From Barbara Ginsberg’s Desktop
K A H A NE
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.
Anyone reading this Rav Kahane article and is not on my personal list to receive the weekly articles written by Rav Kahane and would like to be, please contact me at:
To view previously e-mailed Rav Kahane articles go to: