Saturday, April 21, 2012

The Wise And The Foolish 1975

M e i r  K a h a n e
W r I t I n g s
From the years   1974-6    5734-5-6


“Surely this nation is wise and understanding people.” (Deuteronomy 4);
Will you thus repay the L-rd, O foolish people and unwise. . . “(Deuteronomy 32)

How is it that a wise people can be so incredibly foolish?  We were given free will to choose either of the two above paths, and incredibly we chose to be a people, foolish and unwise. . .  the government of Israel – and by conditioned reflex, the hapless Jewish Establishment in the United States -  is up in arms.  Confusion, anger, indignation.  Why?  The U.S. State Department has issued a study that concludes that the Palestine Liberation Organization is the sole representative of the “Palestinians.”  And the Rabin government is fuming.  The foolish men of Jerusalem who raised their eyes unto Washington and looked for salvation from Kissinger and Ford and the Pentagon; the gentilized Hebrew speakers who placed their faith and trust in the bruised and shattered reed of America.  Mass confusion and dismay now reigns.  How can the United States which just last week refused to entertain the PLO as a party to talks; which eloquently defended Zionism from the UN; which had Dr. Kissinger say that the security of Israel is the cornerstone of American foreign policy in the Middle East, now come dangerously close to endorsing the PLO as the spokesmen for the “Palestinians?”

O foolish people and unwise.  Doubly foolish, unwise ten times over!  Foolish to have ever trusted the United States and unwise to have ever believed that eventually Washington would not recognize the existence of the PLO.  WORSE!  Foolish to have ever claimed that the PLO does NOT represent the views of the “Palestinians” and unwise, mad, insane and lunatic to think that one can admit to the existence of a “Palestine” people and then insist on choosing their leaders for them.

Let it be clear that the United States is tired of Israel and the political headache she represents.  Gerald Ford and Henry Kissinger know that all the charades surrounding Egypt and even Syria will be meaningless if the “Palestine” question is not resolved.  And they mean to resolve it no matter how shattering that is to Israel.  They mean to resolve it within the context of the Rogers Plan and that means the complete withdrawal of Israel from ALL the lands liberated in 1967 and the establishment of a “Palestine” in the areas of the West Bank and Gaza.  And this means that “Palestinians” will be invited to peace talks and this means that the United States will seek representatives of the “Palestinians” and as much as the unwise gnash their teeth over it, the State Department is quite correct and the Israelis are wrong and mad self-deluders.

Stop the nonsense from the mouths of Rabin and Peres and Eban and all their foolish Miller, Jacobsen, Blumberg, and Fisher followers.  Stop the foolish babbling that the PLO does not represent the thinking of the Arab dwellers of the liberated lands, the “Palestinians.”  The fact is that if the Israeli government would allow an election to take place and the PLO to run, the terrorists would win an overwhelming majority and among the young and the intellectuals they would have almost unanimous support.  The absurd denial of this is almost as absurd as the Israeli statements that it will not recognize the PLO because it is a “Terrorist” group.  (How well that will go over with the United States that sat in Paris with the Vietcong, the British who negotiated with the MauMau and the French who settled with the Algerian FLN!)

The clear fact is that the PLO DOES represent the great majority of the Arabs in the liberated lands and the foolish and frantic efforts of Peres, Alon and Rabin to dig up elderly Arab Uncle Toms and Quislings of the effendi-sheik Ja’abri strips are doomed to ridiculous failure.  Let us understand one thing:

As long as the government of Israel insists on recognizing a “Palestine People” they will have to recognize, sooner or later, the representative of the “people” – the PLO.  It is only the foolish and the unwise who believe that they can, somehow, have their cake and eat it too – recognize “Palestinians” and then tell them who their leaders are and what boundaries of their country will be!  O foolish people and unwise. . .

Those who follow this course will not succeed in convincing the world but will succeed grandly in confusing their own people, Jews in Israel and abroad.  It will only take one little word (false) or recognition of Israel under the most absurd terms by the PLO to have Jewish liberals and other confused types screaming for Israeli recognition of the PLO.  The cold, harsh, logical fact remains immutable:  IF YOU RECOGNIZE A “PALESTINE” PEOPLE YOU MUST RECOGNIZE THOSE THAT THEY INSIST REPRESENT THEM.  And if the Israelis keep telling the Jews of the world that there is a “Palestine” people then those Jews will believe it and will insist that self-determination eventually be given them – along with the right to elect the PLO.

The solution?  To become wise and understanding. To know that there is no “Palestine” and no “Palestine people” and that neither PLO nor anyone else can represent a thing that does not exist.  Arabs in Judea, Samaria, Gaza and the Golan?  Certainly, but no “Palestinians” a concept that cannot be unless Zionism died.  But if Zionism did indeed live all the years of exile and if Jews never gave up their hope to return, then every non-Jew who ever set foot on Jewish soil was nothing more than a trespasser.  He remains what he was before he arrived.  A Bedouin, an Arab, a Turk, what have you. But a “Palestinian?”  That can only be if there is a “Palestine” and that can never be as long as the hope of the Jew to return to Zion –Zionism – was and remains alive.
Written - November 28, 1975

[This was the beginning of what we are living with]

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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A Small Voice 1960

A Small Voice
by Rabbi Meir Kahane

This article was originally published in The Jewish Press on May 20, 1960.

Yesterday, another Conservative Temple was dedicated.

Yesterday, ten more Jews married outside their faith.

Yesterday, a hundred thousand Jewish families sat down to enjoy a non-kosher meal.

Still yesterday, a million Jews lounged about the house discussing their Saturday auto ride to visit the relatives, while in New York and Cincinnati a score of young men prepared for their coming ordination as rabbis in the Reform movement.

Again yesterday, the largest gathering in the history of the Rabbinical Assembly-the national association of Conservative rabbis-convened at Grossinger’s Hotel, while a few miles away, another Conservative body, The National Federation of Men’s Clubs, opened the greatest convention in its existence.
Yesterday, Reform rabbis continued to marry and divorce, and convert individuals in violation of Jewish Law.

And yesterday, three million Jewish children played in the streets, victims of their elders ignorance and apathy, divorced from the beauties and truths of traditional Judaism, wanderers down a path that could end only in religious destruction.

The age we live in is not an age of faith. It is an age of reason, of doctrinal skepticism, of pragmatism, of agnosticism. It is an age of science that questions all. It is an age of Marxism that preaches materialism, not spirit. It is an age where religion is pushed to the side; doubted by the intellect, attacked by the Marxist, played by the masses.

It is an age that threatens the values that we hold dear. Torah and its pillar-faith-face a life and death struggle with this new age and its flashing rapiers, doubt and materialism.

Day by day the struggle continues. In every hamlet, in the soul of every Jew, the battle rages. Day by day traditional Judaism is faced with greater and greater problems, with an ever-widening gulf between it and the mass of our brother Jews, with ever growing heartbreak. Tragic? Yes. Heartbreaking? Undoubtedly. But far more tragic and far more heartbreaking all too often is the reaction of Orthodox Jewry to the crisis that threatens it.
One would imagine that having surveyed the awesome tasks that need be done, Orthodox leadership and organizations would put shoulders to the wheel and begin the holy task building a mighty community of Torah Jewry. One would imagine that our money, time, energy and talents would be carefully hoarded, each ounce to be saved for the building of yeshivas, synagogues, mikvahs, youth groups, and the countless myriads of institutions so vital to the survival of authentic Judaism. One would expect a concerted, dedicated, coordinated pooling of resources for the great battle against the desecrators of Torah. One would imagine that in our poverty, the great enemy would be waste; that in our lack of numbers the watchword would be unity. And yet, we seem to have so much.

We have so many resources. Resources to pay for inexcusable duplication of institutions. Resources to put up fifteen yeshivas in a neighborhood wherein two good ones would suffice. Resources to erect three synagogues per block instead of the one large one that would be ample. Resources to have three major political parties to defend the faith in Israel, and twenty-three rabbinical organizations to defend it here.
We have so much energy. Energy to heap abuse on those other Orthodox Jews who might deviate ever so slightly from our particular standards. Energy to painstakingly search out the minutest failings in the other Orthodox Jew. Energy to condemn every Orthodox institution which does not conform every day in every way to our own strictures.

The curse of Disunity is an ancient one with us. Its shadow lies across the remains of many of our wrecked hopes. Is there indeed that much of a difference among the Orthodox rabbinical, lay or Zionist organizations? Is our background and practice so different so as to call for ten different bodies claiming to represent the “true” Orthodoxy? Surely not. The same laws of Shabbos, kashrus and taharas hamishpacha are accepted and practiced by all. The duplication and waste, the cross accusations and inter group hatreds, the curse of disunity are all inexcusable. It is something all too often fostered by petty politicians who when screaming denunciation do so merely to contemplate the sounds of their own voices, to admire the noises made by the rappings of their knuckles on the door of opportunity.

The house of Judaism burns, and we debate who shall have the honor of putting out the fire. The Children of Israel wander in a barren desert, and we are too busy fighting our own petty, provincial quarrels. So long as this continues, we will have no moral right to blame Conservatism and Reform. The true enemy continues to be- ourselves.

[And so the problem continues today 2012 as it did in 1960 bg]

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Saturday, April 7, 2012

Divrei Torah for Passover 1977

Divrei Torah Moses Speaks To Paraoh "No Retreat No Compromise "
K A H A NE The magazine of the authentic Jewish Idea
Shavat –5737 February – 1977

“And Pharaoh called to Moses, saying: Go and worship the L-rd. Only your sheep and cattle will remain – your children will also go with you. And Moses said: You will also give us offerings and sacrifices for the L-rd our G-d, and our flocks will go with us…” (Shmot 10:24-26)

The ninth plague-darkness – has struck Egypt with a vengeance and Pharaoh breaks. Step by step he has retreated and after the eighth plague – locusts – he was prepared to allow the Jews to leave except for their children. Now he surrenders almost entirely as he agrees that all the Jews can leave. He only asks one thing, one compromise, one small victory for himself, that the Jewish cattle remain behind.

Consider; the Jews have been slaves for 210 years. They have lived in misery and persecution. They suffered decrees such as the one casting their male children into the sea. They cried out unto the L-rd for freedom and salvation. Now, apparently the great moment has arrived! Pharaoh agrees that they shall go free! What does it matter that he asks for their cattle? Give it to him! The main thing is peace and salvation and we are willing to give up cattle for peace!

But Moses knows that this is not the purpose of the freedom of the Jewish people and of the story of the slavery and exodus. He is not prepared to compromise one inch because he knows what the purpose of G-d is. When Moses first entered the presence of Pharaoh and said: “The L-rd, G-d of the Hebrews, has said: Let my people go!” Pharaoh contemptuously answered: “Who is the L-rd? I know not the L-rd and will not let Israel go!” Here is where the battle was joined. Here is the purpose and aim of creation – to have the world recognize the dominion and kingship of the L-rd being challenged. Pharaoh must be made to recognize and totally acknowledge the sovereignty of the L-rd over him and his people. He cannot make compromises; he cannot strike bargains. He must submit totally!

“And I shall be glorified through (the defeat of) Pharaoh and his army and Egypt shall know that I am the L-rd.” Only the total defeat of the wicked can raise and honor the name of the L-rd, says the Biblical commentator Rashi. This is why there will be no compromise with Pharaoh. He must totally submit, he must totally surrender.

And even when he apparently does this, after the plague of the first born, when he runs to Moses and says: “Get out, take your flocks with you, just leave and ask the L-rd to bless me!” Moses refuses and in the words of the Mechilta; “And he called unto Moses and Aaron in the middle of the night and said: get up and leave! Said Moses unto him: No, we have been ordered not to leave our houses until morning. What are we, thieves that we should slink out in the night? No, we will leave only in the morning with an upraised arm before the eyes of all the Egyptians!”

Not one inch of retreat here. The lesson of the L-rd being the Omnipotent, King of the universe must be seen and acknowledged.

The lesson is an eternal one and must be learned in our time, too. The question of peace in the Middle East is a question of the Arabs and the world acknowledging the total sovereignty of the All Mighty. There can be no compromise on this. It is only a peace that comes with Arabs submitting to the yoke of the heavenly kingdom that will be a permanent one and the Jew who gives up part of his land as a compromise, violates the entire purpose of the rise of the Jewish State and the demand of the All Mighty that the nations acknowledge Him as King. There can be no retreat from land because that is in essence a retreat also from the Kingship of the L-rd.
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