Saturday, February 26, 2011

Dvar Torah: Bezalel 1978

Beyond Words
Selected Writings of Rabbi Meir Kahane,
Volume 3   1977-1981

Dvar Torah: Bezalel

“Behold, I have called by name (b’shem) Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur…” (Exodus 31:2)

The All Mighty chooses Bezalel to be the architect and the builder of the first temple of G-d, the Sanctuary in the desert.  In a sense, the Sanctuary had a holiness that neither of the two Temples in Jerusalem had.  For while in the case of the latter two, the vessels were captured by the destroyers  (and in the case of the second one, the vessels were not even there to begin with), the vessels of the Sanctuary were not allowed by the All Mighty to fall into the hands of the gentiles.  And so, we ask:  Why was it Bezalel who was especially chosen for the great honor of building this holy sanctuary? 

Secondly, what does the phrase “Behold I have called by name” (b’shem) mean?

Thirdly, why does the Torah bother to give the name of both the father and the grandfather of Bezalel?  Rarely do we find the name of a grandfather given EVERY time that someone is mentioned.  Why bother to mention Hur’s name?

It appears to me that the answer to these questions holds deep truths.  To begin with, let us see who Hur was.  We first find him in the chapter dealing with the famous battle of Amalek (Exodus 17).  It is he and Aaron who holds the hands of Moses as he holds them high – the hands that symbolize the faith and trust in  G-d.  And so, Hur becomes associated with the man of faith.  But there is more, for if that is all, why is not one of Aaron’s descendants chosen to build the Sanctuary?  The answer is that Hur is a man of faith – and more.  He is one who proves it by reaching its zenith – Kiddush Hashem.

As the Jews throw off the yoke of the All Mighty and make for themselves a golden calf, it is one man who stands up to protest.  Aaron attempts to gain time by portraying himself a one who goes along with the people in the hope that as he delays, Moses will return.  He is a man who has faith and will never, himself, worship anyone but the All Mighty, but he does not stand up to protest!  One man does that: Hur.  Our Rabbis tell us that it is Hur who rises up to shout that this is wrong, and he is killed by the Jews (Vayikra Rabbah 10:3)  Hur reaches the zenith of faith – Kiddush Hashem.  It is easy enough to say that one believes and has faith.  The ultimate proof of it is that one is prepared to endanger himself for Torah and perhaps even lose his life.  That is the essence of faith.  That is Hur, the grandfather of Bezalel.

And who was his father?  The Rabbis tell us that it was Caleb, the very same Caleb who, along with Joshua, was one of the two dissenting spies.   While the other ten, in fear and lack of faith, spoke of the dangers in Canaan and the impossibility of defeating the enemies there, it is Caleb and Joshua who stand up and say:  No, we can defeat the enemy, no matter how strong.  Let us have faith in the All Mighty.

Again, two men of faith, but again, one of them takes that faith to its ultimate test.  For the Torah singes out Caleb:  For My servant Caleb, because he had another spirit within him and has filled himself with faith after Me…” [“va’yemale acharai”] (Numbers 14:24).  Why is Caleb singled out over Joshua?  Because while both were men of faith, it was Caleb who rose to publicly protest the majority opinion: “And Caleb stilled the people … and said: Let us go up …” (ibid., 13:30).  It was Caleb who stood up before the raging mob and who endangered himself, who was prepared to give up his life, if necessary, for faith in G-d.  H reached the peak of that faith.

And that is why Bezalel, grandson and great-grandson of the men who reached the peak of faith, is chosen to build the Holy Sanctuary.  Because of the merit of his ancestors.  In return for Caleb’s being filled with another spirit, G-d says, concerning Bezalel:  And I shall fill him with the spirit of G-d”  (Exodus 31:3).  In return for the fact that Bezalel’s ancestors called G-d by name, sanctified His name, the All Mighty says: “Behold, I have called Bezalel by name.”  Indeed, in the manner that a man measures things, thus is he himself measured.

It is Kiddush Hashem, the willingness to give of oneself in order to sanctify and magnify the glory of the All Mighty, that is the touchstone of Judaism.  Our failure to understand that, our failure to take risks and to “endanger” ourselves, is the clearest proof of the shallowness of our so-called faith.  We shall merit building the new sanctuary on that day when we become the descendants of a Bezalel, a Hur and a Caleb.
Written on April 1978

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Monday, February 21, 2011

Jonathan Pollard -1987

Beyond Words
Selected Writings of Rabbi Meir Kahane,
Volume 5 – 1985-1988

“Beyond Words” is a newly-published seven volume collection of Rabbi Meir Kahane’s writings that originally appeared in The Jewish Press, other serial publications, and his privately-published works.
“Beyond Words” also includes a number of extra features:
Chronology of Rabbi Kahane's life.
Index of articles by subject, title, and Torah sources.
If you are interested in buying this new collection of Rabbi Meir Kahane's writings, write to Levi Chazan at:


As the storm over Jonathan Pollard swirls about nervous Israeli and American Jewish heads and both look warily over their shoulders, the Israelis watching for Weinbergers and the American Jews for less famous, though far more numerous, hostile types, the time has come for normal Jews to spread a normal view of the affair.

The time has come to put an end both that acute manifestation of Jewish “AIDS” – guilt – and the despicable calling for Pollard’s head by American Jewish leaders, whose fear of anti-Semitism makes them hope to deflect Jew-hatred by being more patriotic than the patriots, more American than all the rest.  Let us get certain things clear.

1.     I am convinced that high military and political circles in Israel knew of the affair and I wish that the Israeli government would stop treating both the Jews and Americans as if they were imbeciles.  No such matters would ever by handled by lower echelon levels without consultation with top Israeli officials.  Certainly, a disciplined military man like Aviem Sella would never have decided to run a “rogue” conspiracy.  There is no one who believes the absurd protestation of the Israeli government, any more than Americans believe the initial nonsense spouted by the President and Administration officials in Washington over the Iranian affair.

2.     Having said that, and calling on the Israelis to be frank and open, the more important point is that there is nothing for the Israelis to feel guilty about except an enormous, horrendous stupidity.  All the guilt and hand-wringing and investigation and charges and counter-charges are absolute madness.  All countries spy, and all countries spy against any country from which they feel it would be in their interest to get information.  There have been a number of instances in which U.S. diplomatic personnel have been caught spying in Israel and the pity is that Israel, through fear of offending America (sic) – fear of the shtetel Baron – simply closed the book on the incident, quietly.  Had Israel made the proper fuss and noise, the Pollard affair would have assumed a very different character.

And so, while Israel’s action falls not one whit from those of other countries, what is different about the affair is the incredible stupidity of the Israeli decision to spy on a country that is, at the moment, its closest interest.  (I make haste to point out the use of the word “interest” because in the real world of realpolitik there are neither real “allies” nor “friends.”)  What in the world could Israel have gotten through Pollard that was worth jeopardizing the present relationship between her and the U.S.?  If there would be a tribunal of judgment for Israel, the Jewish state would be guilty, not of all the wild charges made by less-than-friendly American types, but of the most basic and most amazing form of crude stupidity.

But that is a form of political disease that the Americans, certainly at this particular stage of world affairs, would be well-advised not to raise.  People who live in stupid glass houses of their own should certainly not throw rocks of the same inane, gross weight.

3.     The overwhelming difference between Pollard and the whole host of recent spy revelations in the United States lies in the basic and fundamentally important fact that, while all the others spied for nations essentially hostile to America – states that are essentially enemies of the United States -  Pollard spied for a country that is close to America, shares basically the same interests and that would never harm the U.S. in any substantial manner.  In a word, the other spies that have been apprehended over the years were spying for the enemy and against the U.S..  Jonathan Pollard would never have dreamed of spying against America; his sole purpose was to aid Israel, a country he saw and sees as her ally.

4.     Because of that, the life sentence and the orgy of vicious attacks on Pollard are outrageous.  Of course, Pollard should have been given a jail sentence, and a harsh one.  He is an American citizen and revealed his country’s secrets to Israel.  That is a crime in America and one that should be punished.   But life imprisonment?  For a man who never gave secrets to an enemy state?  Who never intended to harm America?  Whose primary motive was concern for Israel’s security?  Should those things not have been taken into consideration?  And had they been, would Pollard have ever received the horrendous sentence that he did?  Of course not.

5.     And that leads, inevitably, to the next point.  The entire Pollard affair is pregnant with hostility to Israel and with anti-Semitism.  Then news media, comprising so many cultural anti-Semites of the Fifth Estate (whose aberration stems from a deep, seething jealousy of the number of Jews who are in the journalistic and literary world), saw in the Pollard affair – as in the Lebanon war – an opportunity to safely give vent to their hatred.  There was not even a modicum of the same venom against those like the Walker family and others who spied for the Soviet Union and China.  The reason is all too obvious.

The leader in this venomous surge of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic bile is the Secretary of Defense, Casper Weinberger, who adds yet another page to his “book” on Israel.  The man never loses an opportunity to attack the Jewish state.  The most anti-Communist of the Reagan hawks, he has never had a bad world to say about Chile, the Contras, South Africa or other such paragons of virtue, but he is obsessed with Israel.  His outrageous comment that Pollard should be hanged and that too strong an Israel is bad for the United States can only be commended to all students of abnormal psychology.  A fascinating doctoral study could be made on the subject of apostate Jews and the self-hate and guilt that lead them to being even greater anti-Semites than the authentic gentile kind.

6.     Aviem Sella was given the job, ordered to work with Pollard.  He is a soldier and a good one, who carried out the orders of his government.  There is no conceivable way that his career should be ruined and he made scapegoat for the crudity and stupidity of the Israeli government.  It is up to the Israeli government to admit to its mistake, to its stupidity; to regret that the action was ever taken and to regret that it was discovered.  And then?

And then, promote Sella, who is a good and brilliant soldier.  America will be upset?  Perhaps.  But by the same token, Sella was never as dangerous to America as Weinberger is to Israel, and I have yet to hear Israel express its dismay at Weinberger’s continued promotion.

7.     And, finally, Jonathan Pollard spied for Israel and revealed American secrets.  For that he should be punished, fairly and without malice.  But he acted for Israel and on its behalf out of support for the Jewish state.  For that, Israel owes him something.  That something is called loyalty.  A state does not throw over and turn its back on someone who sought to help it and who, indeed, was guided and directed by it.  Israel should have helped Pollard before this and it should not throw him to the sharks now, no matter how upset this may make American non-Jews OR JEWS of the Establishment persuasion.  I happen to think that while Pollard behaved as a bad American – and for this he should be punished fairly – he acted out of motivations of a good Jew, no matter how misguided he was.

Indeed, I think he is a much better Jew than the impossible executive director of the impossible organization known as the American Jewish Congress.  That gentleman, by the name of Henry Siegman, exploded in wild attacks on American Jews who seek to explain Pollard’s side of the affair and thus, mitigate the circumstances.  Siegman (who incidentally, is a yarmulke wearer, Heaven help us) said, concerning this, that he was “disturbed.”  I could not have put it better.
Written – March 20, 1987

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Sunday, February 13, 2011

Israel Will Survive Without U.S. Aid" - 1987

Beyond Words
Selected Writings of Rabbi Meir Kahane,
Volume 5 – 1985-1988

“Beyond Words” is a newly published 7- volume collection of Rabbi Meir Kahane’s writings in The Jewish Press, in other serial publications, and in his privately-published works. 
“Beyond Words” was compiled by David Fein, with introductions by Rabbi Baruch Kahane and Herbert B. Sunshine.
If interested in buying Rabbi Meir Kahane writings in this 7-volume collection write to Levi Chazan at: 

Israel Will Survive Without U.S. Aid

The long article by Robert W. Gibson.  “Israel: An Economic Ward of the U.S.” (Los Angeles times, July 24), highlights the main thrust of the anti-Israel elements in the United States who, quite correctly, understand that the most direct and easiest way to fuel anti-Israel feeling is to dramatize the amount of economic aid the Jewish state receives from Washington.  Not only does this tactic play on the economic resentment of Americans in financial straits but it incites, too, the very strong, though latent, feeling within many, many Americans that “Israel and the Jews” run the policies of the United States.  And so it is time, long overdue in fact, to lay down a clear political axiom:  If the citizens the of the United States do not feel that their interests are being served by Israel, then their obligation is to stop this economic aid.   If, on the other hand, they believe that Israel serves a vital interest of the U.S. they should then put an end to their whining and deal with Israel as one would an equal partner who gives as much as he gets.

Of course, the nonsense about helping Israel because it is “the only democracy in the Middle East” has to be stopped.  Nations do not help other states because they are “democracies” or “progressive” states, or “good.”  Nations have self-interests that lead them to ally themselves with other states.  Those self-interests, and not the “morality” of the state, are what determine foreign policy decisions.  That is why “socialist” China sells weapons to Khomeinlist Iran and why the Soviet Union, not to mention various African states, do business with South Africa.  That is why the U.S. had military and/or economic ties with such “democracies” as Franco’s Spain, the colonels of Greece and a whole host of other “worthies.”  And that is the reason, the only reason, why the United States should have an alliance with Israel – and then pay for what it is getting.

The most urgent U.S. interest in the Middle East is a strong and reliable anti-Soviet ally.  It has a wide range of choices.  If not Israel, it can always choose from such reliable powers as Oman, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait, Jordan, or Lebanon …

It is Israel alone that gives the United States a guaranteed and safe base whenever needed.  It is the Haifa naval harbor that is open to the U.S. Sixth Fleet regularly.  It is in the Negev that the U.S. stores tons of military equipment for use when needed.  It is Israel that provides the Voice of America an area in which to build new, powerful transmitters.  It is Israel that works hand in hand with the U.S. to, actively, crush terrorism.  It is Israel that flies U.S. F-16 planes, in real combat, to tell the Americans what defects exist.  It is Israel that puts Soviet missiles given to the Syrians out of commission and then explains to Washington how it was done.  It is Israel that captures a Soviet T-72 tank and shows it to the CIA for the first time.  It is Israel whose Jericho missiles makes Moscow nervous enough to protest a weapon that can reach its territory.  It is Israel that has the brains, the technology, the ability to create; things that no nation in the region has.  And it is Israel that has the innate common hostility to the Soviets and other anti-Western totalitarian states, shared by America.

If all that is not worth the money - then by all means stop it.  Indeed, the Administration has an obligation to stop “wasting” American money.  But if all that adds up to a priceless asset, then let the weepers and wailers shut up and pay for what they are getting and count themselves fortunate.

And know that the State of Israel’s survival is in no way dependent on the United States or any other human agency.  The incredible saga of the Jewish return to the Holy Land is, of course, preceded by the miraculous survival of that Jewish people through 1,900 years of persecution, wanderings and Holocaust.  How?  Why, because they are, indeed, the Chosen People.  They are, indeed, capable of suffering terribly but never being destroyed.  They are, indeed, the people of G-d who, just as Divinely promised, have come home, never again to be exiled.  That is the immutable fact of history, whether one cares to believe or not.  Not by American bread does the Jewish state live but by the word of G-d.  Let that be clear. 

And a final world.  The Kach Movement is committed to putting an end to U.S. economic aid.  Not only does it not help us, it perpetuates the economic basket case that Israel is today – a state that, like some beggar, lives off Washington and German reparations and the United Jewish Appeals or Israel Bonds.  Normal countries do not survive on charity, which only petrifies economic initiative and intensifies possible political pressure on the part of the donor nation.  And Israel, which is a pathetic victim of its own bureaucratic and socialist system that strangles free enterprise and initiative, receives U.S. economic aid as some drug addict needing his annual “fix.”  That “fix” does not aid Israel, it keeps it from taking the difficult, painful steps needed to achieve economic independence.  Let the aid be gradually stopped and let the bureaucrats be thrown out and let free enterprise and economic initiative rule.  Then, Israel will grow and thrive – without U.S.  or any other human assistance.  Then Israel will be able to respond to intolerable American pressure and interference in internal affairs with a clear and respectable:  No.  Israel and the U.S. must be partners.  Equal partners.  If there are Americans who do not want this – fine.  Stop giving; but then accept the consequences of not receiving.

The awesome fly in this Jewish ointment is, of course, that the people in the world who will most strenuously object to all the above will be Jews.  The People of the Book, who cast it aside for Philip Roth and other moral-cultural-secular pornography, is also the people of ultimate faith that cast that away to suckle at the breasts of the nations.  The Jew of our times simply does not believe in G-d, despite all the piously fraudulent protestations.  Too lacking in courage to admit his lack of belief and preferring to create a G-d that is safe and in his own image, the Jew will build his temples and hire (at munificent costs) his priests and priestesses (a.k.a. rabbis), paying expensive lip service to Divinity.  But that Divinity is most limited by the new Creator-Man.  He has His place, but He had better well know it. 

The Jew absolutely rejects the idea of a G-d who is stronger than Caspar Weinberger or Ronald Reagan.  He may pray to G-d, but he quakes before Washington.  Israel can certainly survive in his pragmatic little mind without the G-d of Israel, but it can never last a week without the American savior.  That is the result of the centuries of Jewish religious corruption, the decadence of Western Hellenization and secularism.  We have evolved from a holy nation that once worshipped at the footstool of G-d to one that prays at the armpit of the American president.

And the Orthodox Jew is not a whit better.  The Orthodox Jew, he who evolved from the religious one.  From a Jew who once fearlessly proclaimed, “these may come with horses and these with chariots, but we shall call in the name of the L-rd” (Psalms 20:8), we have emerged a people who, following the morning prayer when we mouth that very verse, remove the tallit and teflin, gulp down a bit of schnapps, and speaking “politics,” venture: “Of course we believe in G-d, but be practical.  If Israel does not compromise, Reagan will not give us horses and chariots.”

We pray and hear nothing of what we say.  We swiftly mumble and slur not only the words, but, far worse, the very thoughts.  We are not a religious people, and two yarmulkas and all the kaftans in the world can never cover the nakedness of the Jew who has lost his real faith in the G-d of Israel – who simply does not believe that the All Mighty is stronger than Ronald Reagan.
Written, October 2, 1987

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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

"Beyond Words"
Selected Writings of Rabbi Meir Kahane,
Volume 5 – 1985-1988

“Beyond Words” is a newly published 7- volume collection of Rabbi Meir Kahane’s writings in The Jewish Press, in other serial publications, and in his privately-published works.  
“Beyond Words” was compiled by David Fein, with introductions by Rabbi Baruch Kahane and Herbert B. Sunshine.
If interested in buying Rabbi Meir Kahane writings in this 7-volume collection write to Levi Chazan at: 

There Is No More Tal

“Harei va’Gilboa, al tal v’al matar aleichem…”
“Ye mountains of Gilboa, let there be no dew (tal) nor rain upon you.”
 (Samuel II 1:21)

It was the aftermath of the terrible tragedy that saw the Philistines massacre the Jewish armies of Saul.  And David, hearing of the death of the first Jewish king, of his son Jonathan, and of the thousands of Jews, on the mountains of Gilboa, wrote a song of lament for the victims of the Philistines.  “How are the mighty fallen!”  And he cursed the place where they fell, the mountains of  Gilboa, crying: “Let there be no tal, no dew upon you.”

Some 3,000 years later, not more than a 40-minute ride from Gilboa, a Molotov cocktail was thrown into the car of the Moses family, driving through Samaria.  The mother, Ofra, was burned alive.  She died on the spot, carrying an unborn child in her womb.  The youngest of three children, Tal was terribly burned.  He died two months later.  And once again, the Jew writes a song of lament for a victim of enemies of the Jew.  Yesterday, the Philistines.  Today, the Palestinians.  Yesterday, Gilboa was cursed with no tal, no dew.  Today, the Jewish people lost its Tal.  Tal Moses, aged five.

I sat in the home of the grandmother, Ofra’s mother, on Rehov Stern, in Jerusalem.  There, the family was sitting  shiva, for the second time in two months.  Next to me sat the father, his scars visible, though bearable.  But opposite me sat Adi, a girl of eight, her face and body horribly disfigured by the flames of the Palestinian.  And as she hobbled away into the kitchen, bent as an old women, her father said, in a matter- of-fact voice that was all the more terrible for its calmness: “Look, they made her an invalid for life.”

Living in Israel, one can become a veteran of Jewish tragedy.  Shiva, shloshim, memorials, eulogies.  At every graveside a Cabinet minister lies to the angry mourners with heartfelt pathos: “Those that did this terrible thing will pay.”  “The Government of Israel will do all in its power to capture the criminals and insure that it will never happen again.”  Liars, hypocrites, frauds.  The government of Israel through its policy is responsible for its happening.  The government of Israel guarantees that it will happen again.   

Ofra Moses, Tal Moses, Rami Chaba, a child of eight, whose head and face were smashed by a Palestinian and when his body was found, there was no face left.  Jalil Jarusee of Netivot, sitting in this automobile in Gaza when a Palestinian shot him dead, in cold blood.  They are only the latest in a long list of Jews murdered by the Palestinians who are protesting against the “occupation” (as Jewish liberals, New Jewish Agenda, Balfour Bricklner, Moment magazine, and an entire array of diseased Semites could call it).

How did Chaim Bar-Lev (today, Labor Party Minister of Police) put it, after the murder by Palestinians of six young Jews in Hebron?  “Had they not been there, they would not have been killed.”  The logic, I admit, is impeccable.  However, I prefer the reverse side of the coin:

“Had the Arabs not been there, the Jews would not have been killed either.”

And so, the Jewish response to murder of Jews, the Jewish response to all the future murders of Jews now being planned by Palestinians is clear: The Arabs will not be there. For if they remain, another Tal will be murdered and another mother of Tal, Ofra.  And another Rami and another Jalil – and that, I pledge, will not be, please G-d.  Not for me is the  “rachamanut shel tipshim”  (Rabman, Deuteronomy 7:18) – the mercy of fools of the disturbed Jewish liberals and Left.  The Rabbis, who understood the Divine halacha, laid it down in the form of the injunction “If one comes to slay you, slay him first” (Sanhedrin 74).  At the very least, let Jewish moderates declare: “If one comes to slay you, throw him out first.”  They must go.  Please
G-d, they will.
July, 1987

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