Thursday, August 18, 2011

Once Upon A Time - 1977

“K A H A N E”

The magazine of the authentic Jewish Idea

Nissan -5737   April-1977



Once upon a time a plague broke out in the forest and all the animals gathered to discuss what to do about it.  One wise old animal suggested that the plague was undoubtedly due to the sin of one of the community and it was agreed that each animal should confess his sins and it would be decided whose guilt had brought the plague.  The fox was the first to rise and he said:  “I was walking by the farmer’s chicken coops last week and I crept in, seized three chickens and ate them. But after all, it was not my fault; I was hungry!”  The animals considered the case and unanimously agreed that the fox was not to blame.  After all, he was hungry. 

The bear was the next to speak.  “I passed by a tree last week and saw honey flowing from where the bees had made it.  I took the honey from them and ate it.  But, after all, it was not my fault; I was hungry!”  Again the animals considered the case and agreed that the bear was blameless.  After all, he was hungry…

Finally it came the turn of the sheep, who said:  “It was a bitter, cold night and my little lams were freezing.  So I went into the barn and took some straw to keep my little lambs warm as they slept.”  No sooner did the sheep say these words, than the entire community of animals leaped to their feet and, pointing their paws, claws, and hoofs at the sheep, shouted: “There is the criminal!”

For two weeks the Arab mobs, thirsting for Jewish blood and Israel’s destruction, rampaged through the streets of Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem.  They stoned soldiers, attacked cars, burned tires, blocked roads.  And so the gentilized Jewish animals in Israel gathered to discuss whose sin had brought this upon our heads.  Who had caused the Arabs to riot?  There was all manner of evidence for the animals to consider.  For example: “We are opposed to occupation and we want to be free.” (Bethlehem Mayor Elias Freij, 3/18/76);  “It is the continued occupation to which I object.” (Shchem Mayor Haj Masri, 3/16/76); “Palestine is Arab” (banners carried by Arabs in a procession in the town of Abu Dis, March 23, 1976).

But this was hardly sufficient evidence for the Jewish animals.  Leaving the foxes, the bears and the rest – LEAVING THE ARABS – the animals sought the culprit amongst the Jews.  And so we had Knesset member Yitzhak Ben Aharon say: “ Jewish secular and religious nationalists provoked the unrest in great part.  Gush Emunim at Kadum, Betar on the Temple Mount and…our plans to step up settlements in the Galilee were all responsible. (March 22, 1967)  And, added Jerusalem’s Mayor Teddy Kollek: “The deeds and declarations of (Jewish minority extremists have provided ammunition to extremist elements in the Arab population.” (March 18, 1976)

The poor Arabs!  Unfairly blamed.  After all, we can understand why they riot and stone and attack.  They are hungry – hungry for Jewish flesh and blood.  Perfectly understandable.  But the culprit – the real culprit – is the Jew.  The Jewish militant, the Jewish extremist, the Jewish Rabbi Levinger who is going to a military trial while Hebron Mayor Ja’abri strolls free. The anti-Semites have always accused Jews of being to blame for everything.  They still do, but now the anti-Semites can be found in the Knesset, in the government, and in the state that we once hoped would be Jewish but which has become a poor caricature of every gentile culture that exists today.  We will yet pay – with Jewish blood – for this.

[Today August 18th, we paid once again will Jewish blood B.G.]

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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Dayenu - 1962

Beyond Words
Selected Writings of Rabbi Meir Kahane,
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“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.
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As yet another Yom Ha’Atzmaut appears, the conviction grows that the feelings of

 exhilaration and exaltation that gripped us in the early years are no longer quite what they were then.  The spontaneous mood of joy, the instinctive pride in the rebirth of an independent Jewish state is a little less noticeable, a little more subdued.  The head is not quite as high and the carriage not quite as erect.  In short, as with so many other great events in our lives, habit has dulled the splendor, and repetition has muted the sounds of excitement.

And yet, it must be an axiom for us – a generation of spiritual poverty, barren of greatness and inadequate in wisdom – to remember and speak of and celebrate this day.   And though we were all-wise and all-understanding, all-hoary and learned in the Torah, here too would it be out duty to recount the story of this day.  For its story is the tale of the world, the reasons for its creation, the path along which it must walk.

Yom Ha’Atzmaut is an affirmation of Divine Will and Control of history and mankind.  It is the cry that “many are the schemes within the heart of man, but the plan of the L-rd – this will persevere”  (Proverbs 19:21).  It surveys the wreckage of mighty empires fallen from the heights and records the uplifting of the small, raised from the depths.  It is the graveyard of emperors and the throne of their victims.  It is the lifting – for a moment – of the veil of prophecy.  It is the promise which has stood by our fathers and us.

Do we truly comprehend the implications of this day?  If we did, we could not be still from excited wonder.  We would shout our joy from the rooftops.  Sing praises to our Maker each hour of each day.

For this is a day which transforms belief into knowledge, faith into assurance.  It proclaims the defeat of the mighty tyrant at the hands of the righteous and weak, it casts the wicked into the dung heap of history and rewards the patient innocents.  It proclaims the obvious, false, and the incredible, credible.

And if it is said: But there are many such days in the chronology of our people, let it be answered: But this we saw this was ours.  For no matter how great the faith of a people, no matter how much patience it possesses, it is good – indeed necessary – for such faith, even for a little, to receive assurances.  It is important for a wound to be soothed, if only a little, for tears to be wiped, if only for a time.

And so it is with us. Yom Ha/Atzmaut is our comfort.  It is the balm against the pain of a Hitler, the ointment for the wounds of twenty centuries of countless forces of murder and terror.  It is the solace of the All Mighty – His reassurance that the road to Auschwitz is not the final one.  His consolation that our faith in Him shall not be in vain.

And more important, this day is our solace in the days that lie ahead.  For though they loom black and foreboding, though they may appear unbearable and hopeless, this day is our sustenance.  For if we could walk the tortuous path of history, past the wolves that tore at our flesh, past the demons who tore at our soul; if we could survive the giants of the earth by being the titans of the universe; if we could live to see the day when a people without territory or king or army could return to its land and raise its bloodied brow, then surely the edicts of a boorish Eastern muzhik will no longer strike fear into our hearts, not will the shadow of a Bomb cause us to lose our faith.  And if this be all that Yom Ha’Atzmaut serves to teach us - Dayenu
Written May 11, 1962

Editor’s note: The word dayenu in Hebrew means “it is enough for us”  Yom Ha’Atzmaut is Israel’s Independence Day, 5 Iyar, 57-8 (May 14, 1948)

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