Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Shavuot Divrei Torah

The magazine of the authentic Jewish Idea

Shavuot, Sivan 5737  -  May 1977


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 this 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

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 “help” we have failed to receive; we would have remembered the lesson of the 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 the 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.
Israel and deep desire for the dismantlement were obvious to all who wished to see.

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Sunday, May 20, 2012

Jerusalem Day Rabbi Nachman Kahane

The following is a translation of a composition by Mr. Yitzchak Navon, in honor of Yerushalim, written when he was serving as our 5th president.

In June, 1967, the Six Day War broke out. Israel’s soldiers fought bravely and won many victories. Soon they reached the Old City of Jerusalem. They prepared to fight for it, and to take it back from Jordan. But they did not know through which of the seven gates to enter. As they tried to decide what to do, each gate begged, one louder than the other, "Enter the Old City through me. Enter the Old City through me."

Their voices reached heaven, but God and his angels could not decide which gate deserved to be the one through which the soldiers would enter. Then the angel Michael spoke. "God in Heaven, All the gates are beautiful and each deserves to be the one through which the soldiers will enter the Old City. Let each gate speak and explain why it should be chosen. Then You will decide which gate is most worthy.

God thought this was an excellent idea and asked each gate to speak for itself. Sha`ar Yaffo, the Jaffa Gate, spoke first.

Two important roads go out from me. One leads to the city of Yaffo and to the Mediterranean Sea. The other goes to Hevron where our ancestors Avraham and Sarah, Yitzchak and Rivkah, and Ya`akov and Leah are buried in the Me`a-rat Ha-mach-pe-lah. Near me stands the Tower of David. I will make sure that the soldiers of Israel enter the Old City safely.

Then Sha’ar Shechem, the Damascus Gate, spoke out in a loud voice and said: I am the biggest and most beautiful of all the gates. All roads leading north from Jerusalem start here with me. Let the soldiers of Israel enter the Old City through me.

Sha’ar Tzion, the Zion Gate, was the next to speak:

God in Heaven, I am named for your holy city—Tzion. Look at me. I am bruised and broken from all the fighting around me. It is only right that victory should come through me. Choose me, choose me.

Raising its voice, Sha’ar Ha-ashpot, the Dung Gate, said:
Dear God, look at me. I am miserable and ashamed. For centuries, Jerusalem’s garbage was dumped on me. Now don’t misunderstand, I would rather be covered with the garbage of Jerusalem than with all the precious jewels in the world. Every day, I try to comfort the kotel, which is right next to me. It is sad because Jews cannot pray there now. Make us happy and let Israel’s soldiers enter the Old City through me.

It was then the turn of Sha’ar Ha-perachim, the Flower Gate:
It would not be right for the soldiers of Israel to enter the Old City through the dirty Dung Gate. Let the soldiers of Israel enter through me and I will give them wreaths of flowers. It should be through me, through me.

Next the voice of Sha’ar he-chadash, the New Gate, was heard.
I am the smallest and newest of the gates. I am so new that I am not even counted as one of the seven gates. I am near the Israeli side of the city, and every day I watch as Israel’s enemies fire upon her. I try to protect Israel, but I cannot. Please let Israel’s soldiers enter through me.

Next in line to speak was Sha’ar Ha-ra-cha-mim, the Golden Gate:
Its voice was muffled because it was closed in on both sides.

Master of the Universe. For years my entrance has been sealed shut. The other gates open and close, but large stones block me up. You promised that the Jews would return to rebuild the Beit HaMikdash through me, and that is why Israel’s enemies sealed me shut. It is only right that the soldiers of Israel enter through me.

Only Sha’ar Ha’arayot, the Lions’ Gate, was left to speak. God pointed to it, but it remained silent. Finally, it began to speak in a soft voice:
God in Heaven. From all directions I see soldiers fighting and being wounded. My heart is breaking and I cannot bear to watch any longer. It doesn’t matter through which gate the soldiers enter. Just make the fighting stop.

God and the angels heard these words and whispered among themselves. Then God turned to the Lions’ Gate and said: All the other gates are interested in their own honor. But you care more about the soldiers of Israel than about yourself. Therefore, we have decided that the soldiers of Israel will enter the Old City through you. Let them enter through the Lions’ Gate. Their armored cars swept through the alleyways, and they set the city free. At the Western Wall they blew a great blast on the shofar. The blast was heard throughout the land and everyone knew that the gates of the Old City were once again open to Jews. A miracle had occurred. Jerusalem was united.

Dear Friends:
Chag Samayach to the entire House of Israel on the anniversary of one of the greatest miracles to ever have been performed by our Father in Heaven - and this in our own time - the re-unification of Yerushalayim. We are now sovereign over the holy city for the first time in over 2000 years, and it will never be taken away from us - be’ezrat HaShem

Nachman Kahana

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Togetherness In Israel 1981


 Rabbi Meir Kahane

 Togetherness In Israel

 March 30, 1976.  Nine A.M.  The Galilee, northern Israel, home of 300,000 Israeli Arabs.  The village of Sakhnin, a model of social and economic progress since 1948.  It has good roads, electricity, water, schools, appliances, television sets in every home.  It has “greatly advanced its integration into all fields of life of the State of Israel.”
More than 1,000 equal citizens of Israel-Arabs-are in the street facing a small number of police and soldiers.  It is “Land Day,” and the crowd grows larger by the minute.  Falastin, Falastin!” (Palestine, Palestine!”), the mob roars.  Other chants and shouts are heard:  “The Galilee is Arab!”  We will free the Galilee with blood and spirit!”  Rocks are suddenly thrown in the direction of the soldiers and police.  The small group of security men stare in disbelief and growing nervousness.  A fiery Molotov cocktail smashes against a wall a few yards away.  More and heavier stones, flaming torches, lighted cans of gasoline, and by now the soldiers are surrounded by a growing circle of hate-filled faces.  “Our villages do not belong to Israel,” shouts a young Arab.  “We belong to the state of Palestine!”
The Israeli papers report what happened:

“The dam, burst. ‘We are all Fatah,’ men and women shouted in chorus, even as they threw stones and other objects at the police.  The police fired warning shots into the air which only increased the agitation.  The rioters began to move toward the police and soldiers, threatening to trample them.  Not even the pointing of the rifles at them stopped the mob.  ‘They’re overrunning us,’ the police shouted into their radios” (Maariv, March 31, 1976). 
“The mob wandered through the main street, raining stones, torches and firebombs on the military and police vehicles.  Some of the excited youth wanted to set up roadblocks.  Others moved closer to the security forces-with clear intent to burn the vehicles.  In face of the dangerous situation the soldiers fired into the air, but it seemed as if no one in the crowd of burning passions paid any attention.
The mob of demonstrators noticed the Israeli force beginning to withdraw.  The large crowd began close pursuit of the Israeli forces.  Running hysterically, they threw stones and roared: ‘Charge them-Eleyom!’  Thousands moved toward the soldiers, and at that critical moment, the commander of the force gave orders to fire…” (Yediot Aharonot, March 31, 1976).

An Israeli journalist who attempted to get past a roadblock in the village was attacked by Arabs shouting:  “Get out of here!  This is Palestine!”  He later reported:  It was terrible there.  I do not remember such chaos since 1948.  Every Jew was a candidate for murder.  I saw them with the lust for murder burning in their eyes.  Slogans such as ‘Eleyhom’ and Itbach Al-Yahud’ [“slaughter the Jews”] are moderate in view of what I heard.  From all sides came the cries for the liquidation of Israel, to destroy all the Jews, for a jihad [holy war].  It is difficult to believe that such a scene could take place in the State of Israel, 1976.
The journalist added:  Such hatred of the state and the Jews is difficult to comprehend.  What happened there was not mere rioting or chaos.  It was a revolt. The Arab revolt of 1976…It was a revolt in the full sense of the word.”  Maariv, March 31, 1976)

 The revolt spread to villages and towns, throughout the Galilee and the “Triangle,” the two main centers of Arab population in Israel.  In Sakhnin, Araba, Deir Hama, Beth Netora, Tira, Tayba, Kalansuwa, Kfar Kana, Nazareth, and dozens of other places, violence and rioting occurred.  For the first time in Israel’s existence, as Arab citizens had called a political general strike.  When quiet was finally restored, six Arabs were dead and more than thirty-five Israeli soldiers and police injured.  In the worlds of Maariv correspondent  Yosef Valter, returning from the Arab village of Umm al-Fahm: “It was not pleasant for a Jew to wander there….”

The pamphlet issued by the Israeli government in 1973 attempted to give the impression that the Arabs of Israel feel themselves part of the state and that the years since 1948, years that have brought them social and economic benefits, have also made them loyal to Israel, have made them see their destiny and that of the Jewish state as mutual. It is a devoutly desired illusion that every Israeli leader and official spreads.  It is a persistent delusion that grows louder and more frantic, the more obvious its patent falsehood.  It ranks among the hoariest of legends and myths of world Jewry.  To look at reality and to think otherwise is imply too unbearably painful.
]Today in year 2010 this delusion and myth continues to grow, and rocks and Molotov cocktails have turned into guns, missiles and kassams].

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Monday, May 7, 2012

The Ultimate Tragedy 1976



1974-6 5734-5-6

The Ultimate Tragedy

In 1974, the then Chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, Rabbi Israel Miller arrived in Israel. In a statement to the press he pledged that, in the event of crisis for Israel, “American Jewry will climb the barricades.” I put it that not only will that not come to pass but that added to the growing inevitable isolation of Israel, as enemies, neutrals and “allies” stand to the other side, there will emerge the ultimate tragedy and shame – the failure of the American Jewish community to stand by Israel at its moment of truth.

Let us begin by understanding that the United States is well on its way to disengaging itself from the position of “ally of Israel”. Even if the foolish Israelis and the impossible American Jewish leaders really believed that American policy would stroll arm-in-arm with that of Israel until the end of days, there were those few who understood from the beginning that this was not true. The fact is that United States policy was never in line with that of Israel. At best, when the status quo was kept for six years after the Six-Day War, Washington’s calm was simply because it was not pressured to pressure Israel into concessions. But from the outset, the United States was committed to not allowing Israel to keep any (aside from unimportant areas) of the land liberated in 1967. The Rogers Plan which embodies this American Middle East axiom was, in itself, only an affirmation of a policy statement made by Lyndon Johnson immediately after the Six-Day-War.

The Yom Kippur war was a success for the Arabs precisely as they planned it, in that it shattered the freeze, broke the status quo, and frightened the United States into beginning the job of choking Israel into retreat. I will not go into the history of the errors, retreats and confusion on the part of the Israelis in the less than three years since the Yom Kippur War. Suffice it to say that the United States has clearly moved to a point where it has forced Israel to make concessions the latter never wanted to make and which she had vowed she would never make. Those concessions are not nearly enough for Washington which is now in the process of freeing itself from its refusal to recognize a “Palestine people”and its unwillingness to sit with the PLO. The public relations people and the Jewish leaders of the school of bankruptcy will trumpet the veto by the United States of the recent Arab resolution in the Security Council as proof of American solidarity with Israel. The reality, however, lies in the explanation by Ambassador Moynihan whose words clearly foreshadowed a future change in the U.S. position.

The real pressure has already begun. Premier Rabin was told in no uncertain terms by Ford that Washington expects major concessions by Israel on the “Palestine”question and to prepare himself to meet American recognition of the PLO following some pro forma recognition of Israel by that body. The demands by the United States will include territorial retreat and Israeli sitting with the PLO that will reach the limit of any Israeli government’s ability or willingness to accept. At that moment, the confrontation between the United States and Israel will be a real and serious one. At that point the pressure will be open and ugly and the recrimination bitter. At that point American and Israeli interests will clearly and dangerously differ. At that point American Jews will have to take a stand: Israeli interests or American ones? What will happen? What do you think will happen? When the moment of the barricades has arrived, who will go up on them? Who will ascend the barricades of Rabbi Miller and who will stand within its lofty and dangerous place? Will the American Jewish groups, the B’nai B’rith and Sisterhood of Suburbia, watch the menacing scenario and choose Israeli interests over American ones?

When America tells Israel: “The Palestinian” people have a right to their own land and you yourselves have recognized a “Palestinian”people. The “Palestinians” must be given the right to elect their own leaders and if they choose the PLO so be it. The “Palestinians” have the right to their own state and if they wish to create one between Israel and Jordan, you cannot stop them. The “Palestinians” and the PLO have indicated that they recognize Israel by their willingness to sit with you at Geneva or by their statement that they are willing to postpone their ultimate aim of a “democratic, secular Palestine” until some future time. Therefore, you must sit with them and prepare to give up all the lands conquered in 1967, including the Sinai, the Golan and the Gaza Strip, and the West Bank. Therefore, you must allow a “Palestine” to be set up immediately and we and the Soviets will guarantee your boundaries. Therefore you must do this because we will not allow you to risk a war and our involvement in it nor will we jeopardize our oil nor will we lose our potential Arab business market nor will we allow the Russians to take influence in the Middle East because we remain stigmatized by the label “ally of Israel”. Therefore if you are not prepared to do this we will cease our military and economic support for you . . . “

When America tells this to Israel and Israel knows that the Arabs are liars and committed to the destruction of a Jewish State of any size or shape. When Israel will protest that it cannot and will not allow the enemy to return to the 1967 borders where he stood a scant 15 miles from Tel Aviv and on the edge of the new city of Jerusalem and back to the Golan Heights where he shelled the Jewish settlements below for 19 years and to the Sinai where Egyptian air basis will be five minutes from Israel’s cities. When Israel finally says “no”and there is a definitive split and Israel and American party company.

With whom will the American Jews go? When the split causes an outcry on the part of the Jew haters and Jew-dislikers and they say that Israel’s “intransigence” causes the American Jewish position to weaken and become insecure, what will the American Jew do? As it becomes excruciatingly difficult and then impossible to back both American and Israeli interests and the American people see it, will Rabbi Miller and the Jewish leaders and the American Jews climb those promised barricades?

I fear not. In fact, I fear the very opposite. I fear that the American Jews, prompted by a large segment of their “leaders” will fearfully urge Israel to make “every effort” to be conciliatory, to be flexible, to be compromising, to “take a chance” for peace. To do anything but jeopardize the American Jewish community by leaving it open to that most frightening of charges, “dual loyalty”. To save the American Jewish community from having to choose between Israel and American interests, and to save the American Jew from a situation that will see anti-Semitism given an opportunity to rear its head in earnest.

For years, whenever the question rose of “dual loyalty”, the American Jew scoffed at the possibility. And when the questioner persisted and spoke of the possibility of a war in which American and Israel were on different sides, the Jewish answer was always an impatient: “Such a thing could never happen . . .” But such a thing is beginning to happen, at least in the political arena, and the American Jew will be faced with a decision that he will have to make.

I fear that he will reject the barricades and, as usual, choose his own immediate, narrow interests. I believe that American Jews, now led by a man like Alexander Schindler, the Reform leader whose concepts are so un-Jewish, will do all in their power to persuade Israel to make dangerous and mad concessions and then rationalize their pressure on the Jewish state. I fear that the worst of all pressure will come, not from the United States, but from the American Jewish Establishment. I fear that Israel’s most difficult struggle will be, not with the gentile, but with the Jew. I fear that the ultimate tragedy will be that at the moment of truth, when faced with a threat to its own peace of mind and security, the American Jewish community will fail the state for which it once promised to climb the barricades.

Written April 2, 1976

[No Jewish Establishment Organization is jumping the barricades. Only a small number of Jews do speak out and are not backed by the Jewish Establishment leader. Once again, Rabbi Meir Kahane was right! bg]

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