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Rabbi Meir Kahane
WHEN G-D DEMANDS CRUELT-Y
"And you shall love the L-rd, your G-d, with all your heart" (Deuteronomy 6:5). Why does the Torah use the word "l'vavcha," which implies plural hearts, rather than "libcha," which clearly means one heart? The Mishnah (Berachot 9:5) answers: "You should serve G-d with BOTH your inclinations- the good inclination and the evil inclination." Rabbeinu Yona in his commentary on the Talmud explains this as follows: "When a man does not have mercy on the wicked and is cruel to them, he performs a great mitzvah and worships G-d with the evil inclination."
The foundation of foundations of Judaism is ol malchoot shamayim, the acceptance of the yoke of heaven. A mitzvah is EXACTLY that. A COMMANDMENT. Not an approved thing; not a thing that was mulled over, considered, and then agreed to, but a commandment from the Almighty. Do! Don't! Regardless of your approval or disapproval. To smash the ego and harness it and limit it and bend it to the will of G-d.
That is, of course, the exact opposite of what I call "Saulism," after the first king of Israel, Saul. Concerning the words in I Samuel 15:5 "Va'yarev ba'nachal," the Rabbis (in Yoma 22b) explain that Saul "struggled," i.e., he struggled with himself over the commandment to wipe out Amalek, saying, "If the men sinned, why the women? If the women, why the children? If the children, why the animals?" And a voice from heaven called forth, "Do not be overly righteous."
Saulism. The inability to accept the standards of mercy and cruelty that G-d has laid down. AS G-D HAS LAID THEM DOWN. The inability to accept the yoke of heaven because of personal views and concepts that are at odds with the Torah.
That Centrist Orthodoxy is the heir of Saulism is beyond dispute. Let it never be forgotten that Saul, according to tradition, was a great scholar, av bet din of the Sanhedrin. This did not prevent him from sadly falling into the sin of following his own views and concepts and ideas concerning morality and ethics. He defied the L-rd, refused to bend to the yoke of heaven, because his heart and mind were shaped by other views and he could not accept what he considered to be the immoral and unethical command of G-d. That is the original sin of Centrist Orthodoxy, too. And as one pours over the myriad of sources that clearly show Judaism's commitment to the hatred and wiping out of evil, one is appalled at reading an article by Rabbi Emanuel Rackman, an eloquent spokesperson for Centrist Orthodoxy, as he tells Jews:
"I know how hard it is for Jews to be self-disciplined and suffer the intifada until the Arabs learn that it will gain them nothing. Many a time, I, too, am tempted to say that perhaps only Rabbi Kahane's way is the road we will have to take. He can base his militancy on Biblical texts. But it is not the truly Jewish way. It is the way of bringing G-d down to the level of man. Our goal must be to bring manup to G-d's level. We MUST continue to be patient, obedient to law and even forgiving. It is a slow road but the only G-dly one."
Few statements in my recent memory are more deliberately fraudulent and hypocritical. It is precisely the Saulists of our time, as so keenly represented by Rackman and Centrist Orthodoxy, that bring G-d down to man's level because they pervert Torah and create it in their image. They, the ones who have been so sadly perverted by worship and adulation of the secular, non-Jewish, gentilized college and university courses they embraced, find it spiritually impossible to accept Torah values that are at such odds with what they call humanism. It is THEY who drag Torah and G-d down to THEIR level, and it is precisely those Jews who accept the Torah commandments without hesitation and queasiness of soul and intellect who raise themselves to His level.
Centrist Orthodoxy, the continuation of Saulism, is the greatest ultimate danger to Torah verities and purity. And as it becomes ever clearer that they are a retreating camp with less and less of a future, they will become more desperate in their attacks on authentic Judaism (which they call "ultra-Orthodoxy") and more radical in their accommodations with right-wing Conservatism, with whom they have more in common than they care to admit.
Written in The Jewish Press 1989
Please continue your prayers for Rivka bat Talya the 20-year old daughter of Binyamin and Talya Kahane, may G-d avenge their blood.
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