Friday, September 30, 2016

Greatness vs. Mediocrity 1976

Kahane on the Parsha
Rabbi Meir Kahane- Parshat Nitzavim
There is no more fundamental axiom in Judaism than the one that decrees that man has free will, the ability, the right, and the obligation to choose for himself the path down which he will walk his life. "See, I have set before you this day life and good, and death and evil...therefore choose life" (Deuteronomy 30:15-19).
Choose life. Choose to be great or mediocre, choose permanence or passing transition. It is an individual and a collective choice, an individual and collective decision for the Jew and the Jewish people. "For you are a holy people unto the L-rd, your G-d; the L-rd, your G-d, has chosen you to be His own treasure out of all the peoples that are upon the face of the earth" (ibid. 7:6).
It is a decision that faces the Jew, individual and collective. A simple and so difficult decision. Shall I be great with all the difficulties that come with it or shall I choose mediocrity? Shall I desire to be chosen and special and carry out the sacrifices and the burdens that go along with choseness, or shall I flee from greatness and desire to be as all nations and individuals- all the other ordinary and transitory people who live and pass on, leaving nothing behind except their own petty and narrow lives?
To borrow the language of the Rabbis, "To what is this comparable?" To a woman who is beautiful and desirable and who is wooed by two suitors. One is wealthy and can offer her comfort and security and prestige but within a mediocre and myopic life of small-mindedness. The other not only cannot offer her the comfortable life of material pleasures and security that the first can give, but he also lives a life of difficulty and sacrifice. But he has one thing that the other has not. He is a life of doing for people, of vision and holiness. He has chosen greatness and permanence and the exciting way of life that is truly chosen. The other suitor, with all his comfort and security, is ordinary, narrow. His is not the life of the chosen but of the commonplace. In short, the poorer suitor has chosen true life and offers it to the woman he loves deeply- he wishes to grow with her, he loves her so much that he yearns to give her greatness by his side.
So is it with the Jew, Knesset Yisrael- the Congregation of Israel. The choice is before her. One suitor- the world- offers her the opportunity to be like the nations, following their mediocre, petty, narrow values. The "reward" will be apparent comfort and security. But the price is the loss of opportunity to be holy and great and special. The destiny that is offered is mere "ordinariness." The other suitor is the Almighty and He offers difficulty and sacrifice. But with it there are two rewards. Not only is Knesset Yisrael promised truth and nobility and greatness, but even the sacrifice is beautiful because G-d, the suitor, will walk and share it with her.
The choice is the same for both. The woman and Knesset Yisrael. Will both be great and strong enough to choose life?
The Jewish Press, 1976
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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

ELUL - 1977

R A B B I   M E I R   K A H A N E


2 Elul 5737 - September 2, 1977


The Jewish calendar is full of notations, red letter days that are meant to be both particular reminders as well as part of a uniform one:  time is passing; the sands of life have run out just a bit more; the beard is a little grayer and the limbs just a touch heavier.  Time.  The Jewish calendar is a watchman of time, ram’s horn that blows not once a year but every time that a new time cycle begins.

Every week is marked by a Sabbath that notes not only the end of the week passed but the beginning of a new one. It is both a reminder of seven full days passed out of our life – so soon! – as well as the opportunity to make the next period fuller, more meaningful, a reason for being.

Every month is marked by a Rosh Chodesh, the consecration of the new beginning of yet another lunar cycle.  The wheel of heaven has revolved yet another thirty days – so soon! – and we are that much older.  The L-rd now gives us another month to prove that we are also that much wiser.  It is not only another month, it is a new month.   Above all, it is called Rosh Chodesh, the “head” of the month.  Is there perhaps here a hint to see how much wisdom has filled our heads during the mistakes and sins of the past one…?

And every year has its Rosh Hashana, that peculiarly Jewish day in which there are no parties and drinking and abandonment of restraint; in which there is no hilarious laughter and noise that is a frantic and frenetic attempt to convince all (and oneself) that he is happy; there is no frantic clutching at pleasure before it escapes and – worse  - before I pass on; too soon, too soon.  There is Rosh Hashana, the time past.  Another year gone by – already?  So soon! – and it is a time to see what the gray hairs and the added wrinkles and the slower reflexes have taught us.  Rosh Hashana is one step closer to the gateway out of this world and into the next one.  It is a time to rehearse the speech that we will make – all of us – some day, before the Supremest of Courts, as we attempt to explain the meaning of our lives below.

Life is too short for fools.  It is too long for those who know it was not given for happiness (if that comes, how wonderful, but how often does it appear, only in insignificant measures and at rare times, as drops of rain that fall on a parched desert leaving no impact, changing nothing so that the traveler never knows it fell).  Life was given for holiness and sanctity, so that we might rise above ourselves; so that we might consecrate and hallow that animalism within us that threatens at every moment to escape and express itself in selfishness, ego and greed – sins that are themselves only the corridors to the crimes of cruelty and hurting others.  Life is not a happy thing – it is a beautiful thing, and when one becomes the artist and artisan of that beauty that is called holiness, when one practices the supreme holiness that comes of loving and giving of oneself.

“Ani  l’dodi  v’dodi li…”  “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine…”  the words of the greatest of love poems, Song of Songs; great because it is that purest of love, between the Almighty and the House of Israel.  Consider them, for do they not contain the essence and the secret of true love?  “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine.”  When I am my beloved’s, when I give to her and give of myself and live to do for her and make her happy – then I am guaranteed that she is mine for she will, in turn, be doing the same for me.  The lovers who think of giving to each other must receive from each other.  This is love, this desire to give, this desire to sacrifice and do for the other.

Not for nothing was the Song of Songs called by the incomparable Rabbi Akiva, “the Holy of Holies” of all the books of the Bible.  For the kind of love expressed in it IS holiness.  Holiness is to escape from the selfishness and greed of the animal; it is to s  197mash the passions and desires of the ego; it is to master the will that makes man seek only his own gratification.  And is not love just that, in practice?  Is not love exactly that, if it is true love?

And not for no reason did the rabbis see in the Hebrew letters of the month of Elul the first letters of  “Ani l’dodi v’dodi li – I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine.”  Elul is the month of Tshuva, return and introspection.  It is the month of scraping away the ego that has settled and crusted on our hearts and souls.  If Passover calls for searching out he leaven in the home, Elul decrees removing it – the yeasty and bloated ego – from the soul.  It is a time to note the calendar, the graying and aging, and to realize: Not for nonsense was I born and not with nonsense must they bury me.
Be good.  Love.  Love selflessly; cease speaking evil, cease thinking evil; cease searching out evil in your fellow human beings.  Cease seeking to grow at the expense of others.  For one who climbs on top of the man he has just chopped down is not taller.  He is the same dwarf standing on his victim’s height.  Be wary lest you hurt the one you love.  Think before you act towards the other person.  Be good as a person, as an individual, and your part of the world will become holy.  Then, if others emulate you, the world will suddenly and automatically turn beautiful and hallowed.  It is Elul.  Think of your beloved – all the people of the earth – and think of your particular beloved.  Give of yourself and you will receive that which no amount of grasping and scheming can ever bring you: self-respect.  Love the other and you will learn to like yourself.  Be holy, for the One who made you is Holy and for this He placed you on this earth.  It is another Elul, yet another one.  How many more are left?

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Friday, September 16, 2016

Is It Good For The Jews



1971-73  5732-33


For decades, large numbers of American Jews and the vast majority of their leadership have been practicing the art of national suicide.  Faced with the loss of an elementary understanding that is possessed by even the most backward and primitive of people – that vital issues should be judged on the basis of national self-interest – Jews have consistently vowed fealty to ‘objectivity’, regularly placed liberal or “humanitarian” concepts over Jewish ones and worked tirelessly to destroy themselves.

Any normal people realize that groups base decisions upon self-interest.  Any normal people realizes that democracy is a conglomerate of pressure and self-interest groups with farmers, consumers, unions, Catholics, Blacks and all kinds of lobbyists constantly striving to assure that their interests be served.  Apparently, the Exile has so warped and terrified certain Jews that they strive to escape their Jewishness and the persecution that accrues from it, by becoming citizens of the world and “humans,” thus gaining love and safety from anti-Semitism. 

It is insecurity, fear and drive to assimilate that lead certain Jews to back causes that are blatantly anti-Jewish.  Thus, some Jews become Marxists in face of the fact that Marxism means the elimination of Jews both as a religion and nation.  Certain Jews become “humanists” despite – or because of – the subsequent blurring of all division between Jew and non-Jew. Others, retain their Jewishness, but insist upon being liberals before Jews and think a liberal world guarantees safety for the Jew.  All these groups have been proven wrong a thousand times over and the fact remains that the Jew can new never purchase his safety, security and peace at the expense of his own identity, specifically separate existence.  The one way to assure that identity and the survival of the Jew as a separate entity, is through Jewish self-interest.

Progress for Blacks does NOT, as we have been assured, necessarily guarantee Jewish progress.  Liberal support for downtrodden people in no way necessarily assures Jewish survival.  Being a liberal is not always synonymous with Jewish interests (and the same holds true for being a conservative).

It is vital for the Jew – if he wishes to survive – to understand a number of basic axioms:
1.     Unless the Jew aids himself there is no one else who will come to his rescue in time of great and critical need.  The fact is so historically true that it is inexplicable that it is not self-obvious.

2.     Jews, in order to survive, must continually gird their resources and strength for Jewish causes and aims since no one else will.

3.     In assessing every issue and politician the Jew should always use the yardstick: Is it good for the Jews?

This latter point may distress a great many liberal Jews.  It will surely not upset militant blacks who work along this principle for their own people continually and who understand the extent of white hostility and the need for Black power for Black interests.  Indeed, the growing awareness of self within the ranks of ethnics all over the country gives the lie to the absurd myth of the Melting Pot.  No one merits: in the end ethnic and religious ties – inward national pulls – are far more powerful than international and supranational movements.  It is little wonder that after 50 years of Soviet rule, Ukrainians and other groups retain and strengthen their own identity and the Great Russians retain their strangle hold on the Soviet Establishment.  It is not surprising that 27 years of Tito can do nothing about the rise of Serbian-Croat rivalry and the Communist Albania and Yugoslavia have an Albanian ethnic problem.

No one melts except frightened people who attempt to.  In the end they either dissolve completely or are rejected by the host body.  The solution to survival and respect in this world is not to attempt to lose oneself but to find; not to escape from but to return to the source of one’s beginnings.  One who does not know from whence he came will never know where he is going.  Some day we may build a better world but it will never come until each of us regains his own separate identity and self-respect.  Only with that self-respect can we respect others and only when others respect us will they truly accept our hand in friendship.

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Tuesday, September 13, 2016

A "Christian Embassy"

 “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.
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Chronology of Rabbi Kahane's life.

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Beyond Words
Selected Writings of Rabbi Meir Kahane,
Volume 4

For those willfully deluded Jews who prefer to believe that the gentile cannot match the Jew in cleverness, let a symbolic visit to the “new” Christian missionaries of Israel rudely disabuse them of such nonsense.  Once the Christian missionary was open and blunt in his proselytizing.  But the end of Christian hegemony and the rise of liberalism, combined with the birth of a Jewish state, served to create a new, subtle, clever and dangerous kind of Christian missionary.

One can find them today all over Israel – and the United States.  The sheep’s clothing of lovers of Israel deftly disguising their main concern and goal – the bringing of the “truth” to the Jew, the conversion of the Jew to Christianity, the call to the Jew to be “born again.”  Remember the names:  The “International Christian Embassy” and Jon Willem van der Hoeven.  Remember and beware.

They are, of course, only part of a bewildering and numbing influx of sects, religions and cults that are granted total freedom to ensnare the Israeli Jew.  Paganism in its most blatant idolatry is given free rein in the Jewish state that is far, far from that Gurus of various forms and shapes, purchase buildings and villas to which they attract thousands of Jews.  The pagan Hare Krishna can be seen in the streets and the campuses, singing their siren songs to a shallow and empty sabra (and young Jewish tourists, as well).  Transcendental meditation flourish, as well as EST and a whole host of Eastern cults and pagan seductions, Never in Israel’s history have the pagan and Eastern cults flourished so freely and well.

But the old, classical missionaries – the Christians – are still here, flourishing as never before.  And cleverer, by far, than the Jew.  Shrewdly understanding the change in time and temper. They no longer blatantly seek the Jewish soul.  Instead, they understand the Jewish Achilles’ heel and with wile and guile, pounce upon it.  They have come to understand that if the goy compliments the Jew, the latter will throw himself at the complimenter; that gentile praise of the Jew is as water to a parched soul.  Let the gentile stand and defend the Jew, and the latter will dissolve in love and gratitude.  Such is the painful but necessary result of two thousand years of Exile.  So hated and persecuted the Jew pines away for any sign of the non-Jewish love he so desperately needs to believe is out there somewhere. 

Remember the names: the “International Christian Embassy” and Jan Willem van der Hoeven.
Remember and beware:
It is, of course, impossible for a people to live for any considerable length of time as a minority, without land or home or sovereignty, and remain a normal, healthy entity.  It is simply not possible to be – for centuries – abused, persecuted, trampled upon, murdered, and the subject of contempt and sheer hatred, and to remain spiritually or mentally sound.  One becomes filled with the fears and insecurities and neuroses and psychoses of the hated.  One comes to hate himself as he slowly and subconsciously begins to believe that all these vilifications and attacks on him cannot all be false.  It is the natural condition of man to be loved and not hated; it is the normal condition of man to be free and sovereign and resident in his own home.  Twenty centuries of being a hated and despised stranger, supping at the tables and “tolerance” of others, has turned the Jew in the Exile into a less than normal person, so fearful of persecution and so eager for love, that he reacts with abnormal gratitude and thanksgiving at the slightest hint of gentile sympathy, not to mention lavish praise.

Remember the name.   And beware of it.  It is the cleverest and most dangerous of the missionaries.  Immediately after the passage of the so-called Jerusalem Law declaring the city to be the eternal capital of Israel, the few countries that had kept their embassies in the Holy City pulled them out.  The missionaries saw here a golden opportunity for a public relations coup that would win them the love of a people starved for love.  And so, the idea was born in the missionary mind to create an “International Christian Embassy” accompanied by a declaration of support for Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.  Is there any wonder that Jews fell over themselves in gratitude?  Is there surprise that people who want to believe that the gentile really does not hate them will lionize and elevate unto the seventh heaven the cunning Christian, who outjingoizes the most xenophobic nationalist?

And so, when the missionaries of the “Christian Embassy” brought over some 3,000 missionaries last Sukkot for a conference in Israel, of course they were given treatment usually awarded to visiting royalty.  Begin, himself, spoke to them.  Newspapers, television and radio publicized them.  And the cunning game plan succeeded beyond all expectations.  Jews and Jesus were beginning to move closer.  The ban, prohibition and total separation between the Jewish people and Jesus the apostate, fraud and traitor to the Torah law, were now being abandoned.  After all, Christians who praise Israel to the heavens cannot be those who seek to destroy Jewishness!

But they do.  And remember them.  The “Christian Embassy.”  The heart of the Christian missionaries in Israel.  The most cunning and dangerous.  Tell your friends.  Have your rabbis warn of the.  Do not visit them.  Condemn them.  And consider what they are and what they do.

The Christian Embassy openly distributes literature aimed at converting Jews, including a well-known missionary paperback entitled The Uniqueness of Israel (entire chapters are devoted to quoting passages from the Torah which supposedly “prove” that Jesus was the Messiah).

The Christian Embassy distributes articles by Menachem Benhayim, a Jew who converted to Christianity and now leads a missionary group called the “International Hebrew Christian Alliance.”

 “A VEHICLE FOR EXTENDING G-D’S PURPOSE FOR ISREAL AND THE NATIONS” – that is, to convert Jews to Christianity.  The author of the article, David Bivin, is on the Embassy’s board of Trustees.

Merv Watson, another member of the Christian Embassy’s board of Trustees, if the founder of a missionary outfit called itself “Shekinah.”

This is the group that Jews in Israel dote upon.  These are the people honored (and publicized) by the Prime Minister when he spoke before their convention.  But above all, remember the cunning Dutchman, the man who is the evil genius behind the missionary center.  Remember the name of Jan Willem van der Hoeven and fight him, unmask him, remove the cloak of “Jew-lover” that covers a man who would destroy, in his own way, Jews – quite as much as did the Nazi machine, in its own manner.

I know van der Hoeven personally.  Following attacks on missionaries in 1973, he – who was the warder of the Garden Tomb in Jerusalem (a Christian holy site) – asked to speak to me.  He made an open and undisguised appeal to me to accept Jesus.  And why not?  He is a devout and fanatic missionary who has long taught Bible classes aimed at converting Jews.

And why not?  Every born-again Christian, fundamentalist, evangelist or what-have you MUST BE A MISSIONARY. The absurd Jews who ask them not to be, or the ludicrous ones who deny that they are, bring disaster on us.  Can one tell an Orthodox Jew to suspend his observance of the Sabbath? Just as well as a born-again Christian to suspend his attempts to proselytize.  They cannot.  It is a fundamental part of their faith.

And indeed, at a press conference in Jerusalem’s Beit Agron (Oct. 12, 1981), van der Hoeven, the Dutchman who is flying so high with adoring Jews, refused to criticize or disassociate himself from missionary activities, saying:  “After all, a basic tenet of Christianity is to witness our faith to others.

Fair enough.  But let us know them for what they really are.  Fanatical missionaries who will stoop to every deceit, trick and lie in order to snatch a Jewish soul.  And let us do two other things”

One: Expose them.  Have your rabbi, from the pulpit and in a special letter to the membership. Warn of them.  Have every Jewish community group explain to the local community that the support for Israel that these groups give is derived – not from any love of Jews – but only because of the belief that Jewish victory and return to the land will bring the coming of THEIR Messiah, Jesus, and the total conversion of the Jewish people.  And until that time, they fanatically renew their efforts to convert Jews NOW.

And that leads us to the second point:  The Israel government.  There simply are no words to describe the tragedy of a government that calmly allows missionary work to literally explode in intensity in the Jewish state.  Even as Begin regales us with yet another   “Baruch Hashem,” the Christian missionaries, in staggering numbers, fill the land.  There is not one  ulpan (school for learning Hebrew) that has not got its missionary.  They come as volunteers in kibbutzim to work and snatch souls.  They study and teach at Hebrew University.  They come as olim (!), immigrants, and enter the absorption centers  And Begin – Baruch Hashem, all is well . . .

And I write these words on the heels of an effort by the lonely few of the Kach Movement to prevent van der Hoeven from speaking at a seminar, organized by benighted Jewish intellectuals.  The seminar, held sadly enough at a rented yeshiva hall (the yeshiva did not know of the Dutchman at the time of the renting, but was notified later), was disrupted by Kach people demanding the ouster of van der Hoeven.  They were attacked by police riot forces who gassed and arrested them.  Despite the comments by the head of the yeshiva that the action of the Jews was a Hillul Hashem (sic), one can only call upon Heaven to witness the lonely sacrifice of these young Jews and to testify as to who really desecrated Judaism that day.

No one need tell me about the born-again Christians and their support for Israel.  Long before others, I wrote saying that here were people to be USED as a tool for Jewish struggle.  But never did I say to do what is being done today.  Never did I say to simply ignore their missionary activity.  Rather, I said to do precisely what I did in practice when I flew to the church in Plains, Georgia, where Carter prayed and told some hundred Baptists in the courtyard:

Israel does not NEED you.  It will survive because it is G-d’s Chosen state.  But for your own sakes, remember the warning of the All Mighty in Genesis 12:3; “And I shall bless those that bless you and curse them who curse you.”  On Judgment Day, you Christians will be judged by the L-rd on the basis of your having either supported the chosen people of the land or not.  Not because we need you but because you had better fear the L-rd, we warn you to stand behind the Jewish people and state.

That is how one speaks to the Fundamentalists.  And parallel to that, one fights in every way their missionary efforts.  One demands that the Israeli government throw them out of Israel, pass a Knesset law banning their activity, and heavily punish all those who violate that law.

Let us not be afraid of anyone except the G-d of Israel.  And let us cleave unto His law and remove the abomination from our midst.

Remember the name:  “The International Christian Embassy.”  Let not Jewish foot step inside.
Remember the name: “Jan Willem van der Hoeven.”  Enemy of the Jew and of the G-d of Israel.  Ban him, deport him to whence he came.  Prevent him from speaking and from snatching Jewish souls.
February, 26, 1982

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Tuesday, September 6, 2016

When You Go To War, Go To War! 1990 Complicit in Murder 1980

From Barbara Ginsberg’s Desktop

Parsha Shoftim
Rabbi Meir Kahane

When You Go To War, Go To War!

“When you go to war against your enemy….” (Deuteronomy 20”1).  Why does the Torah say “against your enemy” when obviously one goes to war against an enemy and not a friend?  The Midrash answers: “Said the Almighty, ‘Go against them as enemies!  Just as they do not have mercy upon you, do not have mercy on them’ ” (Tanchuma, Shoftim 15).  

That is Judaism.  Do not be “better” than they, since in the end you will not be better but deader.  And certainly do not be “better” than the Almighty who commanded you to be cruel and merciless against those who rise up against you and against G-d, “for whoever rises up against Israel is as one who rises up against the Holy One Blessed Be He” (Mechilta, Beshalach,, HaShira 6:1).

The Sifri (Shoftim 192) adds:  “You are not going to war against your brothers – neither Yehuda against Shimon nor Shimon against Yehuda who, if you fell into their hands, would have mercy on you . . .  –but against your enemies, who would not have mercy on you.”

And the Yalkut (Shoftim 20) says the following:  “If you have mercy on them, they will go to war against you.  It is similar to a shepherd who, while tending to his sheep in a forest, found a baby wolf.  He had pity on it and nurtured it.  His employer saw it and said, ‘Kill it; do not have pity on it lest it be a danger to the sheep.’ But he did not listen, and when the wolf grew, it would see a sheep and kill it and see a goat and eat it.  Said the employer, ‘Did I not tell you not to have pity on it?’  So did Moses say:  ‘But he did not listen, and when the wolf grew, it would see a sheep and kill it and see a goat and eat it.  Said the employer, ‘Did I not tell you not to have pity on it?’  So did Moses say: ‘But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you, then those whom you allow to remain will be like thorns in your eyes…’ (Numbers 33:55).”
He Jewish Press, 1990

Complicit In Murder

When a Jew is found murdered and the shedder of blood is yet unknown, the Torah enjoins the elders of the Sanhedrin and the elders of the nearest town to come to a barren riverbed –symbolizing the barren, sterile state of the murdered Jew who will never again bring forth children into the world – and declare, “Our hands have not shed this blood, neither have our eyes seen it” (Deuteronomy 21:7).

“Our hands have not shed this blood”!  Is there, then, the slightest suspicion that the elders have shed blood?  Of course not.  Rather, what the elders mean by their statement is that they did everything possible to insure that the murdered Jew would be safe and not endangered (Sotah 38b).

Can the Israeli government make this declaration? Can it stand up before heaven and its own Jewish citizens and proclaim that it did everything possible to save Jewish lives?
In 1967, as the glory and sanctification of G-d’s Name swept through the liberated lands, the Ishmaelities quaked in fear.  Today, they stone, stab, shout at, and bomb Jews.  Who is to blame if not the government, along with all the timid, frightened, gentilized Hebrews, whose utter lack of belief and faith in the G-d of Israel led them to reject and bitterly condemn anything like the ideas I suggest?
The Jewish Press 1980

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