Thursday, November 25, 2010

Way Of the Mount - 1968

MEIR KAHANE WRITINGS  5731 – 1971-72


July 22, 1968

We are told that when the L-rd desired to give the Torah to the Jewish people, instead of choosing some lofty and majestic mountain, He selected Sinai, a small, humble little mount barely more than a hill.  His purpose in the symbolic act was to show that man must turn his back on overbearing pride, must reject a false ego.

It is related in the name of the Gerer Rebbe: G-d’s intentions are indeed laudable.  Yet, if He intended to show that man must not be a mountain and must turn down false pride, why was the Torah not given in a valley?

The answer is clear, the answer is bold.  It is not enough to reject overbearing pride.  Too much humbleness is, itself, wrong.  Man should, man must possess some pride in his being – otherwise he is not a man.

Last week a Yeshiva was attacked by vandals.  Its windows were smashed. Its body was besmeared with rotting vegetables, its pride was humbled.

There are a great many facets to this story.  One could write about the fact that thirty hoodlums openly attacked a Jewish institution in New York.  One could bemoan the decline of the juvenile morality in our times.  It is not of this, however, that I wish to write.

 I wish to write about pride – Jewish pride, or the lack of it.  The story is a familiar one, repeated each time that such vandalism occurs.  The police were called, the police arrived.  The police declared it to be a children’s prank, the police promised to keep an eye on the institution.  The police departed.  Some weeks later the process is repeated.

I never cease to be amazed that we continue to be valleys.  I never cease wondering at our choosing the way of the meek.  One would imagine that after all the police help we have failed to receive, we would have remembered the lesson of this mountain.

These are sad times when we must still – just for the moment – the voice of Jacob, and for the sake of Jewish honor, of Jewish protection, don the hand of Esau.

Vandals attack a Yeshiva – let that Yeshiva attack the vandals.  Should a gang bloody a Jew, let a Jewish group go looking for the gang.  This is the way of pride – not evil pride, but the pride of nation, of kinship – the pride of mountain.

There are those who will protest: This is not the Jewish way.  And yet since when has it been a Mitzvah to be punished and beaten?  Since when is it a Kiddush Hashem (Sanctification of G-d) to be spat upon and smeared with vegetables?  It is not a Kiddush Hashem, it is quite the opposite.  It is a disgrace to the pride of our people, our G-d.  More important – there is a rule in the hoodlum jungle: The more the victim backs away, the more the hoodlum moves forward. 

The same holds true for all other areas of Jewish persecution.  Jewish teachers are being harassed and forced from jobs; Jewish merchants are robbed, looted and driven from their business establishments.

Is the way out to bow to extremism and Nazi tactics?  Can one buy his freedom and life from the psychotics and extremists?  I think not!

Up from the valley and up to the Mount, Jewish rights are not cheap and Jewish defense is not wrong.  This is the lesson of the Mount.
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