Monday, March 09, 2009

Kahane's Purim writings - March, 1982:

As we welcome in the festive chag of Purim, it's appropriate to learn some valuable lessons from the great Rav Meir Kahane. Below is a snippet of his writings from March, 1982 relating to Israel's illegal orders to destroy Jewish settlements.

No non-Torah ideology can possibly be a permanent force for Judaism. The people in the bunker, named Fortress Sanctification (Mivtzar Kiddush Hashem), are people steeped in ideology. The outside walls of the bunker, as I said, are painted with verses from the Bible, sayings of the Rabbis, and slogans. The most striking includes the quotation from Maimonides (Hilchot Mlachim, 3:9), that a king who orders a Jew to violate a Torah law is not to be obeyed. 

This point is one that I have driven home again and again in the classes that I give to settlers, in speeches and in the special Hebrew booklet I have printed, called “Law and Order in Israel.” 

Indeed, on Shabbat Zachor, the Sabbath preceding the festival of Purim, I pointed out that while the Prophetic portion read on that day deals with King Saul’s weakness in refusing to carry out G-d’s will against the cruel Amalekites, it does not deal with the other side of the coin — his cruelty in ordering the murder of the priests of Nov, for helping David. “If one looks at that chapter” (Samuel I 22:17), I said, “one notes that Saul ordered his soldiers to take their swords and slay the priests. And the verse quietly says: ‘And the soldiers refused . . . ’ ” 

The lesson was clear and clearly needed. For two of the leading rabbis of the Stop the Retreat Movement, alleged “hawks” Rabbi Moshe Tzvi Nerya, head of yeshivot Bnei Akiva and Rabbi Chaim Druckman, had ruled that a religious soldier who was ordered to remove settlers must do so, despite the fact that the evacuation was contrary to halacha. The ruling, so clearly contrary to the clear ruling in the Talmud (Sanhedrin 49) and Maimonides (ibid.), led Yamit Rabbi Yisrael Ariel to run to Rabbi Nerya, who had been his rabbi at Kfar Haroeh, and to ask him for his halachic source. 
Rabbi Ariel, two weeks ago, pleaded with soldiers standing at the roadblocks to disobey orders to remove settlers. His words, based on the above-mentioned halacha, led to demands by leftists for his arrest. His consolation was that he stood by the Torah ruling. Now, with the incredible stand taken by Rabbis Nerya and Druckman, he looked wan and weary as he sat in his home and told me of a threat by a famous rabbi that he would ask that Rabbi Ariel be arrested! 

I felt genuine pity for Rabbi Ariel whom I had come to know so well during the election campaign (he was number two on the Kach list). He is a true tzaddik, a man of sincerity and pure trust. As the rabbi of Yamit, he was the lone symbol of resistance against retreat long before Tchiya and rabbinical “hawks” came on the scene. To be betrayed by fellow rabbis, who have not the courage to expound the halachic truth was a profound blow for him. 
I write this, of course, four days after Rabbi Ariel was arrested when he took part in an abortive effort to resettle the settlement of Hatzar Adar, literally wiped off the face of the earth by the army, two weeks ago. 

Time marches on, but the words of Kahane remain as relevant today as when they were written 27 years ago. Chag Purim Semayach!



  1. i'm making some noise over in my part of the world! have a glass of wine for me.

  2. Nanc...MZ is feeling a bit sluggish this morning.


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