Monday, August 26, 2013

Our Challenge - 1974

Rabbi Meir Kahane – 1974


There is a Jewish destiny.  That which happened to the Jewish people in the past, that which occurs in our times, that which will happen in the days and years to come, is not haphazard, a game of chance.  The Jewish people plays its role in history within the limits of divine ordinance.

We stand today, all of us – leaders, captains, elders, men, women, and little ones – before a great moment in history.  Those of us who have been chosen, for some inexplicable reason, to live in these times of unparalleled disasters and unequaled miracles of triumph must surely sense in every fiber of our being that the things that we have seen and experienced are not mere chance.

The soul-shattering Holocaust that ripped away a third of our people, followed immediately by the incredible ending of the incredible Exile, the creation of the third Jewish commonwealth, the Ingathering of the Exiles from the four corners of the earth, the smashing of the enemy in Six Days and the return to the Wall and the liberated lands of Judea and Samaria – all are parts of the great moment in history before which we stand.

But great moments must be seized.  They wait to be grasped.  They always join together the ultimate deliverance with a potential for preceding disaster.  Salvation is invariably coupled with a possible attendant tragedy that wipes away the human blemish with the terrible scourge of pain and suffering.

It need not be.  The moments that proclaim oncoming deliverance wait for an instant to be understood and grasped.  If we recognize them and respond to them, we are blessed.  If we do not, they disappear from view and make us pay a tragic and terrible price before the advent of the deliverance.

And the most terrible part of the price is its avoid-ability: the fact that it need not have been paid had we understood and acted.

 The great tasks of our day are to clearly and boldly define, teach, and implement.

To define clearly and precisely the purpose and destiny of the Jewish people; the purpose and reason for the Land of Israel and the state therein; the relationship between the Jew and the state; the relationship between the Jew of the state and the Jew in the Exile; the total aim and destiny of the Jew, his people, land, and state.

To teach and implement that definition boldly and relentlessly; to create the kind of Jew and the kind of Jewish people that is their sole reason for being; to create the uniquely Jewish kind of state and policy within the Land of Israel that is the sole reason for having one; to create the kind of relationship between Jew and Jew and Jew and state that is the only true and honest one in terms of Jewishness

In a word, our people must be a Jewish people, not a pales replica of others.  Our state must not seek merely to be like all the rest, but a distinctively Jewish one.

The Jewish people stands or falls on the knowledge that it is not like all other people.  The foundation of foundations and the raison d’etre of the Jewish people is that it is the Chosen People, a godly people – the people chosen by the Almighty to do his will.  It is a people that was called into being by G-d and whose existence and fate are decreed by him.  And from this choosiness, this call to holiness and challenge to greatness, flow certain absolute and necessary axioms. If we are chosen, then we are a certain kind of people with a certain kind of role and a certain kind of state. There is a Chosen People, a chosen land, a chosen state, and a chosen destiny.  The normal rules of nationhood and statehood do not apply to us; the normal logic of foreign policy is not ours.  If we obey the call of the Jewish destiny and the command of the Almighty we shall endure and live, both in this world and the next.  If we do not return to the Jewish role, we will pay a terrible price before the ultimate redemption comes, wiping away our sins with the suffering of pain and war.

The creation of the Jewish people and its survival has a divine purpose.  The rebirth of the State of Israel and the miracles that have accompanied that rebirth are part of that purpose.  It has been ordained that the Jewish people return home and rebuild their Jewish lives in their land – all of it.  Are we capable of understanding this and the fact that only a truly Jewish state is the aim of the divine decree?  If we do, we will hasten the advent of the redemption; if we do not, we will not only lengthen it but we will pay a terrible price in the form of our own suffering and the soul-suffering of our youth.

Today our youth, many of them, stand confused.  Tomorrow there will be more of them and the ideas that to their elders seem basic and easy to understand will not be obvious or clearly understood.  We have taken these ideas as well as our youth for granted, and we stand to lose them both.  That will be the price of our neglect and mistaken self-assurance.  We have not given our youth the most basic of human needs, the idea – the Jewish idea.  Our youth wait for it, as a hungry man for bread.  They wait and are prepared to accept – if we give it.

The idea is the weapon.  If you have it and believe in it, if you teach it and spread it, if you organize pupils who will teach it and spread it to others, you can change a world.  For actions and reactions are predicated upon ideas, and depending on the idea we will act and react in a certain way – correctly or wrongly, with truth or with falsehood.

We in the State of Israel are in a struggle for the souls of the generation that is growing into manhood.  If we wish to win them – and not lose them either to the enemy or to the well-meaning fools who would destroy us just as effectively – we must have the idea, believe in it completely and teach it unceasingly.  We must fill the minds and hearts and souls of our youth with it daily

Let us not make the most dangerous of all errors, and believe that ideological vacuums can remain.  Just like their physical counterparts, they must and will be filled by something or someone.  And there are people and groups today who are working hard and tirelessly to fill the fertile minds of our youth with their own ideology. Let us not be so foolish as to believe that small numbers mean impotency or that sacred cows remain permanently sacred.

That which seems indubitably true and axiomatic to us is not necessarily so for the next generation.  What is holy to one leaves the second indifferent, while the third looks upon it as profane.  We can lose our youth and we can watch them lose our values through our apathy and indifference, our failure to give them burning ideals to match the ideas of others.  We can also lose them through weak, unconvincing arguments that leave the youth troubled, dissatisfied, and unfulfilled.  And if we lose the battle for our youth, we will ultimately, lose every other battle.

The battle has already started.  Already the Left, the wreckers and the moral anarchists, have made deep ideological gains among the youth even though we, in our preoccupation with the more prosaic things in life, do not recognize it.  The Left has always understood the power of ideas.  It is time that the nationalist camp understood this also.  The primary battleground is not the Knesset but the schools, the campuses, the streets – wherever our youth and their minds are.

As one who spends much time among every section of our youth, I can see the danger and the potential opportunity. In these pages I shall try to present ideas, Jewish ideas that your youth will accept and cherish.

Although these ideas are my own, clearly they represent much of the thinking of the Jewish Defense League in Israel.  It would be logical to assume that the program of the League in the Jewish state will be based upon many of the ideas in this book.  Just as there is a need for physical defense, we believe, so is there at least as great a need for spiritual defense.

The ideas put forward in this book are not only sound ideas; more important, they are Jewish ideas, drawn from Jewish sources and tradition.  In the end, that is the only honest program for a Jewish state and a Jewish individual.  That which marks us as different and which gives us a right and reason to set ourselves up as a separate nationality, state, and entity is our unique Jewishness.  That Jewishness can only be expressed through Jewish concepts and those concepts can only be derived from Jewish sources.  In short, I intend simply to restore the fundamental thoughts of Judaism.  The pity is that many Jews have never stopped to listen to them.

There may, therefore, be many who will be upset by some of the ideas in this book.  Yet they cannot claim that these are not Jewish ideas that have throughout the centuries represented the mainstream of Jewish thought.  Those who oppose them would do well to honestly search their own minds and hearts and to discover whether their ideas are not really the products of intellectual and ideological assimilation.

I love the Jewish people and think that there is no greater and deeper pride than that of knowing that one is a Jew.  I love the Jewish state, the Land of Israel, and see in it the hand of the Almighty, the realization of the vision of the Prophets.  And precisely because one loves the Jew and the land, must he speak up in admonition and criticism.  So long as one is motivated by love, that admonition and demand for change are not only valid but obligatory.  I would do the same for my sons and daughters, precisely because I love them so.  If I did not I would not care what they did or what they would become.  It is because a Jew must love his people and state, must care about them and their fate, that it is so important that we define the Jewish people and state, and work to create them in the image of Jewishness.

If you did not receive this article personally and would like to be on my weekly Rabbi Meir Kahane article e-mail list, contact me at:

Previously sent articles can be viewed on: 




Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Transfer Proposal Part 2 -1987

 Beyond Words” is a newly-published seven volume collection of Rabbi Meir Kahane’s writings from 1960 – 1990 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.
“Beyond Words” now can be bought at  On the search line, type…  Beyond Words Kahane.

Beyond Words
Selected Writings of Rabbi Meir Kahane,
Volume 5


The debate over Deputy Defense Minister Michael Dekel’s proposal for a “voluntary transfer” of Arabs was a stormy one, with angry leftists warning of the growth of Kahanism and with Knesset Member Meir Kahane attacked and defamed by a number of speakers.  Now, it was Kahane’s turn to addess the Knesset and the Kach leader, quoting extensively from the Bible and Commentators concerning the need for involuntary transfer, attacked Shimon Peres for calling people who advocated transfer, “those people with perverted minds.” “Kahane had just finished saying, “what a clearer understanding (the Torah has) versus the perverted mind of Shimon Peres and the fear of Michael Dekel, who did not have the courage to adopt the halacha” when he was interrupted by Labor Vice Speaker of the Knesset, Aharon Nahmias, who said:

Speaker: You are already beginning to insult, Knesset member Kahane.

M. Kahane (Kach): I beg your pardon”

Speaker: You are insulting.

Kahane: Insulting”

Speaker: Yes.

Kahane: I sat here and Knesset Member Vilner called me a fascist…

Speaker: And you said that you were not as extreme as he. He called you a “gang” and you said you were more moderate.  And now you are defaming.

Kahane: Now I will be precisely as Knesset Member Vilner.

Speaker: Perhaps you will cease speaking about Hellenists and “perverted minds.” Hellenists!

Kahane: Yes, Hellenists.  I see that bothers you.

What “transfer”? The Bible speaks of “v’horashtem, v’girashtem, u’viartem.”  You will drive them out, uproot them.  These are the concepts of clear minds. “And if you shall not drive them out they shall be as thorns in your eyes.” (Numbers 33:55). Yes, Mr. Peres, of the perverted mind, if we do not drive them out, they will be “as thistles in your sides,” the murderers of the soldiers Moshe Tamam and Akiva Shaltiel …

Speaker: Knesset Member Kahane, if you wish to continue to speak today you must retract the defamations.

Kahane: What defamations?

Speaker: I ask you.

Kahane: I am not a second-class Knesset member.

Speaker: Knesset Member Kahane.  

Kahane: I repeat, sir, that I am not a second-class Knesset member.

Speaker: Knesset Member Kahane, you will not insult. Enough.

Kahane: Sir, I do not defame.  I say exactly what I say, exactly what Knesset Members Peled and Vilner said.

Speaker: Say what you wish but do not insult.

Kahane: Sir, he rises here and calls Kahane a fascist while you are silent…

Speaker: He did not say you are a fascist.

Kahane: But he did.

Speaker: He did not say to you that you are a fascist.

Kahane: I tell you that he did say that.

Speaker: He did not say it to you.  Now he did not say it.  It is possible that he said it another time, when I did not know about it.

Kahane: What is this, a game?  I repeat that I am not a second-class Knesset member, I am exactly as all the rest.

Speaker: You have the rights of all of them but not the right to defame.

Kahane: I will say what I have to say.  The murderers of soldiers Moshe Tamam and Akiva Shaltiel  and Esther Ohana and David Bukra and tens of others, may the L-rd avenge their blood, murdered them because they were not “transferred” or expelled or uprooted.

The responsibility lies on Peres and his band, his gang that calls my group a gang.

Speaker: They called you a gang?

Kahane: Yes, that too.  Of course, the idea of Vice Minister Dekel for a voluntary transfer is absurd, a wild dream.  Of course the Arab states will not agree to voluntarily accept them.  But, of course, we must work for an involuntary transfer. What Arabs agreed in 1948 to leave?  We threw them out, more power to us.  In those days there were no perverted minds like Shimon Peres.  And how the great Rabbis understood the reality, as opposed to the Knesset dwarfs.  What did Rashi (Numbers 33:55) say? “And you shall clear the land of its inhabitants and then you will dwell in it.  Then you will be able to exist in it.  And if not – you will be unable to exist in it.”  And the Or HaChaim (ibid.,55) wrote: “Not only will they hold on to the part of the land that you did not inherit, but they will persecute you over that portion which you did inherit saying:  ‘Rise up and leave it.’”

A perverted mind?  Indeed, there exists such a mind and it is rooted in the head of Shimon Peres and the left-Hellenist camp that is incapable of understanding the Arab mind.

Members of the Knesset, in ten years we will stand before a Northern Ireland and Cyprus tragedy.  And in New York they will watch television each night, seeing Israeli soldiers shooting Arabs.  Is that what we want?  Not I.  There is a fundamental contradiction between Zionism and a Western democratic state.  Either there will be a Jewish state or one in which all people, Arabs too, have the right to become the majority.  You run from this, but you cannot run away.

The Torah answer, the Zionist and logical answer to a Jewish state, is that every Arab that is not prepared to live here with only personal rights and not his political ones – no Knesset and no voting – must leave the country. You wish to call it “transfer,” let it be “transfer.”  The main thing is – do not ask them.

September 4, 1987

If you did not receive this article personally and would like to receive weekly Rabbi Kahane
articles contact me at: 
To view previously posted articles go to:





Monday, August 19, 2013

The Transfer Proposal (in Knesset) 1987

 Beyond Words” is a newly-published seven volume collection of Rabbi Meir Kahane’s writings from 1960 – 1990 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.
“Beyond Words” now can be bought at  On the search line, type…  Beyond Words Kahane.
Beyond Words
Selected Writings of Rabbi Meir Kahane,
Volume 5


The speech by Vice Minister of Defense Michael Dekel calling for a voluntary “transfer” of Arabs from Judea and Samaria, to be agreed upon by the Arab states, raised an incredible furor in Israel, far more than it really deserved.  It was immediately attacked by the entire spectrum of the Left, condemned by the Likud party of which Mr. Dekel is a member, and put down by Tehiya.  Foreign Minister Shimon Peres called it the product of a perverted mind, and immediately three motions of no-confidence were presented in the Knesset.  Two, by the Communists and the Progressive List, blasted the government for not taking action against Dekel. The third, by the Kach Movement, condemned the government for not supporting Dekel and not condemning Peres.

Leading off the debate was communist Party head, Meir Vilner who said:

M. Vilner (Communists): Now it is clear to those who previously could not see that racist and fascist views are the province of leaders of parties represented in the government and not only of Kahane and his gang.

M. Kahane (Kach): What is this “gang”?

Speaker: Knesset Member Kahane, do you know what you call Knesset members here?  What he said is still nothing in comparison.

M. Kahane: You try to stop me.  Why are you silent when it comes to this Communist?

Speaker: Are you still continuing this?  If you continue, they will tell you things that are not very pleasant to hear.  

M. Vilner: We dare not underestimate these racist plots.  They are aimed at the very national existence of the Palestine people.  They are rooted in the Nazi racist ideology.

M. Kahane: Perhaps in the Stalinist Nazi Ideology?

Speaker: Knesset Member Kahane, you are scheduled to present a no-confidence motion today on the same subject.  Save these things for your own speech.

M. Vilner: One of the fascist racists, General (Reserves)  Rehavam Z’evi, yesterday wrote in Yediot Achronot, and I quote: “For those who say that the transfer proposal is not moral, why was it moral when David Ben-Gurion dealt with it and sent Yitzchak Navon to check the feasibility of sending Arabs to Latin America?  Why was it moral when Chaim Weizmann, Menachem Usishkin, Arthur Rupin, Yosef Weitz, Berel Katznelson, Yigal Alon, Yitzchak Rabin, Moshe Dayan and many others spoke about it?”  

Indeed, all those who dealt with it have unclean hands.  Members of the Knesset, these racist plans, according to international law – I checked yesterday – in the concept of “genocide,” there is included the ouster of a people from its homeland.

M. Kahane: But it is not their homeland.

M. Vilner: We demand the ouster of Michael Dekel from his past as Vice Minister of Defense.
M. Kahane: Transfer him.

M. Vilner: The continuation of the occupation and the estrangement of the Likud and its far-right partners from the national rights of the Palestine Arab people, the program of cruel oppression of the occupied territories – we saw what they did in Gaza and not to Jewish terrorists.

M. Kahane: How dare you!  What gall!!!  They murdered an Israeli officer in Gaza, you retched Moscow puppet.

Speaker: Knesset member Kahane, please calm down.

When it was Kahane’s time to present his motion of no-confidence, he began by saying:

“And it came to pass in the days of the two-headed kingdom, that the flying Peres (‘peres’is a bearded vulture’ in Hebrew) raised his head and exclaimed: ‘Only a perverted mind could propose a transfer.’

“Shimon Peres, the expert witness on perverted minds.  The baker comes and testifies to his handiwork.  Only a perverted mind would suggest a transfer?  Or perhaps he who condemns, testifies to his own failings and only a twisted mind condemns the transfer.

“I must immediately make it clear that my soul is repelled by the concept of ‘tranfer,’ and for a few reasons.  One, what kind of a word is ‘transfer’? and for a few reasons.  One, what kind of a word is transfer’? Are there no Hebrew words left? And how we conjugate it?  ‘Ani atransfer’; ‘ata t’transfer’; ‘anachnu n’transfer’…?

If the Vice Minister had some imagination and prayed the Ma’ariv (evening service daily, he might speak of ‘lha’ariv aravim …’

“And more.  What is transfer by choice?  What nonsense! No Arab will voluntarily choose to be transferred.  The whole concept is ludicrous.  Our Torah and Rabbis spoke Hebrew properly, and used the proper words in this context.  Listen, Shimon Peres, and receive both a lesson in Judaism and Hebrew.

“In the Book Number (33:52), the All Mighty commands Moses and Israel as follows: ‘And you shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you.’ Precise words.  The All Mighty is not a Vice Minister of Defense who must play with words, modify them, soften them, lest He be called ‘racist’ or fascist.’ He uses the word ‘v’horashtem,’ which Rashi explains as: ‘u’girashtem,’ ‘And you will drive them out.’ And so does the translator Onkelos write.

“Oh, Reb Shimon Peres, perhaps they, too, have perverted minds, Rashi, Onkelos and G-d?  This weasly word ‘transfer’ is not found in the commentary on this verse by the Sforno, who writes ka’asher tva’aru yoshvei ha’aretz…’Tuvaru – uproot them. Ah, what a clear understanding versus the perverted mind of Shimon Peres and the fear of Michael Dekel, who did not have the courage to adopt the halachic…”

It was here that Kahane was astoundingly interrupted by the speaker who, just twenty minutes earlier, had defended the Communist Vilner when Kahane demanded that the latter be called to order for defaming him.  Now the speaker, Aharon Nahmias of Labor, said:

Speaker: You are already insulting, Knesset Member Kahane.
September 4, 1987


If you did not receive this article personally and would like to receive weekly Rabbi Kahane articles contact me at:

To view previously posted articles go to:


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Elul - 1977

R A B B I   M E I R   K A H A N E


2 Elul 5737 - September 2, 1977


The Jewish calendar is full of notations, red letter days that are meant to be both particular reminders as well as part of a uniform one:  time is passing; the sands of life have run out just a bit more; the beard is a little grayer and the limbs just a touch heavier.  Time.  The Jewish calendar is a watchman of time, ram’s horn that blows not once a year but every time that a new time cycle begins.

 Every week is marked by a Sabbath that notes not only the end of the week passed but the beginning of a new one. It is both a reminder of seven full days passed out of our life – so soon! – as well as the opportunity to make the next period fuller, more meaningful, a reason for being.
Every month is marked by a Rosh Chodesh, the consecration of the new beginning of yet another lunar cycle.  The wheel of heaven has revolved yet another thirty days – so soon! – and we are that much older.  The L-rd now gives us another month to prove that we are also that much wiser.  It is not only another month, it is a new month.   Above all, it is called Rosh Chodesh, the “head” of the month.  Is there perhaps here a hint to see how much wisdom has filled our heads during the mistakes and sins of the past one…?

And every year has its Rosh Hashana, that peculiarly Jewish day in which there are no parties and drinking and abandonment of restraint; in which there is no hilarious laughter and noise that is a frantic and frenetic attempt to convince all (and oneself) that he is happy; there is no frantic clutching at pleasure before it escapes and – worse - before I pass on; too soon, too soon.  There is Rosh Hashana, the time past.  Another year gone by – already?  So soon! – and it is a time to see what the gray hairs and the added wrinkles and the slower reflexes have taught us.  Rosh Hashana is one step closer to the gateway out of this world and into the next one.  It is a time to rehearse the speech that we will make – all of us – some day, before the Supremes of Courts, as we attempt to explain the meaning of our lives below.

Life is too short for fools.  It is too long for those who know it was not given for happiness (if that comes, how wonderful, but how often does it appear, only in insignificant measures and at rare times, as drops of rain that fall on a parched desert leaving no impact, changing nothing so that the traveler never knows it fell).  Life was given for holiness and sanctity, so that we might rise above ourselves; so that we might consecrate and hallow that animalism within us that threatens at every moment to escape and express itself in selfishness, ego and greed – sins that are themselves only the corridors to the crimes of cruelty and hurting others.  Life is not a happy thing – it is a beautiful thing, and when one becomes the artist and artisan of that beauty that is called holiness, when one practices the supreme holiness that comes of loving and giving of oneself.

“Ani  l’dodi  v’dodi li…”  “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine…” the words of the greatest of love poems, Song of Songs; great because it is that purest of love, between the Almighty and the House of Israel.  Consider them, for do they not contain the essence and the secret of true love?  “I am my beloveds and my beloved is mine.”  When I am my beloved’s, when I give to her and give of myself and live to do for her and make her happy – then I am guaranteed that she is mine for she will, in turn, be doing the same for me.  The lovers who think of giving to each other must receive from each other.  This is love, this desire to give, this desire to sacrifice and do for the other.
Not for nothing was the Song of Songs called by the incomparable Rabbi Akiva, “the Holy of Holies” of all the books of the Bible.  For the kind of love expressed in it IS holiness.  Holiness is to escape from the selfishness and greed of the animal; it is to smash the passions and desires of the ego; it is to master the will that makes man seek only his own gratification.  And is not love just that, in practice?  Is not love exactly that, if it is true love?
And not for no reason did the rabbis see in the Hebrew letters of the month of Elul the first letters of “Ani l’dodi v’dodi li – I am my beloveds and my beloved is mine.”  Elul is the month of Tshuva, return and introspection.  It is the month of scraping away the ego that has settled and crusted on our hearts and souls.  If Passover calls for searching out he leaven in the home, Elul decrees removing it – the yeasty and bloated ego – from the soul.  It is a time to note the calendar, the graying and aging, and to realize: Not for nonsense was I born and not with nonsense must they bury me.

Be good.  Love.  Love selflessly; cease speaking evil, cease thinking evil; cease searching out evil in your fellow human beings.  Cease seeking to grow at the expense of others.  For one who climbs on top of the man he has just chopped down is not taller.  He is the same dwarf standing on his victim’s height.  Be wary lest you hurt the one you love.  Think before you act towards the other person.  Be good as a person, as an individual, and your part of the world will become holy.  Then, if others emulate you, the world will suddenly and automatically turn beautiful and hallowed.  It is Elul.  Think of your beloved – all the people of the earth – and think of your particular beloved.  Give of yourself and you will receive that which no amount of grasping and scheming can ever bring you: self-respect.  Love the other and you will learn to like yourself.  Be holy, for the One who made you is Holy and for this He placed you on this earth.  It is another Elul, yet another one.  How many more are left?
If you did not receive this e-mail personally and want to receive your weekly Rabbi Meir Kahane article please contact me at:
To view previously posted Rabbi Kahane articles go to: