Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Cuckoo's Nest - 1984

From Barbara Ginsberg’s Desktop
The Magazine of the Authentic Jewish Idea
Spring 5744 – 1984

“Though thou poundest a fool in a mortar with pestle…yet will his foolishness not depart from him.” Proverbs 27).
It has surely become a cuckoo’s nest, one huge madhouse.  There is certainly no other explanation for it.  Lebanon and all the insanity of the Begin-Sharon-Lukid policy collapses; the United States deserts Israel without a by-your- leave; Reagan entertains Mubarak and Hussein in the White House (and one can imagine what was privately plotted there); soldiers inside Lebanon are killed and wounded without a response from Moshe Arens while soldiers outside refuse to serve there; the economic index goes up by 14% in ONE MONTH (an annual rate of over 400%); Egypt laughs at Camp David and moves openly back into the Arab fold; three rockets fall on Metulla as “Peace in the Galilee” becomes more of a naked joke; leftists and liberals march in the streets demanding suicide and they gain more and more support in the wake of a paralyzed, tired, frightened government; Arabs grow bolder or simply GROW inside Israel and the territories; and a terrible drought grips the country; in the neighborhoods and moshavim and development towns social unrest grows as crime shoots upward.
And in response:
The city of Petach Tikvah votes to allow legal mass Sabbath desecration with places of entertainment opened wide; the Haifa Theater produces a play, The Messiah, in which words of desecration and abomination are directed against G-d; a group of parents organizes to fight the yeshivot because their children have become baalei tshuva; Yossi Sarid, the Labor M.K. writes an article in Shmuel Shnitzer’s major newspaper, Maariv, to declare his disgust for the Biblical story of Abraham and the sacrifice; the head of the League Against Religious Coercion declares, in Al Hamishmar, that there must be an uprising against the religious including “hangings from lampposts” since without this “things will not go”; Knesset members vow that the law that would make the definition of a Jew one based on halacha, will never pass; and in the Brenner school, a student, member of the Noar HaOved (working youth), burns a Bible in a regular test of “who believes in G-d?

One would imagine that seeing the country disintegrating before their eyes, the Jews of Israel would pause to consider the possibility of Divine anger and punishment.  One would fancy that – seeing shear tragedy and horror loom before them and the utter bankruptcy of both Left and Right, dove and hawk, the socialist and secular nationalist,  - Jews would ponder the reality of secular failure and at least the feasibility of the events that are unfolding being part of Divine retribution for our sins.  One would logically hope for at least contemplation of the need to examine our ways and premises of life, our overview and philosophy of existence.

But no, “though thou poundest a fool in a mortar with pestle…yet will his foolishness not depart from him.”  We remain the children of our fathers, the people, stiff-necked and with uncircumcised heart.  What a pity! What a tragedy! How we will – all of us – pay for the blindness of the fools in the mortar.

I listen to the speeches of the braying secular asses: Shamir, Arens, yes, Sharon and Rafael Eytan, of the dead Tehiya of Geula Cohen and Yuval Ne’eman – of all of the experts and ministers and politicians and, G-d help us.

LEADERS. I listen and wait for the one little word that will show that they understand something.  I hear nothing; they understand precisely that.  I wait for the one little world and so does the world.  It never comes.  And because of that, in its place, will come the awesome horrors upon a people who even the pounding of the pestle cannot help.  I wait for the one little word. G-d. And so does HE.  But the word never comes and no one calls Him. And so, He will not come and help until the awful time has passed.

And in the meantime, Peres and Shamir and Rabin and Arens and Tehiya and Mafdal and the intellectuals and experts and leaders will continue to run about madly in the cuckoo’s nest.

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Thursday, January 15, 2015

Shma Yisrael vs. Allahu Akbar -1989

From Barbara Ginsberg’s Desktop

 “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 6

Shma Yisrael vs. Allahu Akbar

Nowhere was it more clearly seen. The real meaning of the struggle in the Holy Land was never more blatantly revealed than in the stabbing of a Jew in Jerusalem, recently. And now is it important for us to understand this reality, for if we do not we will not have the slightest idea of what the struggle in Israel is all about and, far worse, how to win it.
Yehuda Avahami, a young man who prays daily at the Western Wall, was walking last week through the so-called Muslim Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem. Just inside Sha'ar Shchem (Damascus Gate) he was attacked by an Arab who stabbed him in the back. And here is the crux of the story: As the Arab stabbed the Jew, the Arab shouted in triumph, "Allahu Akbar!" (Allah is great). The Jew, attacked and feeling that he was in danger of death, shouted, "Shma Yisrael!"

And herein lies the real meaning of the struggle. And herein lies the shame of the struggle.
It has become the slogan, the war call, the triumphant shout of every Moslem attack on Jews. Allahu Akbar! The Arab who drove the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem bus over the cliff, shouted it. The Arab who attacked my nephew-soldier on the streets of Jerusalem, shouted it. It is the theme of the struggle of the Moslems against the Jewish state. And it is the theme of attack, of power, of defeating the Jewish enemy, of defeating the G-d of the Jews, of triumph for Islam. Allahu Akbar! is the voice of the Moslem attacking the Jewish victim.
And the victim? He cries out, Shema Yisrael...
Shma Yisrael becomes the symbol of the victim, of the Jew attacked, of the dying Jew. The great concept of Shma Yisrael, which was meant to be the triumphant and powerful and resounding cry of the Jewish victory and the Omnipotence of the G-d of the Jews, becomes a thin, small, quiet voice in the desert. The voice of Kiddush Hashem, Jewish sanctification, becomes one of degradation, of Jewish defeat and death.
And that is Hillul Hashem, desecration of the Name, and that worst of Jewish crimes dare not be allowed to continue lest His awesome wrath rage against us.
"Shma Yisrael!" Hear O Israel! This is the way the mashuach milchama, the priest who was ordained as the one who led the Jews into battle, would begin his speech to the Jewish army, prepared to go into battle:
"Shma Yisrael! Hear O Israel! You are coming near this day to the battle against your enemies. Let your heart not be faint; do not be afraid, do not panic, and do not be broken before them. For the L-rd, your G-d, is the One who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you." (Deuteronomy 20:3-4)

Shma Yisrael is not the plaintive cry of a Jewish victim, but the clarion call of the mashuach milchama, the appointed Priest of War. It is not a numbing prayer of defeat but a certain, assured call of triumph. Not the voice of the victim but the roar of the conqueror. It is the affirmation of the real meaning of Shma Yisrael: "Hear O Israel, the L-rd is our G-d, the L-rd is One - the only One, the all-powerful One, the all-conquering One, the One who is over all gods, including Allah."
Shma Yisrael is the voice of the Jewish Warrior-Priest to the Jewish warriors, not to the Jewish victims. It is the affirmation of the power and Omnipotence of the Jewish G-d and the assurance that faith in Him guarantees victory. In the words of the Talmud (Sotah 42a):"Why does the message begin with the words 'Shma Yisrael', in particular? Rabbi Yochanan said in the name of Rabbi Shimon Bar- Yochai: the All Mighty said to Israel: even though you only observed the mitzvah of 'Shma Yisrael' in the morning and in the evening, you will not be given over to your enemies."
You think that is an easy thing, Jew? Think again.
Shma Yisrael is the symbol, the utterance of real faith. Real faith. Not the plastic faith of theory in which the Jew pays copious and very "frum", pious, lip service to the All Mighty, only to find a hundred "halachic" reasons why to back away from confrontation with the enemy at the moment of reality. Faith means believing the cry of the mashuach milchama whose Shma Yisrael is an integral part of, "Let your heart not be faint... do not be afraid!" And in the words of the Sifri (Shoftim 192): "They come with the victory of flesh and blood, and you come with the victory of the All Mighty". And the Talmud, Sotah (ibid.), expands on this: "The Philistines came with the victory of Goliath; what was his end? In the end he fell with the sword and they fell with him, and you are not that way. For the L-rd, your G-d, is the One who goes with you, to fight for you..."
We have taken a Shma Yisrael that was meant to be the slogan of Jewish power and Omnipotence of our G-d, and turned it into a plaintive cry of a victim. We took a cry of power and turned it into weakness. "Kol ha'Shem ba'koach! The voice of the L-rd is powerful!"(Psalms 29:4). And if that is true, so must the voice of His people be powerful. "Who is the King of glory? The L-rd, strong and mighty, the L-rd, mighty in battle" (ibid., 24:8). And if that is true, then we must crown Him king in battle by our being strong and mighty in battle.
The reason that the Moslem shouts Allahu Akbar is because we allow him to think so. On that glorious day in 1967 when Jewish troops, the Tzivot Ha'Shem, the host and ranks of the All Mighty, swept into the Old City of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount, there were no shouts of Allahu Akbar. There was only fear and terror in the eyes and hearts of the Moslems who saw, and felt and knew - "Shma Yisrael, Hashem Echad!"
It was the Jewish retreat and fear of the world, of the nations, that reinstilled in the heart of the Moslem the belief that Allahu Akbar. It was the terrible lack of faith in the words of the priest of battle, "Do not be afraid.... for the L-rd is the One who goes with you, to fight for you," that brought on us this terrible resurgence in faith and strength and arrogance of the Moslem. In direct proportion to Jewish lack of faith and fearful prostration before the gentiles did the Moslems grow in certainty and confidence in Allah. What a terrible indictment of the Jewish people! What a terrible humiliation that Jews, the small and the great, talk about "the prohibition of antagonizing the nations." As if we were still in Pinsk or Casablanca.
And so a Moslem proudly attacks a Jew and cries, Allahu Akbar, and the Jew, in fear, cries out: Shma Yisrael. Not as a war cry but as a death chant. Hillul Hashem!
Written: November 1989
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Thursday, January 8, 2015

Oylem Goylem (Masses are Asses)

From Barbara Ginsberg’s Desktop

 “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 6


What Alexander Hamilton said in his day (“the masses are asses”) was a mere echo of a famous Yiddish folk saying, “der oylem iz a goylem”. The golem, one recalls, is that brutish being, incapable of independent thought, and keyed to the will of its master. Alas, the more things change, the less anything in the Jewish world does. The oylem, the Jewish audience, remains a goylim

I speak of the incredible willingness of the Jew to want to believe any lie, fraud and cynical manipulation – as long as that allows him to preserve his illusions of heroes. I speak of the almost absolute ability of politicians to do and say anything, in the knowledge that their idolatrous followers will see only divinity and truth in them – despite the fact that if the same act would be done to by a politician they despise, they would be crying for “the traitors scalp.” And I write this, as the cult of Ariel Sharon spreads among the oylem that is a goylem, the masses of asses.

There is an apparent need on the part of human beings, and certainly Jews, for a hero. There is a need for man to worship. Alas, G-d lacking enough charisma for the modern Jew, he seeks something more exciting. And in every decade there is someone else to worship, some other god with feet and mind and soul of clay. Now, it may be legitimate to raise high the banner of a leader, but only the goylem refuses to see his feet of clay and his nakedness of principle.

In the past it was Moshe Dayan, he of the one eye and the lion heart of Judah.  Jews of the Exile, humiliated for two millennia, ached for a hero and here was the Jewish Samson who smote the gentiles and gave every Jew in Levittown pride and self-respect. Little matter that Dayan was a man of tiny faith and immense fear of the gentiles, who along with Golda Meir (yet another Jewish winner), refused to allow the Israeli Army to strike a preventive blow a day before they knew the Yom Kippur War was to begin, out of fear of the American reaction.

No less than 4,000 Jewish boys fell because of that criminal decision by Moshe the lion-hearted, who was quoted in the first week of that war that seemed to be a debacle, “we are seeing the destruction of the Third Temple”. And who recalled, or cared to, that it was Dayan, who  in the Six Day War, opposed reaching the Suez Canal and capturing the Golan Heights lest Israel get involved with the Soviets. (It was Divine Providence that saw the Israeli Army outrun Dayan’s pathetic orders). And who recalls, or cares to, that it was Dayan who refused to expel the Arabs in 1967, when the world stood awe-struck, lest as he put it, “the world think that there is another wave of Arab refugees.” Indeed, he ordered the army to return thousands of Arabs who had fled on their own, and the tragedy of today is in such large measure the doing of Moshe Dayan, hero of the Jewish people. And yet he continues, incredibly, to dwell in the private Pantheon of millions of Jews. Indeed, an  oylem goylem.

And Golda, the architect of the murder of 4,000 Jewish soldiers because of fear of the world. The architect, too, of the saying that will surely enter the Hall of Fame of Insanity, as she declared: “I can forgive the Arabs for having killed our soldiers but I can never forgive them for making us kill theirs.” And yet, this person still remains in the eyes of millions “the only gever (man) in the Israeli cabinet…”

And Begin. What shall we say about a man who will go down in history as the saddest and weakest of all Prime Ministers, while, at the same time, continuing to reap the kudos and hurrahs of millions who make up his oylem goylem. Had Peres given up the Sinai, with its huge oil supplies and land area, knocked down Jewish settlements and dragged out Jews; had Peres stopped the Israeli Army in Lebanon from annihilating the PLO and its leadership and thus cause more than 650 Jewish soldiers to die for nothing; had Peres allowed his army officers to take the blame for Sabra and Shatilla – Begin and his groupies would have taken to the streets calling for the head of the “traitor”. But since it was Begin who did it, the goylem accepts it as the decision “forced upon him”. What an oylem! What a goylem!

Every decade, every year, the goylem finds himself another hero. Shamir. He is better than Peres. Why? Only G-d knows why a man who arrested and prosecuted the Jewish underground; who is Prime Minister of the intifada; who lied on every issue (except money) to the religious parties; who speaks loudly and carries a small twig –is lionized by the oylem goylem.  And worst of all  - is Sharon
Ariel Sharon.  Latest hero of the masses   He is the “hawk.” He is the no-nonsense man.  He is the salvation.  Masses. Asses, Oylem, Goylem.

It was a Saturday night and Begin was on the verge of signing the infamous, insane Camp David Accords. The sticking point was Sadat’s absolute refusal to allow Jews to remain, hence the need to dismantle the settlements and remove the Jews. Begin feared one man. Sharon.  He called him from the U.S. to ask if he would support the plan. What else was said we can only guess.  But what is known is that Sharon agreed to support it, voted for the Camp David accords in the Knesset (Shamir did not) and then was appointed Minister of Defense.
And as Minister of Defense, it was Ariel Sharon, hawk, hero, salvation, who hovered over the area in his helicopter directing the knocking down of Jewish settlements (and creating a precedent for Judea and Samaria) and bodily dragging out Jews from their homes. If Peres had done that, what would the hawk have said? What would the hero have shouted? What would the salvation have exclaimed? Masses. Asses. Oylem, Goylem.  I know of countless cabinet ministers in the world, and even some in Israel, who resigned over principle. If the handling of the “intifada” is so terrible (and it is!) and if Israel is headed toward disaster (and it is!), why does not Sharon resign?  And what can one say about a man who, in November 1987 and then again in December of that year and again after that, called for the drafting of Arabs into the army and who condemns Meir Kahane for his proposal to expel them instead?

Donkeys, asses, are programmed in their limitations. They cannot see; they cannot grasp reality. Human donkeys are different. They can – but they are worse than the four-legged brand because they refuse to see and admit truth and reality. The same Ariel Sharon is a man whose word is suspect (and I attempt to be kind). In an interview with the newspaper Ma’ariv on the eve of the 1973 elections, he told the paper that he supported equal rights for all wings of Judaism – Reform, Conservatism, as well as Orthodox, and was for public transportation on the Sabbath. Today he goes to the Lubavitcher Rebbe for his blessings in his battle against Shamir’s elections plan, and the oylem goylem goes wild in ecstasy.

And Rabbi Levinger, who is a good man, just as the Arab he thankfully shot was not, but the Gush Emunim, which blasted any idea of expulsion of Arabs and instead raised high the lie of coexistence with them (lest they be branded “racists”), is responsible in the end for the intifada and for the Arabs who stoned his car. (The February 10, 1984 issue of the Jewish Press carries a long article on a Levinger’s trip to America.  In it he says: “In Judea and Samaria, in general, there is no trouble. Arabs and Jews work together, travel together . . . It is not only good to live in a settlement near Arabs, it is good to live together . . .”

I could go on and on. But hopefully the point is clear to that percentage of Jews what has risen above the oylem goylem, who have achieved more than donkey status. Be honest.  Be truthful. And above all, cease being idol worshipers.  A horror committed by Ariel Sharon is just as horrendous as one committed by Yossi Sarid.  The Likud is not better than Labor, and neither in the end is Tchiya or Moledet, whose leader, Rechavam Ze’evi, called for an Arab Vice-Speaker of Knesset and never tires of disclaiming any attempt to force Arabs out of the country (“I only speak of voluntary transfer . . . .”)

To  go as allies with the best of the worst – of course.  But when the question is whom to support and join and believe in – the answer is only those whose record is that of consistency: who never changed and never wavered and never compromised.  Anything less than that will never bring salvation.  Ever.
Written July 1989

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Thursday, January 1, 2015

The Final Redemption

From Barbara Ginsberg’s Desktop

Volume 2


Do the renaissance of the Jews’ land, its sovereignty, and the ingathering of the exiles not constitute the slightest fulfillment of G-d’s promise: “The L-rd your G-d will then bring back your remnants and have mercy on you.  He will once again gather you from among the nations where He scattered you” (Deut. 30:3)?  Do enormous, unbelievable miraculous victories which occurred in four days and in six days, in which we walked on the high places of our enemies who are as numerous as the sand by the sea, and who possess mighty weapons, not constitute signs unparalleled in their openness?  Do our being raised up from the unparalleled lowliness of the Holocaust, the donning of raiment’s of the national glory, the destruction of the enemy who rose up to annihilate us and the liberation of our holy lands who return we never have dared hope for, have so little significance?  All this we saw, open miracles and wonders, and not only did we not recognize the miracles but treated them with scorn.

How could we have failed to prostrate ourselves in thanks, in acknowledgement and joy, in recognition and admiration, in praise and glory to our Maker?  Could the end of days be any more obvious?  We were smitten with blindness and did not absorb what our eyes saw.  Our senses were blunted by the exile sickness, which saps the spirit and turns the Jewish People into the one of whom it was said, “You hear but you do not understand.  You see, but you do not perceive” (Isaiah 6:9). G-d have mercy!

Many fine people ask a question:  How can we say that the events that have occurred in our day and the establishment of a Jewish state involve the hand of G-d, when those who established the state are wicked heretics?  The answer is that indeed, most of them were wicked, spiteful renegades who banded together against G-d and Torah in an effort to cast off the yoke of Heaven; and they shall forever pay for their malicious sins, especially for murdering the souls of tens of thousands (and more) of innocent Jews who came up to the Land, their Torah with them.  These are Jews who won out over the nations in the exile only to be vanquished by wicked Jews, an woe to those advocates of “groundless love” who try to cover up for these evildoers and their deeds.

Even so, however, none of this has any connection to the establishment of the state, which is, indeed, the hand of G-d in accordance with all the principles of  Kiddush Hashem enumerated previously: that G-d is crowned Supreme King of Kings only in accordance with His might and power appearing in the world; that the nations measure G-d’s power according to the strength or weakness of His people, Israel; and that despite Israel’s not deserving redemption and salvation, G-d still saves them in order to sanctify His name. The Jewish state came into being only to erase the scourge of Chilul Hashem: “When they came unto the nations…they profaned My holy name. Israel’s very presence in the exile, an uprooted minority scattered and homeless among the nations, exposed to the majority’s onslaughts, pursued and humiliated and murdered for being weak and cut off from their land, army and pride – all this is itself a Chilul Hashem.

The redemption which began despite our sins in order to sanctify G-d’s name before the nations in might and splendor, has, in the hands of an “ungrateful, unwise nation” (Deut. 32:6), turned into a profanation and a blasphemy carried out precisely by those whom G-d thought to redeem.  If the beginning of the redemption and the state served to sanctify
G-d’s name, then the only way to move on  to “hasty” redemption is to continue reinforcing the Kiddush Hashem through trusting in G-d and liquidating the Chilul Hashem without fear of the non-Jew, without fear of flesh and blood.  Every retreat, every submission, every concession to the non-Jew, every hand raised against the Jew, every attack, let alone murder, of a Jew in the Land, every taunt and curse by a non-Jew in the Land, is a Chilul Hashem. If such Chilul Hashem exists, it is many times more severe than any other type, for it occurs within the state which arose exclusively to eradicate Chilul Hashem.  Now, instead of continuing to reinforce the Kiddush Hashem process, the Jewish People retreat and profane G-d’s name.

Whoever allows the non-Jew in Eretz Yisrael to rise up profanes G-d’s name with terrible contempt.  If G-d gave s large portions of Eretz Yisrael as part of the start of redemption, in order to sanctify His name through the most remarkable, might victories, and someone is later ready to concede parts of the Holy Land and hand them over to the nations, he profanes G-d’s name with disgraceful blasphemy. Whoever does not allow Jews to live everywhere in the Land, whoever ties their hands and prevents their taking the revenge of G-d and Israel against the nations who curse and revile G-d and His Messiah, profanes G-d’s name and profanes the great miracle and the powerful dream realized by G-d at the start of the redemption.

Whoever sees the rebirth of Eretz Yisrael and a Jewish state and understands that he can easily flee the defilement of the nations and the exile and move to the Holy Land; whoever knows that G-d has opened the last chapter of the existence of the world, which is approaching the end of the sixth thousand, and that G-d is beginning to sanctify His name, profaned among the nations, by returning Israel to their land, thereby preparing to blot out the exile, symbol of Chilul Hashem – whoever knows all this, yet remains among the nations and their defilements, loathing the delightful Land, profanes G-d’s name and His beloved land.

And whoever remains there out of fear and dread of the nations, or out of doubts and uncertainties regarding his livelihood or the dangers of the Land, thereby demonstrates total lack of faith in Hashem as the G-d of Israel, Supreme, Omnipotent King of Kings; and there is no Chilul Hashem more degrading, for it borders on atheism.  Yet, all attempts to flee the challenge and mission which G-d placed on our necks as a dear and gladdening yoke will be to no avail.
The ledger is open, the hand is recording, and the last chapter of the world’s existence is being written.  Redemption is drawing near, and the doorposts tremble at the resounding voice asking, “’in haste’ or ‘in its time’?”

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