Saturday, January 30, 2016

Don't Be So Humble 1968

Kahane on the Parsha
Rabbi Meir Kahane- Parshat Yitro
We are told that when the L-rd desired to give the Torah to the Jewish people, instead of choosing a 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 teach us that man must turn his back on overbearing pride and reject a false ego.
The Gerer Rebbe asked: If G-d intended to teach us that man must turn down false pride, why was the Torah not given in a valley?
The Rebbe answered: It is not enough, he said, to reject overbearing pride. Too much humility is also 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 remember the lesson of the mountain.
The fact is that we are living in sad times when we must- just for the moment- still the voice of Jacob and, for the sake of Jewish honor, of Jewish protection, don the hand of Esav.
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 to be spat upon? 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.
So 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
The Jewish Press, 1968
Editor's note: Rabbi Meir Kahane wrote this dvar Torah shortly after forming the Jewish Defense League, which at first devoted itself to protecting vulnerable Jews in New York City, which was experiencing an upswing in crime in the 1960's. He later often repeated this dvar Torah

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