra was in prison, Abbas promoted him to the rank of major-general.  Damra served only a third of his sentence prior to release.

Israeli and Palestinian representatives will meet for the first time in 16 months to determine whether and how diplomatic negotiations would proceed.  Expectations from both sides have been reported as low.

Malkah Fleisher

Title: Rabbi Meir Kahane – His Life and Thought – Volume One: 1932-1975 (Hebrew Edition)

Thursday, August 19th, 2010

Title: Rabbi Meir Kahane – His Life and Thought –

Volume One: 1932-1975 (Hebrew Edition)

Author: Libby Kahane

Publisher: Institute for Publication

of the Writings of Rabbi Meir Kahane

 

 

   Anyone reading this well-researched and objective biography (just translated into Hebrew) has to be struck by how the focus of Rabbi Meir Kahane’s life was on promoting Jewish identity, pride, values, knowledge, and even music, and how minimal a role that actual violence played even in the “militant” Jewish Defense League. Even the limited violence was for deterrence and limited primarily to property damages.

 

   Kahane’s ever creative and constructive life was devoted not merely to defending defenseless Jews more effectively than any police department and harassing indefensible Soviet officials more provocatively than all the well-organized rallies of the establishment with their eloquent speeches, resulting, together, in the freeing of hundreds of thousands of Soviet Jews.

 

   But above all, Rabbi Kahane attempted to prevent millions of Jews from assimilating into the melting pots of America, Russia, and even Israel. In addition, his political and economic approaches to the Israeli-Arab problems have been vindicated over the passage of time.

 

   Ironically, it was Kahane who proposed investments in economic incentives for Arabs to opt to leave Israel peacefully, while Israeli governments forced their most patriotic Jewish citizens to leave some of the holiest and most historic places in the West Bank and the most developed property in Gaza by brute force.

 

   Most people have no idea of the popular, brilliant, disarming, devastating, and witty lectures that Rabbi Kahane delivered on college campuses and synagogues of all denominations throughout America, and of the effects on their listeners. It was a thrill to read of every packed auditorium, and every word of feedback. What a difference he could have made on today’s leftist, religiously ignorant, and even hostile young Jews, and in a Knesset where his ultra-Zionist party was undemocratically banned.

 

   How ironic that so many people condemned Kahane for the outrageous methods he used that brought results, after the “proper” methods of most establishment Jews failed to bring comparable results, however legislatively and politically correct they may have been.

 

   The accounts of what happened at two Brussels conferences describe one of the most perfidiously indefensible and outrageous ironies imaginable. Participants in conferences there supporting the freeing of Soviet Jewry banned the person who did more for this cause than any other, and caused him to be incarcerated, twice, because he risked his own personal liberty and provoked both superpowers in order to help free hundreds of thousands of Jews he had never met.

 

   Kahane’s positive messages of Jewish identity and the importance ofaliyahwere so effective that for a time his lectures on aliyah were actually sponsored by the Israel Aliyah Center of The Jewish Agency.

 

   Kahane was highly regarded by many top mainstream Jewish Orthodox leaders: He was assisted by Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, the leading posek of his generation; he was hosted and given a rare tribute by Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda Kook, the leading rabbi of the religious Zionists; he was solicited to join the political party of Menachem Begin; he was hosted in America by such mainstream rabbis as Haskel Lookstein and Shlomo Riskin, and joined, on some occasions, by rabbi-professors ranging from Saul Berman to Moshe Tendler. Above all, Kahane was a long-time columnist for The Jewish Press.

 

   Some readers might see poetic injustice in that Israel bends backward to protect even its enemies from collateral injury, yet it is still compared in the world press to Nazis, just as Kahane was compared even by Israelis to Nazis.

 

   Ben Hecht wrote Perfidy to describe what some leaders in one sector of the Jewish community did that they should not have done. Kahane wrote Never Again to describe what most sectors of the Jewish community did not do and should have done. A Jewish historian perhaps yet to be born will hopefully find a word even stronger than perfidy to describe the injustices rendered by many leaders of the Jewish community against a person who may be legitimately described by future historians as one of modern Judaism’s greatest heroes.

 

   Like The Revolt by Begin, this biography of Kahane, and of course Kahane’s own Never Again, should be in every Jewish household, and should be assigned reading in every Jewish high school and college Jewish history course.

 

   Rabbi Aaron I. Reichel, Esq., is a member of the federal and state bars in New York and New Jersey, and the author or editor of a number of books, chapters, book reviews, and articles dealing with Jewish, American law and politics.

Rabbi Aaron I. Reichel

Title: Rabbi Meir Kahane – His Life and Thought – Volume One: 1932-1975 (Hebrew Edition)

Thursday, August 19th, 2010

Title: Rabbi Meir Kahane – His Life and Thought –

Volume One: 1932-1975 (Hebrew Edition)

Author: Libby Kahane


Publisher: Institute for Publication


of the Writings of Rabbi Meir Kahane


 


 


   Anyone reading this well-researched and objective biography (just translated into Hebrew) has to be struck by how the focus of Rabbi Meir Kahane’s life was on promoting Jewish identity, pride, values, knowledge, and even music, and how minimal a role that actual violence played even in the “militant” Jewish Defense League. Even the limited violence was for deterrence and limited primarily to property damages.

 

   Kahane’s ever creative and constructive life was devoted not merely to defending defenseless Jews more effectively than any police department and harassing indefensible Soviet officials more provocatively than all the well-organized rallies of the establishment with their eloquent speeches, resulting, together, in the freeing of hundreds of thousands of Soviet Jews.

 

   But above all, Rabbi Kahane attempted to prevent millions of Jews from assimilating into the melting pots of America, Russia, and even Israel. In addition, his political and economic approaches to the Israeli-Arab problems have been vindicated over the passage of time.

 

   Ironically, it was Kahane who proposed investments in economic incentives for Arabs to opt to leave Israel peacefully, while Israeli governments forced their most patriotic Jewish citizens to leave some of the holiest and most historic places in the West Bank and the most developed property in Gaza by brute force.

 

   Most people have no idea of the popular, brilliant, disarming, devastating, and witty lectures that Rabbi Kahane delivered on college campuses and synagogues of all denominations throughout America, and of the effects on their listeners. It was a thrill to read of every packed auditorium, and every word of feedback. What a difference he could have made on today’s leftist, religiously ignorant, and even hostile young Jews, and in a Knesset where his ultra-Zionist party was undemocratically banned.

 

   How ironic that so many people condemned Kahane for the outrageous methods he used that brought results, after the “proper” methods of most establishment Jews failed to bring comparable results, however legislatively and politically correct they may have been.

 

   The accounts of what happened at two Brussels conferences describe one of the most perfidiously indefensible and outrageous ironies imaginable. Participants in conferences there supporting the freeing of Soviet Jewry banned the person who did more for this cause than any other, and caused him to be incarcerated, twice, because he risked his own personal liberty and provoked both superpowers in order to help free hundreds of thousands of Jews he had never met.

 

   Kahane’s positive messages of Jewish identity and the importance ofaliyahwere so effective that for a time his lectures on aliyah were actually sponsored by the Israel Aliyah Center of The Jewish Agency.

 

   Kahane was highly regarded by many top mainstream Jewish Orthodox leaders: He was assisted by Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, the leading posek of his generation; he was hosted and given a rare tribute by Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda Kook, the leading rabbi of the religious Zionists; he was solicited to join the political party of Menachem Begin; he was hosted in America by such mainstream rabbis as Haskel Lookstein and Shlomo Riskin, and joined, on some occasions, by rabbi-professors ranging from Saul Berman to Moshe Tendler. Above all, Kahane was a long-time columnist for The Jewish Press.

 

   Some readers might see poetic injustice in that Israel bends backward to protect even its enemies from collateral injury, yet it is still compared in the world press to Nazis, just as Kahane was compared even by Israelis to Nazis.

 

   Ben Hecht wrote Perfidy to describe what some leaders in one sector of the Jewish community did that they should not have done. Kahane wrote Never Again to describe what most sectors of the Jewish community did not do and should have done. A Jewish historian perhaps yet to be born will hopefully find a word even stronger than perfidy to describe the injustices rendered by many leaders of the Jewish community against a person who may be legitimately described by future historians as one of modern Judaism’s greatest heroes.

 

   Like The Revolt by Begin, this biography of Kahane, and of course Kahane’s own Never Again, should be in every Jewish household, and should be assigned reading in every Jewish high school and college Jewish history course.


 


   Rabbi Aaron I. Reichel, Esq., is a member of the federal and state bars in New York and New Jersey, and the author or editor of a number of books, chapters, book reviews, and articles dealing with Jewish, American law and politics.

Rabbi Aaron I. Reichel

A Voice From The Grave

Friday, July 27th, 2001

In 1982, the late Rabbi Meir Kahane wrote in The New York Times, ?There is one sublime reason why we should not give up a centimeter of land: it belongs to us! … the land belongs to us because the G-d of Israel, Creator and Titleholder of all lands, gave it to us.?

Rabbi Kahane went on to explain that there is no such thing as the ?Palestinian people.? He wrote, ?They are Arabs, part of the Arab nation, possessors of 21 lands. Let them live in peace in any or all of them. But there are no 'Palestinians.?

?The Roman emperor Hadrian, who, after the Jewish revolt against the Romans, angrily erased the name of the state, Judea, invented the name ?Palestine? after the Philistines. In every normal case, an existing people gives its name to a land. The Franks named their land France and the Angles, England, and the Germanics, Germany. Only in this ludicrous case does a Roman invent a name, give it to a land, and the arriving Arab trespassers become ?Palestinians.??

Commenting on how many Arabs have been killed in the conflagration between the Arabs and the Jews, Kahane wrote, ?I wonder how many mourned and protested the killing of German civilians during the World War II bombings of Berlin, Hamburg, and Dresden…?

Kahane?s article dealt with guilt. ?Guilt is a powerful weapon,? he wrote, ?Jews have a difficult time coping with it. A people that has been most debased as losers for 2,000 years finds it difficult to cope with victory… It begins to believe its enemies? slanders. It loses its self-respect and longs for the love of a hating world. It is important that those who have retained their self-esteem and sense of Jewish survival speak out against the disease of guilt and moral insecurity.?

Kahane pointed out that the Arabs are not killing Jews because of land. He wrote, ?Arabs are determined to kill Jews. … And what did they (the Arabs) wish in 1947 when they rejected the 'Palestine? state offered them by the United Nations and went to war, killing fully one percent of the population? And what did they wish in the riots of 1936-38 when there was no country called Israel and they murdered 500 Jews? And in 1929, when no 'Zionist occupation troops? were in Hebron, why did the Palestinians rise up to murder 67 Jews in one day? And why the pogroms in Jerusalem and Jaffa in 1920 and 1921??

Kahane?s voice from the grave reminds us that appeasement has never worked for Jews. When will Rabin and Peres understand this?

Editorial Board

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/editorial/a-voice-from-the-grave/2001/07/27/

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