The Writings of Rav Binyamin Ze'ev Kahane HY”D- Parashat Devarimפרשת דברים
This Is Judaism, And Stop Apologizing!
By western standards, the book of “Devarim” would have to be defined as an ultra-nationalistic doctrine. Its concepts are the very opposite of liberal western concepts. Its laws are illegal by western standards. The book is based on conquest. Stressed over and over again is the uncompromising commandment to conquer the land of “Canaan” from the gentile nations who have lived there for thousands of years, and to change the name to “Eretz Yisrael”.
If this isn't enough, we are even commanded to disinherit (to expel), and if necessary to annihilate the inhabitants of the land. This is an inseparable component of the positive commandment of “settling the land”.
The Book of “Devarim” also centers around the choseness of the Jewish Nation. The concept appears most prominently in Parashat Vaetchanan (7: 6-8), in Parashat Eikev (10:15), Parashat Re'eh (14:1-2) and almost all other parshiot of the book. This “ultra-nationalism” continues right on through to the book of Joshua and beyond.
Judaism is not a Supermarket!
We want to now delve into the “morality” of all this. We do not do so in order to make the Torah more palatable for all the non-believers and Hellenists around who simply reject the book of “Devarim” as they do the rest of the Torah, considering it primitive and racist. Rather we direct our words to G-d fearing Jews who understand that the Jewish Nation is dependent on the Torah, want to fulfill it, and ask all the same: These are the enlightened traditional Jewish ethics and values that everyone speaks about? This is the Jewish morality we so often hear about: Conquering, expelling, chosen people?
The answer is yes. What can one do when the “traditional Jewish values” that so many Jews speak of simply do not exist! Do not exist? There is no such thing as traditional Jewish ethics and values? Of course there is! But they are something entirely different. At the core of Jewish ethics and morality setting in apart from the ethics of mortal man is the concept of the acceptance of the yoke of heaven. That is, we DO NOT pick and choose the “merchandise”. First and foremost, we accept upon ourselves the values of Hashem WITHOUT ASKING QUESTIONS. Only then do we “check the goods”. While it is true that in the world of business one does not buy until he examines the product, the mitzvot and concepts of Hashem are not a business negotiation. They must be accepted unconditionally. Thus it is written, “It is better than all other goods” - for it is a product that one does not “check” before “buying”.
Book of National Policy
The Book of “Devarim” is the national policy guideline for the Jewish Nation. It is the morality that G-d conveys to us on subjects connected to Israeli nationalism. If someone wants to call it “ultra-nationalism”, so be it, for it is true Jewish ethics. It is not a system of values that is subject to change according to the whims of one generation or another as another passing fad, but rather it is an eternal morality that we, our fathers and our forefathers clinged to for thousands of years. This value system withstood all the passing tides of the past thousands of years, while modern western culture which evolved during the last one hundred (100) years will melt away as did its “enlightened” predecessors: Greek, Rome, Assyria, Babylon, east and west, of one generation or another...
Precisely today when the sabotaging of all Jewish concepts are intensifying; at a time when the so-called “national” camp is non-existent, it is an obligation to read the parshiot in the Book of “Devarim”, and in particular “Ekev”, to strengthen our “emunah” in these authentic Jewish concepts. We must do so in order that we, the spiritual right side of the spectrum, can speak our piece clearly, unequivocally, and without guilt: The Almighty is stronger than all the nations, and if we believe in Him and fulfill His difficult “immoral” mitzvot, so to speak, we shall overcome our enemies (both political and cultural), and re-establish the Torah Republic that we have dreamed of for 2,000 years!
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