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April 23, 2014 / 23 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Meir Kahane’

Smile, Ehud – You’re Convicted!

Thursday, April 17th, 2014

We’re all acquainted with the phrases “mitzvah goreres mitzvah” – one mitzvah leads to another mitzvah – and “aveirah goreres aveirah” – one sin leads to another sin. Reflecting on the saga of convicted criminal Ehud Olmert, the phrase that comes to mind is “one lie leads to another lie.”

My recollection of Olmert dates back to 1988, when, as a member of Knesset, he was my guest, live from Israel, on a radio program I presented with radio icon Barry Farber on WMCA in New York. The program was aired prior to the 1988 Israeli elections. The Knesset had just passed a new anti-racist law in order to bar MK Rabbi Meir Kahane as a candidate for re-election.

Reb Meir naturally appealed this decision, and the appeal soon reached the high court for a final verdict.

On the day of final judgment, I used my press card to enter the courtroom and witness this historic moment.

To my shock, the lawyer for the prosecution was none other than Ehud Olmert.

Everyone stood as the panel of judges entered the chamber and took their seats.

The judge in the center lifted his gavel and with a bang announced, “Overruled!” Kahane’s appeal had been dismissed.

The judges rose and left the courtroom. Kahane’s entourage left singing and angrily shouting, and someone lifted Reb Meir on his shoulders.

A moment later, there were only two people left in the courtroom: Attorney Olmert and me. Olmert remained standing, with a smile – or smirk – on his lips, his eyes gazing off into the near future when he expected to be rewarded with a ministry in the newly elected government for his successful efforts against Kahane.

Olmert had essentially lied, portraying a faithful and devoted Jew as a potential Khomeini or even Hitler. He had obviously read Kahane’s writings and highlighted any statements that, if taken out of context, could deceive the court.

I stood and approached him and firmly asked, “You’re smiling, huh? You’re smiling?”

I then pointed to his lips and said, “One day you’ll regret this smile.”

I turned and left, slamming the door.

Two years later, Meir Kahane was assassinated.

Eventually Olmert became mayor of Jerusalem, while Kahane’s Kach movement was outlawed as a terrorist organization.

As mayor, Olmert refused to allow the annual yahrzeit commemoration for Kahane at the Ulam David catering hall, stationing police at the door and on the block.

Then the Second Intifada broke out, and buses and restaurants all over Jerusalem were being blown up by suicide bombers, just as Kahane had predicted when he’d asked, “Do you want Kahane or do you want Arafat?”

After each tragic suicide blast the mayor would speak to the people on camera.

Dov Shurin would always arrive and stand directly behind him.

And as Olmert would began to speak to the media I would shout, “Kahane was right, Olmert, and you know it better than anyone because you were the lawyer against Kahane and you read his books!”

By then the police would be schlepping me away.

I did this over and over again. You could say, using the Hebrew, that I was rodef (hounding) the man. Until one day, after yet another terrorist incident, as Olmert awaited the cameras, I whispered to him, “You want me to stop this redifa? At least allow the yahrzeit commemoration for Kahane, an assassinated former Knesset member!”

A month later, on the 18th day of the Hebrew month Marcheshvan, Olmert finally allowed the gathering at Ulam David.

Soon afterward, Olmert re-entered the Knesset to become Sharon’s right-hand man as they invented the lie called hitnatkut (disengagement) that resulted in the expulsion of more than 8,000 Jews from Gush Katif.

Democrats Invite Spewer of anti-Israel Lies to Lunch in S. Dakota

Sunday, September 22nd, 2013

Alison Weir is an infamous Israel hater.  She started an organization called, “If Americans Knew,” which claims to provide critical information which – if only Americans knew it – would mean the end of poor little America being manipulated by the evil Israelis into supporting the “ZioNazi” Jewish State.

It is through this organization that the Democrats in Sioux Falls, South Dakota have invited her to break bread with them next week.

Weir seeks to help good Americans “act in accordance with morality, justice and the best interests of the nation, and of the world.”  But, her website explains, until Americans know Alison’s Truth, “they may do the precise opposite.”

The site then goes on to explain the evils Americans are driven to – via their extorted billions of dollars sent to Israel – and…that’s it.  The sole focus of Weir’s campaign is to spread the WeirTruth about Israel.  There is no other evil in this world, it is only the Jewish State that is responsible for destroying the soul of America.

The kind of information that Weir offers to her gullible audience is built on visions of Israeli ethnic cleansing and brutality towards Arabs.

Perhaps her most noxious published assertions is that the Israeli Defense Forces harvest body organs from Arab Palestinians. In her article, Weir relies primarily on a discredited article in the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet.

Weir took the Swedish article as a springboard and did several fantasy backflips and curlicues before landing:

testimony and circumstantial evidence indicating that Israelis may have been harvesting internal organs from Palestinian prisoners without consent for many years.

Worse yet, some of the information reported in the article suggests that in some instances Palestinians may have been captured with this macabre purpose in mind.

The families of the alleged victims in the Swedish paper disavowed the gruesome claims made in the article, and medical experts unanimously explained that the claims and the descriptions of the “organ theft” in the article were medically impossible. And, not to belabor the point, but Donald Boström, the author of the Aftonbladet article, admitted he never verified any of the claims.

Perhaps it should be unnecessary to provide more reasons why people should question any legitimate political party breaking bread  with someone like Weir, but there are so many more examples.

For one, Weir was a stalwart defender of Helen Thomas throughout the scandal of Thomas expressing, publicly, her rank anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism.  As with so many haters of Israel, the first and last shriek when called on offensive and false statements about Israel is to belittle the label “anti-Semite” and try to tar the critics with knee-jerk hysteria.

For another, Weir distorted and misrepresented the Mavi Marmara flotilla pirates’ May, 2010 attack on IDF soldiers in the infamous as one in which “Israeli commandos killed at least nine unarmed volunteers attempting to take humanitarian supplies to Gaza,” ignoring entirely the immediately preceding brutal assaults on the unarmed Israeli soldiers who boarded the ship which was violating international law.

FORMER POLITICIAN JAMES ABOUREZK, AND THE COUNCIL FOR THE NATIONAL INTEREST

So who is bringing Weir to the fair state of South Dakota?  It appears to be none other than former South Dakota senator and congressman James Abourezk.  This Lebanese Christian former politician is one of the co-founders of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee.  He is also the vice-chairman of the Council for the National Interest, another organization, like Weir’s  If Americans Knew, whose sole focus is to rupture the American-Israel relationship.  Both seek to accomplish that goal by insinuating that Israel (or, more accurately, the Israel Lobby) holds the U.S. in a financial stranglehold and it is in America’s “national interest” to cut free of Israel’s rapacious tentacles.

As one of CNI’s board members and authors, Abourezk has written extensively, and always unflatteringly, about the “Israel Lobby.” Perhaps the article in which he most brazenly reveals himself is one he wrote for CNI less than two years ago, “Palling Around with Terrorists.”

In that article, Abourezk brags about “hanging out with Khaled Mishaal,” the head of the terrorist Hamas organization, and alludes to his relationship with Yasir Arafat.

WARNING! Living in Israel is a Commandment of the Torah

Thursday, June 7th, 2012

No one refutes the Torah greatness of the Ramban. He established that the mitzvah of living in the Land of Israel is commandment of the Torah. An Orthodox Jew who doesn’t live in the Land of Israel is like an Orthodox Jew who doesn’t put on tefillin, or an Orthodox Jew who doesn’t keep Shabbat, or like a Frum Jew who doesn’t keep kosher or study Torah. True, if a person wants to fulfill a positive commandment of the Torah, but is prevented against his will, his inability to perform the mitzvah is not considered a transgression. For example, if a man travels to some faraway island where his tefillin are stolen, and there is no other set of tefillin around, then his not putting on tefillin is not held against him. Likewise, if a person wants to live in Israel but is unable to because of circumstances beyond his control, then he or she is freed from the obligation as long as that preventing circumstance lasts. But if he or she could make aliyah and doesn’t, then that person is transgressing a positive commandment of the Torah.

Which bring us to another must book which belongs in every home library: The Jewish Idea, the opus, two-volume work of Rabbi Meir Kahane, in which he clarifies the foundations of Torah.

In addition to his path-breaking struggle on behalf of Soviet Jewry, his unparalleled and fearless activism and total self-sacrifice on behalf of the Jewish Nation and Eretz Yisrael, and his bringing myriads of Jews to Torah Judaism and a new spirit of Jewish pride, Rabbi Kahane was a Torah scholar par excellence, whose banner was TRUTH, the whole TRUTH and nothing but the TRUTH.

For any reader who may be confused about the obligation to live in the Land of Israel, this sweeping halachic and Talmudic overview of Rabbi Kahane will surely put all uncertainty to rest. Because of its vital importance to each and every Jew, we will be presenting it in two installments.

From The Jewish Idea, Volume 2

LIVING IN ERETZ YISRAEL is a mitzvah de’oraita – a mitzvah commanded by the Torah itself. Not only that, but it carries equal weight to all the other mitzvot combined. In fact, it supersedes them in importance, because all of them are dependent upon it, since we are commanded to perform all the commandments there, in the Land of Israel.

The Torah says, “When the Lord your God cuts off the nations whom you are approaching to inherit, you shall expel them and live in their land” (Deut. 12:29). This verse explicitly states the two mitzvot tied to Eretz Yisrael. The first is expelling the non-Jews. The Hebrew corresponding to, “whom you are approaching to inherit,” is rendered by Onkelos as, “Whom you are approaching to banish.” The second is “You shall live in their land.” It is a mitzvah to live in their land, in Eretz Yisrael.

Regarding this verse our Sages said (Sifri, Re’ei, 80):

“You shall expel them”: R. Yehudah ben Beterah and R. Matia ben Cheresh and R. Chanina ben Achi and R. Yehoshua and R. Yonatan were leaving the Land, and they arrived at Paltum and they remembered Eretz Yisrael. Their eyes brimmed over and their tears poured forth, and they tore their garments and they recited this verse: “You shall inherit it [the Land] and dwell therein, and you shall carefully keep all the laws” (Deut. 11:31-32). They returned to their place and they said, “Living in Eretz Yisrael equals the combined weight of all the mitzvot in the Torah.”

Here our Sages state explicitly that living in Eretz Yisrael is not just a mitzvah but such a great mitzvah that it equals all the others in their combined value. Likewise, it emerges clearly from here that the mitzvah of living in Eretz Yisrael does not depend on the existence of the Temple. After all, the anecdote above occurred after the Destruction. All the same, the scholars of the Mishnah established that living in Eretz Yisrael is a mitzvah from the Torah, and so is the prohibition against leaving Eretz Yisrael.

Our Sages said further (Tosefta, Avodah Zarah, 5:2):

“A person should live in Eretz Yisrael, even in a city whose majority is idolaters, and not outside the Land, even in a city that is entirely Jewish. This teaches that living in Eretz Yisrael is of equal weight to all the mitzvot of the Torah combined. If someone is buried in Eretz Yisrael, it is as though he is buried under the altar. One should not leave Eretz Yisrael unless the cost of wheat rises to two se’ah for a sela. Rabbi Shimon said, “This refers to where one lacks the wherewithal to buy it, but if he has the wherewithal, then even if it is one se’ah for a sela, he should not leave.”

The Key to Greatness

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

Most people never achieve their full potential, either, because they don’t really know themselves, and don’t know where their potential lies, or because they have some barrier in their way.

Meir Kahane knew himself. Even when he was a teenager, he knew that he wanted to help the Jewish People as much as he could. He recognized that Jewish identity and the true practice of Torah had been distorted by the exile and by life in foreign non-Jewish lands. Stemming from this, he recognized the great dangers of assimilation and yearned with a towering passion to cry out and warn his beloved brothers and sisters. He knew what he wanted. He understood his potential. But there was a barrier in his way. He stuttered. That’s right – Rabbi Meir Kahane, perhaps the most dynamic Jewish orator of our time, a speaker capable of inflaming hearts and inspiring the masses, a par-excellence TV debater who chopped the glib intellectual banter of opponents into tiny insignificant scraps, he had a bothersome stutter in his youth, which had to be mastered in order to fulfill his dream of reaching out to the Jewish People.

This is how he did it, as revealed in the gripping biography, Rabbi Meir Kahane – His Life and Thought, written by his wife.

He overcame his barrier. Through his example, we can learn to overcome ours.

Rabbi Meir Kahane – His Life and Thought

From Chapter Three

During his high school years, Meir began to stutter, or at least to become conscious of it. A classmate said he did not stutter when they were together in fourth grade; if he did she would have been aware of it, because her own brother stuttered.

When Meir was 20 and attending the Mirrer Yeshiva rabbinical seminary during the day and Brooklyn College at night, he decided to do something about his stuttering. In July 1952 he enrolled in the Martin Hall Institute for Speech Disorders in Bristol, Rhode Island. In a summary written for a therapist at Martin Hall, Meir related:

“When I was 9 years old my parents gave me a book for my birthday, titled, ‘So to Speak: A Practical Training Course for Developing a Beautiful Speaking Voice.” I did not know then why they gave me the book. In grade school I had no trouble. I recited in class and acted in plays. I recall going to the office, speaking to the principal, Rabbi Braverman, about skipping a grade, and to Mr. Hirsch about being the valedictorian. I was not afraid then.

“In high school I had no trouble, as far as I remember, during the first and second terms [the first year] – except that I would rather read [aloud] than speak in classes. I had trouble speaking in Rabbi Feivelson’s class, and I think he expressed surprise, but I had no trouble speaking to kids or teachers informally. Once in class, Farber poked me to say I stuttered in reading … even though I was better in reading than in talking…. The teacher definitely expressed surprise. I also had trouble in French class. (I think I was AFRAID.) I also had trouble in English at Lincoln giving reports.

“I spoke up in class, especially English … recited, etc. I approached Rabbi Zuroff about a Begin meeting. I was definitely much better conversationally than now, and had no trouble speaking to girls. My friend Victor confirms this.”

One of the most difficult things for a stutterer is making phone calls. Meir names the friends he phoned easily and those he was afraid to call. He has a fuzzy memory of being nervous about making calls for his father. He recalled a Betar meeting where he could not talk to two girls. He was afraid to speak up at the Betar convention, but he overcame his fear, and a friend assured him that he had not stuttered. In college, Meir’s fear of stuttering became worse. He wrote:

“I did do some speaking in class … though in History, I was afraid but wasn’t BODILY afraid…. I was afraid to give a report in economic geography, and walked out of the Bible Hebrew class. I was deathly afraid of speech in my last term. In fact, I dropped a previous speech class when the teacher said I stuttered. I had bad trouble asking for transcripts. I showed a paper to the guidance counselor [instead of speaking]. I stammered controllably at interviews. I had trouble answering when attendance was taken. I was afraid to talk up in sociology…. When I was 19, I couldn’t ask for a stapler at Macy’s.”

Some stutterers discover that they cease stuttering when they are distracted from their usual speech patterns. Almost any novel stimulus, such as tapping a finger, swinging the arms, or stamping a foot, can serve as a distraction (until the novelty wears off). Meir’s trick was to blink, as he did on various occasions in later years.

A Jewish Hero Grows Up in Brooklyn

Tuesday, June 5th, 2012

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…. ”

Knesset Speaker Cancels Knesset Delegation to US Over Visa Denial to Nationalist MK

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin announced that he has canceled a Knesset delegation’s trip to the US after MK Michael Ben-Ari (National Union) was denied a US visa due to his past membership in Meir Kahane’s political party Kach.

MKs Tzipi Hotovely (Likud), Einat Wilf (Independence),  and Zehava Gal-On (Meretz) were scheduled to attend a women’s empowerment conference in Washington in late March. Although the visa denial was unrelated to the visit, Rivlin said he canceled it because the visa denial was “an affront to the entire Knesset.”

The State Department rejected Ben-Ari’s visa application two weeks ago because it considers Kach a terrorist organization. The party was banned from the Knesset in 1988.

In a letter to US ambassador to Israel, Daniel Shapiro, Rivlin blasted the rejection, saying that ”[t]he United States’ allegation that a member of Knesset is a terrorist in unacceptable and is an affront to the entire Knesset.”

Ben-Ari, in a statement released by his assistant Itamar Ben-Gvir, thanked Rivlin for “standing strong against disrespect of the Knesset.”

Kahane, the controversial Rabbi and former MK, was assassinated in New York 20 years ago.

The US Embassy in Tel Aviv had no immediate comment.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/knesset-speaker-cancels-knesset-delegation-to-us-over-visa-denial-to-nationalist-mk/2012/03/14/

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