Kahane on the Parsha
Rabbi Meir Kahane- Parshat Noach
NO REST IN THE EXILE
"'And [Noah] sent forth a dove...but the dove found no rest for the sole of its foot, and it returned to him into the ark' (Genesis 8:8-9). Rabbi Shimon said: Had it found a resting place it would not have returned. And similarly does it say: '[Israel] sat among the nations and found no resting place' (Lamentations 1:3). Had they found a resting place they would not have returned to Eretz Yisrael. And similarly: 'And among those nations you shall find no peace, neither shall the sole of your foot have rest' (Deuteronomy 28:65). Had they found a resting place they would have never returned" (Bereishit Rabba 33:6).
The divine proclamation is clear: There will be no rest for the Jew in the Exile because if there would be rest and tranquility and comfort and ease, the Jew would NEVER return to Eretz Yisrael. How well the Rabbis knew the Jews!!!
No amount of Halacha, no amount of admonition, no amount of religious observance would ever convince the overwhelming majority to leave an Exile in which they find ease and rest for the soles of their feet. And that is why there is an iron law of Judaism that decrees that the Exile shall never be anything but a place of terror and fear and tragedy.
I wonder if the average Jew knows how much he is hated in America. I wonder if the average Jew has the slightest knowledge of the immense, deep, poisonous venom that is Jew-hatred in the United States. I doubt it. We live in our ghettos, our increasingly golden ghettos, and see and hear nothing, and we sit satisfied in our glatt isolation that so enables us to escape from the reality of the vicious bile and venom. We live in our worlds of dreams and illusions and know nothing.
Can we imagine what will be if, G-d forbid, there is an economic collapse of massive proportions? Can we imagine what will be if the American economy bursts- an economy that is one huge balloon filled with the gas of huge debt, unbridled spending and borrowing, trade deficit, a banking and savings and loan system that sits on the thin ice of loans that can never be repaid, an economy that is one huge fraud as jobs and products slip away into the Japanese-Asian orbit?
Can we imagine what will be when the violent American who has been hopelessly spoiled by 40 years of unprecedented prosperity and wallowing in the mud of materialism suddenly faces economic ruin? Can we imagine what will happen when the life of three automobiles to a family, VCRs, a TV in each room, vacations, fun, fun, fun - suddenly comes to a screeching stop?
Such a person will become a wild animal, literally incapable of accepting a life of sharp economic displacement. He will follow anyone who promises to restore him to the days of beer and daisies. And the scapegoat will be - the Jew.
And so, I do not even bother any longer to persuade Jews of the halachic obligation to live in Eretz Yisrael, of the positive reason for going there. They will not go. Together they sit in the fleshpots, in a sensational display of Jewish unity against leaving the golden land. Reform, Conservative, Orthodox, ultra-Orthodox, all bound in a pledge of allegiance to the good life and all that for which it stands.
I can only warn them about the ultimate halachic scholar for the Jew in the Exile. Who is that? Why, surely, the gentile.
The Jewish Press, 1989
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