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Posts Tagged ‘Rabbi Meir Kahane’

Feiglin: When I am Prime Minister, Livni Will Be in Opposition

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

Newly-elected Moshe Feiglin threw in a line about being a future Prime Minister at a gala Queens dinner honoring him Monday night for being elected as an Israeli Knesset Member of the Likud party..

Feiglin spoke at the banquet in the Fresh Meadows Chateau Steakhouse, which was packed with supporters, including  several Reform Jews, according to the International Business Times.

The new Knesset Member finally has achieved his aim after successful attempts by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to keep him out of the legislature, but now he will have to stomach some Likud policies that he abhors

A prime example  is Netanyahu’s recent appointment of center-left Tzipi Livni as Justice Minister and responsible for the “peace process.”

Looking beyond the horizon, Feiglin said, “When I am Prime Minister, God willing, Tzipi Livni will not be in my government.”

The Israeli consensus would give Feiglin a zero chance of becoming Prime Minister, but it also dismissed him years as a possible Knesset Member.

The Hill website’s Bernie Quigley wrote in January that Feiglin would “find kinship” with Republican Senator Rand Paul.

“Ron Paul, who opposed the Israeli lobby’s efforts and the neocon adventures in wonderland, was unfairly caricatured as an anti-Semite in his opposition to the invasion of Iraq,” Quigley wrote. “And Rand Paul would find kinship with Moshe Feiglin, the liberty candidate for the Knesset who opposed American influence in Israel since 2001. Feiglin’s rise to the Knesset this month has already changed the culture and historical trajectory of Israel….These two, Rand Paul and Moshe Feiglin, rise in the world together and possibly fate intends for them to do so.”

Feiglin made it clear to his supporters at Monday night’s banquet, sponsored by his Jewish leadership faction, that his being in the Likud government  – assuming it will be formed – does not mean he is adopting its policies.

Asked for a response to the Palestinian Authority’s gaining recognition in the UN as a non-member observer, he  said, “There are no Palestinians; it’s all a ruse — there is no Palestinian history or Palestinian anything in Israel.”

He added, “It is meaningless, what they decided. I’ve heard this same decision made in the last 20 years at least three, four times.

The Jewish Voice for Peace, not surprisingly, condemned Feiglin’s appearance. The left-wing group labeled Feiglin and his associate David Sackett as racists who praise Rabbi Meir Kahane, the Brooklyn-born rabbi who once served in the Knesset and was murdered in New York.

The Palestine News Network reported that the Jewish Voice for Peace deputy director Cecilie Surasky said, “It’s unfortunate that a dangerous extremist like Feiglin, who has been banned from entering the UK, is being welcomed to speak in New York by members of the Jewish community.

Next Year in Jerusalem — Maybe

Friday, July 27th, 2012

Rabbi Meir Kahane published this in The Jewish Press 40 years ago. Some things just don’t seem to change:

The synagogue is 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’Shanah 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 of 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 God will allow him to, once again, kiss the soil of the homeland — courtesy of a three-week American Jewish Congress guided tour, and then back home again to the painful fleshpots.

A religion which develops a split personality is a religion in danger. A faith whose adherents begin to merely pay lip service to its tenets is in the first stages of atrophy. When individuals create a dichotomy between what they believe and what they practice, it calls for serious re-evaluation.

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 All Mighty to “speedily bring us from the four corners of the earth and smash the yoke of the 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 United 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 to 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 All Mighty to restore us to Zion when that restoration is ours at the 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?

Beyond Words – Rabbi Meir Kahane at His Very Best

Sunday, June 3rd, 2012

One of Rabbi Kahane’s most powerful essays, “What Makes Bernie Run?” was published in The Jewish Press in 1976. Unfortunately, its scathing message is as true today as it was back then, almost 35 years ago.

We have written about programs like Birthright in the past. Sure it’s a great thing to send young Jews to Israel for an inspirational visit. If even one Jew ends up marrying a Jewish mate because of it, and coming on aliyah, then all of the millions of dollars are worth it. But, after these kids return to their college campuses and their enticing shiksa classmates, their experience in Israel will all too often turn into a fading memory with snapshots they can show to the shiksas they marry. If he is still charged up from his visit, maybe Bernie will insist that Brigette undergo some worthless conversion. Maybe he’ll get her to light Sabbath candles and tell their kids that they’re Jews. And when they grow up, maybe Bernie’s gentile’s children will pass themselves off as the real thing and get some poor Jewish sucker to marry them. What a mess it will be! There will even be “Jewish” weddings where both the bride and groom are gentiles. Soon in America, you won’t be able to know if the person you are marrying is really a Jew, or if he or she innocently believes they’re Jewish because that’s what their parents told them, and the rabbis and temples and Jewish establishment all went along with the charade. And now that the Attorney General in Israel has cleared the way to pay reform “rabbis,” thus recognizing their services to their communities, this terrible danger may spread to the Holy Land where intermarriage has been less than one percent up till now.

Rabbi Kahane envisioned it all. Here is his article. It’s long, but it’s an incredible, dynamite piece of writing that tells the truth in the brilliant, straight-to-the-jugular way which characterizes the Rabbi’s writings. He published 22 books and authored well over 1,000 articles before being assassinated in 1990. With the brave backing of The Jewish Press, he wrote scores of essays for the newspaper using a variety of pen names. But until last year, the overwhelming majority of his articles were only available in the archives of The Jewish Press building. Now, after a heroic ten-year effort by David Fine, a seven-volume set containing many of these articles has been published. Called Beyond Words: Selected Writings, 1960-1990, the collection spans 3,500 pages with most of the best articles that Rabbi Kahane ever wrote.

Beyond Words also includes several indexes in Volume 7 that enable the reader to find articles by subject, by title, and even by the references in the article to specific quotations from the Torah and the Talmud. To order in Israel, call 02-582-3540.

WHAT MAKES BERNIE RUN?

Rabbi Meir Kahane

(Federal prison, Manhattan, Lag Ba’Omer, April 29, 1975)

Once there was a television program, which centered about the theme of intermarriage. The heroes of the piece were named Bernie and Brigitte. The American Jewish Establishment put great pressure on the particular network that televised the series and the program was ultimately dropped. Bernie and Brigitte were no longer. They had been canceled…

How relatively simple it was to cancel Bernie and Brigitte on television and how much more difficult to struggle against the curse and cancer of intermarriage and assimilation that exists in real American Jewish life. How simple to picket a television series to death and how hard to stamp out the disease that afflicts us daily in the real-life existence that is the lot of American Jewry. lf we no longer find Bernie and Brigitte strolling hand in hand across our television screens we need only look at our campuses, at our streets at our neighborhoods, Bernie is alive and well.

What makes Bernie run? What makes Bernie run after Brigitte? What makes Bernie run away from Judaism and cut the chain of generations? What makes Bernie run away from the Judaism that his great-grandfather clutched at the risk of loss of happiness material wealth and so often very life? What makes Bernie run? This is the question that drives the American Jewish Establishment to frantically set up committees, study groups, surveys and commissions. This is the question that drives them to study the problem again and again and then again. This is the question to which they allocate so much time and so much communal money. This is the question that is at the top of their puzzled order of priorities, over which they scratch their collective well-groomed heads: What makes Bernie run?

It’s My Opinion: Asleep On The Watch

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

The alarm of a South Beach bank recently went off in the early morning hours. Police arriving at the scene were greeted by an unusual sight. The alleged lookout man was in the parking lot of the bank building. He had fallen asleep at the wheel of his car.

 

          Two men were in the bank. The trio was arrested. Obviously, the watchman had failed in his task.

 

          The idea of a watchman is an important concept in Judaism. The prophet Ezekiel spoke of appointing a tzofeh (watchman) who would blow a shofar and warn the people “when he would see the sword come upon the land.” Ezekiel’s efforts, however, were met with disdain. Even 2,500 years ago, the House of Israel did “not wish to hear.” Unfortunately, this precedent seems to be a reoccurring theme. The Jewish people really don’t want to hear bad news. Starting in ancient days and going to present times, this has been our pattern.

 

The Tanach is beset with stories of how the Jews of early days ignored those who tried to warn them. In modern times, Ze’ev Jabotinsky was spat on and Rabbi Meir Kahane vilified. The idea of “killing the messenger” (or his message) apparently never diminished as a way to deal with unpleasantness.

 

Today the Jewish people are experiencing extremely precarious times, not only in Israel, but throughout the entire world. People are frightened and frustrated. Anti-Semitism is rampant. Angry individuals often seek a scapegoat. Historically, that scapegoat has repeatedly been the Jews.

 

The Jewish world seems strangely silent. Where is the Jewish leadership? The job of the tzofeh stays in place, the people must be warned of danger. The obligation stands. The shofar must be sounded. We dare not be asleep on the watch.

Title: Dragged Out of Gush Katif: The Tale of an American Who Flew To Israel

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

Title: Dragged Out of Gush Katif: The Tale of an American Who Flew To Israel

Author: Steven Baum

Publisher: CreateSpace

 

  

Dragged Out of Gush Katif  by Steven Baum is a tell-it-all book that goes behind the scenes of the tragic and unforgettable 2005 Disengagement from Gaza. Baum gives the reader a first-hand account of the events leading up to and following the pullout from Gaza, and the terrible suffering it has caused so many Jews.

 

In his controversial and sometimes overly fanatic book – even by Rabbi Meir Kahane’s standards – Baum gives the reader an understanding of why the efforts at stopping the Disengagement failed and how Israelis really did have the possibility to stop the tragic incident. He also draws a vivid picture of Israel’s looming future if the Israeli government is not forcefully stopped from its obsession with giving away land to the Palestinians. Baum claims that Israel is failing the Jewish people in the hope that the Palestinians will embrace them, and in anticipation that the world will lessen its demands of the Jewish state. In his unique and unconventional analysis, Baum emphasizes the faultiness of this Israeli mindset and clearly describes to his readers the underpinnings of modern Israeli political maneuvers.

 

            Surely, many readers will strongly disagree with some of the opinions expressed in the book, including the notion that Chabad shluchim should completely disassociate themselves from members of the IDF who participated in the disengagement. I, among others, believe that every Jew – no matter what he or she has done – should be given a chance and be assisted in reconnecting with his or her Jewish heritage. Chabad emissaries working with the IDF try to give this opportunity to all those they encounter, regardless of their background or history. Stopping this type of outreach would be an injustice to Jews and Judaism, and is completely unrelated to the Disengagement or Israeli politics.

 

            Nevertheless, I still found Baum’s book to be quite an intriguing and enjoyable read. It greatly broadens one’s perspective of the unforgettable events of 2005 and gives one a deeper understanding of what actually happened during the Disengagement. In addition, the writer’s passion for the Jewish homeland is contagious. Reading this book and the opinions expressed therein can be quite captivating even for the ordinary Jew, regardless of his or her perspective of the Israeli political system.

 

The events that took place in Gaza at this historic time have rarely been recorded in such great detail as they are in Dragged Out of Gush Katif. Despite its somewhat zealous and controversial message, the book is fascinating in its detail and infectious in its passion for the land of Israel, thus making it a great read for anyone who cares about this painful chapter in Israel’s history.

 

“Dragged Out of Gush Katif” is available for purchase on Amazon.com.

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.

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.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/title-rabbi-meir-kahane-his-life-and-thought-volume-one-1932-1975-hebrew-edition-2/2010/08/19/

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