Erev Shabbath Qodesh Parashath Bamidbar
A friend from yeshiva asked me to help
defend Rabbi Me'ir Kahane hy"d.
He was referring to the comments made on some
post on Gil Student's blog
. (now, more than one post)
What's the point? I know it's sad, but I have long given up on the
same ol', same ol' Jews, be they modern orthodox, Litvaks
, or Satmar
, buried to
their necks in galuth
(exile), and in the galuth
Yet, truth be told, though, the main reason I write Esser Agaroth
because of the crazy idea that I can help one more Jew escape galuth
, and that
(OK, I'll say it)
So, I guess I really haven't given up; I'm just pessimistic and frustrated,
and want to give up. But, I can't.
לֹא תַעֲמֹד עַל-דַּם רֵעֶךָ - שמות יט,טז
Do not stand idly by the blood of your neighbor - Ex. 19:16
But, why should I bother defending Rabbi Kahane hy"d
aren't going to listen? They have already made up their
minds, most them not having read a single one of his books. And, those
who have undoubtedly, refused to accept anything he says, even though backed
sources. If it doesn't fit into their hashqafas
then it couldn't possibly be correct, right? (See below, for the use of the word "clowns.")
The next question is does Rabbi Kahane NEED defending?
Jews will either listen, or they won't. They will either get on the
plane, or they won't. Funny thing is why Jews, religious Jews, feel a
need to debate a rabbi who has been dead for 20 plus years. My theory is
that they need to justify their Western ways, and/or their belief in the
acceptability of making a permanent residence in a "strange land," a
land not their own. they need to justify their "feelings," in
perfect Western progressive fashion. They need to discredit Rabbi Kahane,
to prevent the onset of the greatest cognitive dissonance they have ever to
Rabbi Kahane quoted halakhah
, believed that Jews should follow halakhah
and that halakhah
takes precedence over contra-Torah laws of the State of
Israel. No one has yet been able to refute his positions by applying halakhic
sources, particularly the issues of goyim
residing in Israel and the
distinguishing between Israeli Law and halakhah
. They are not identical, as the mamlakhti
(undying state loyalists) would have you believe.
Everyone who has tried, has done nothing but apply their "feelings" to
a situation, sometimes calling it "facing reality," and has picked and
chosen various halakhic
sources out of context, not in the least bit shayach
and have quoted random pesuqim
to support their "feelings."
The Rabbinical Council of America [RCA] is a good example, when it has
criticized rulings of Rabbanim such as Rabbi Shmu'el Eliyahu shlit"a
and yet has insisted that Israeli rabbis stay out of its business. Go
Clearly, they have forgotten where the capital of Torah is, treating
physical boundaries made up by goyim
Rabbi Me'ir Kahane's primary "crime," as it were, was to dare to
quote verses from the Tana"kh
, as well as from halakhic
sources, while speaking
in the Knesseth
He was demonized a racist because of it, and because of his second crime: He
differentiated between the Torah-true, Jewish mentality and the
Western/assimilationist un-Jewish mentality. He taught Jews that one was
correct, and the other was not.
The recent ruling of Rabbi Shmu'el
(ben Mordechai) Eliyahu
, the Chief Rabbi of Tzfat
, that one may not rent apartments to Arabs, even though they are "Israeli citizens," incurred the same demonization. The Rabbinical Association of America, which can't stand it when Israeli rabbis but into its affairs, did not hesitate to condemn his rulings as well. Its representatives used Western "logic," rather than halakhic
sources, which basically boiled down to "What will the goyim
The wives of prominent rabbis in Israel incurred the same when they came out against Jews dating Arabs. Yet, even the so-called "Reform" movement discouraged it.
Rabbi Kahane also encouraged us to take a serious look
Were we acting like good little Jewish boys and girls, hoping that the goyim
would see that we're just like them, and thus gain their acceptance?
Or, were we concerned with how The Holy One, Blessed Be He, sees us?
Were we comparing ourselves with non-Jews in our countries of birth?
Or, were we comparing ourselves with ourselves with our scholar-warrior
forefathers, and striving to live up to their examples?
Were we taking pride in what good American (or British or French) citizens
Or, did we take pride in being Jewish, and that we now had sovereignty over
our true homeland, and needed to become part of the only solution by making
Rabbi Kahane had the courage to teach us that when there is a setirah
(conflict) between the Torah and Israeli, and takes precedence over Israeli
law. He taught us so, even in the face of the sniveling lap dogs of the
Israeli Government. These puppets with kippoth
could not sufficiently
counter him with any halakhic
argument, so instead they called him names, and
buried their heads in their mamlakhti
(undying State loyalist) hashqafah.
He was known for quoting the Ramba"m
, in particular the following from
the Laws of Kings and Wars (I wonder how many Jews even know that there is such
, to support his assertion:
ג,י [ט] המבטל גזירת המלך בשביל שנתעסק במצוות, אפילו במצוה קלה--הרי
זה פטור: דברי הרב ודברי העבד, דברי הרב קודמין. ואין צריך לומר אם
גזר המלך לבטל מצוה, שאין שומעין לו.
3:10  One who cancels the decree of the King for the sake of occupying himself with misswoth, even a misswah
considered to be light – is exempt [from punishment]. The words of a
rabbi and the words of a slave, the words of a rabbi take precedence. And
one does not [even] need to say [that] if the king decreed the cancellation of a misswah, that
one does not heed him.
He could have cited this halakhah
until he was blue in the face. It didn't matter. Those silly Jews who insisted that the K'nesseth
was even a stand-in for a king, could not get their head around this extremely clear, Jewish source. Rather they preferred to cling to their Hellenist
democracy, not as a temporary system of administering a Jewish state, but as a "Look! We're just like the goyim!
" system of government. The system of government pointed to by the Torah, was just foreign to them as the fact that Jews killing Jews, led us to the first Hanukkah
At around the same time that Rabbi Kahane was attempting to convince Jews to think and act like Jews, Rabbenu Tzvi Yehudah Kook ztz"l
of Merkaz HaRav Kook
, taught that one "…should
do everything in order to prevent and delay the evacuation of Jewish strongholds"
(Rb. Z. Melamed, Bet El; Rb. Elitzur Sege"l, Ofra)
He himself put
his money where his mouth was, and planted himself in the Jewish town of Shavei
to prevent its demolition. He, too, showed that following the Torah takes precedence over State laws which ran contrary to the Torah. I doubt that anyone in the Religious Zionist communities would dare call Rabbenu Tzvi Yehuda an "extremist," like they would Rabbi Kahane.
|Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda Kook ztz"l and Rabbi Me'ir Kahane ztz"l hy"d at the Kotel (Western Wall)|
*Rabbi Kahane said that he would never forget Rabbi Ya'akov Filber's shocked
face, when Rav Tzvi Yehudah asked him to take their picture together at the
Years later, Rabbi Dov Lior
and Rabbi Zalman Melamed
were barricaded within
the beth k'nesseth
(synagogue) of K'far Darom
, making the last stand in the Jewish control areas of Azza
. The actions of these rabbis
spoke louder than words, clearly demonstrating their belief that Torah and
Israeli law were not one and the same, and that Torah took precedence over the other.
The previous Bostoner Rebbe ztz"l
also cited halakhah
, indicating that it was forbidden to give up Azza
to the Arabs, contrary to the actions of the Israeli government, led by Ariel Sharon.
Rabbi Avraham Shapira ztz"l
, the next Rosh Yeshiva
of Merkaz HaRav Kook
, after Rabbeinu Tzvi Yehuda, and former Chief Rabbi of Israel, told IDF soldiers that when confronted with
choice of throwing Jews out of their homes (in Gaza, 2005), or sitting in jail,
one should not only sit in jail, but to take pride in it. In other words, he sent the message that Torah Law takes precedence over any State decrees which violated the Torah, just like Rabbi Kahane.
Rabbi Kahane also suggested that one of the requirements for being
"rabbi" is having sat in jail on behalf Israel, which he did. So has Rabbi Yisra'el Ariel shlit"a
, head of the Temple Institute, along with several others, many of whom I doubt you have ever heard of, there goals not including fame and notoriety. Many years later, Rabbi Kahane's son Rabbi Binyamin Kahane hy"d
did as well. I wonder how many of
those criticizing Rabbi Kahane have fulfilled this requirement.
So, does Rabbi Me'ir Kahane need defending? I think not. Although, it appears that some very unlikely rabbis have already attempted to do so.
*clowns - From Eicha Rabba, among other sources.
"The "clowns of the generation," which our Sages describe are people with a purpose. In order to nullify the truth, which they cannot accept, they grasp onto certain points and make a joke out of them. But as time passes, all the ideology and seriousness that once cloaked them becomes undone, since their goal was to undermine the truth in order to continue in their ways of sin and falsehood.
-Rabbi Binyamin Ze'ev Kahane hy"d
on Parashath Toledoth