Rav Soloveitchik and R. Meir Kahane

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R. Shalom Carmy, “Orthodox Judaism and the Liberal Arts” in Academe, Jan-Feb 2001 (link):

In the 1980s a militant politician from Israel visited the United States to hawk his wares. Years later, this man was banned from candidacy for the Israeli Knesset because his anti-Arab harangues violated Israel’s antiracism law (which had been passed with him in mind). Already, the Rav regarded this man’s selective citation of Jewish sources as a distortion and desecration of Torah. He told people close to him that the individual should not be given a platform. But certain students desired the controversial speaker’s presence in our midst. Some, when they learned of the Rav’s displeasure, proceeded to cast aspersions on his Zionism. He, for his part, was not disposed to impose his opinion. The charismatic speaker made his way through the civilized but unambiguous demonstration that greeted him, ascended the rostrum, and allowed himself remarks about the Rav’s religious authenticity that would probably have provoked violence in a conventional yeshiva.

About Gil Student

Rabbi Gil Student is the founder, publisher and editor-in-chief of Torah Musings.

313 comments

  1. The next and concluding paragraph of R. Carmy’s article is relevant in light of YU’s subsequent decisions as addressed in The Commentator (http://admin2.collegepublisher.com/preview/2.2469/1.1834919#.T4t619U8thE)

    Given this change, is it still the case, that “Yeshiva’s existential atmosphere will continue to differ, subtly but crucially, from that of other yeshivas as it surely must differ from that of other universities.”?

  2. “Already, the Rav regarded this man’s selective citation of Jewish sources as a distortion and desecration of Torah”

    I believe way before Kahane moved to Israel R Carmy’s statement would have been accurate. The theological gerrymandering of Kahane was obvious.

  3. IH-Look at it this way. RYBS strenuously opposed giving the speaker alluded to a platform because of his distortion of views, which, I would add, are a disservice to anyone who believes that Oslo I and II were an unmitigated disaster. A small student group felt otherwise and arranged for the speaker’s appearance, where he attacked RYBS’s views on Zionism. President Joel defended the refusal of YU to allow a decidedly heterodox thinker on campus because his views could not be reconciled with Halacha and a small student group arranged for an off campus appearance. I see no difference between how the students acted in both incidents. Some things never change at YU-including students who think that they know more about Halacha than Talmidei Chachamim.

  4. FWIW, while R Kahane’s rhetoric offered no help to those who opposed Oslo I and II and “land for peace”, his earliest book “Why Be Jewish?” is a fascinating, but flawed critique of the American Jewish establishment-Orthodox and secular.

  5. Steve — in 2001 R. Carmy was making a point about the uniqueness of YU amongst yeshivot based on this Kahane incident:

    “Academic freedom, in the broadest sense, was served in this case. By which I mean that under ordinary conditions, and even under great strain, students and faculty are entitled to their own mistakes. So long as we can live with such challenges, Yeshiva’s existential atmosphere will continue to differ, subtly but crucially, from that of other yeshivas as it surely must differ from that of other universities.”

  6. “The charismatic speaker made his way through the civilized but unambiguous demonstration that greeted him, ascended the rostrum, and allowed himself remarks about the Rav’s religious authenticity that would probably have provoked violence in a conventional yeshiva”

    Kahane was very capable of casting aspersions and venom against Jews who disagreed with him. He would attack others. I have heard from living people who have been quoted on other matters by Gil that one of the scandals of modern day Orthodoxy is the toleration of Kahane’s viewpoints.

  7. And ten years later, in 2011, a YU student comments:

    “If we actually believe – and don’t just pledge lip service to – the idea that something is true because it is Orthodox and Orthodox because it is true (as is implied by the Latin etymology—”straight opinion”— of the word Orthodox itself), then let us act accordingly. By no means can we ever accept the backwards, juvenile, and wholly obscurantist notion that Rabbi Tucker must be incorrect because he is not “Orthodox:”if he is indeed wrong, it is because the content of his arguments are not sufficiently[1] true to justify his far-reaching progressive conclusions. The same goes for Professor James Kugel, Professor Philip Kitcher, Rabba Sara Hurwitz, and so forth, for there isn’t really such thing as a “tzarich iyun gadol,” not in today’s marketplace of ideas.”

  8. I also note that R. Carmy can’t even bring himself to name Kahane and Gil honors him with the title of Rabbi.

  9. Anyone who remembers the Ravs reaction to the potential demonstration by Beitarnicks (Spring 1968) against the UK Ambassador to the UN would believe that it would be obvious that he would oppose Kahanism.

  10. “self-defense group patrolled the Crown Heights area of Brooklyn between 1964 and 1966. The group called itself the Maccabees, after a Jewish resistance group which fought to curb Syrian domination in the second and first centuries B.C. Led by Rabbi Samuel A. Schrage, the Maccabees of the 1960s numbered 250 volunteer members and used radio car patrols to report crime and deter potential criminals (Brown, 1969: 201 -202). ”
    from
    http://web.mit.edu/gtmarx/www/citizens.html

    Civilian patrols are not what was original of Kahane-they were advocated by many way before Kahane got involved in what he did until November 5,1990.Civilain patrols are not what Kahane is accues of by those who maintain he distorted Yahadus.

  11. “I see no difference between how the students acted in both incidents.”

    Perhaps. But you do see, I assume, the difference between how the Rav acted with respect to R Kahana and how the YU administration acted with respect to R Tucker.

  12. “Anyone who remembers the Ravs reaction to the potential demonstration by Beitarnicks (Spring 1968)”

    You’ve mentioned this before, Mycroft, and although I have racked my brains I just don’t remember it. (I’m not questioning your memory; I’m lamenting my own.) Do you remember if Commentator covered it?

  13. “Joseph Kaplan on April 15, 2012 at 11:26 pm
    “Anyone who remembers the Ravs reaction to the potential demonstration by Beitarnicks (Spring 1968)”

    You’ve mentioned this before, Mycroft, and although I have racked my brains I just don’t remember it. (I’m not questioning your memory; I’m lamenting my own.)”

    I believe your brother Prof Lawrence Kaplan has commented in the past about the speech in Rubin schul by the Rav. My understanding ofthe Ravs position BTW is in general counter to the Betar blogspot quoted by abbas ranting. Note I wrote my understanding I am not claiming that anyone else is intentionally distorting the Rav-my recollection of the speech-remember its 44 years ago and consitent with what I believe the Ravs opinion on these issues would be.

  14. The speech, by the way, is available to view on Youtube for anyone who wants to see it. I imagine most of you don’t- it would probably disturb your comfortable prejudices about those nasty right-wingers. It also doesn’t, ahem, quite match R’ Carmy’s account.

    Anti-Kahanism has seemed to me for a very long time to be a very comfortable position for people who want to prove their self-righteousness without having to back it up with any facts or real arguments.

  15. Nachum- the R Kahane shiur on youtube is from the late 80s, after he was already banned from the Knesset, and, as I understand it, the Rav was more or less not active. In the youtube shiur, R Kahane mentions that he has spoken at YU previously. Perhaps R Carmy is referring to the earlier visit that is not recorded on youtube? Note that R Carmy places the events he is speaking of before the knesset ban.

  16. “…that would probably have provoked violence in a conventional yeshiva.”

    This is exaggeration and speculation.

    I will also allow myself to speculate that after the unraveling of Oslo and the continued violence, the Rav would have also come to the conclusion that many mainstream Israelis have: Kahane tzadak.

  17. R’Abba,
    very impressive find. since you linked to one post let me link to the most recent one http://betarimna.blogspot.com/ and ask that those who are interested spend a moment remembering friends of my youth Eli Solomon and Chuck Hornstein Z”l who gave their lives so we might have the comfort of debating the future of the State.

    KT

  18. “joel rich on April 16, 2012 at 5:33 am
    R’Abba,
    very impressive find. since you linked to one post let me link to the most recent one http://betarimna.blogspot.com/ and ask that those ”

    Interesting link-re Israel-one must remember that since at least Begin in Camp David the old Revisionists in Israel have rejected the Beitar Ideology.

  19. “I will also allow myself to speculate that after the unraveling of Oslo and the continued violence, the Rav would have also come to the conclusion that many mainstream Israelis have: Kahane tzadak”

    Kahane and his followers such as Baruch Goldstein have caused damage to those who have had the ideal of keeping all EY under Israeli sovereignty.

  20. “from the late 80s, after he was already banned from the Knesset, and, as I understand it, the Rav was more or less not active.”

    By the late 80s the Rav was not active.

  21. “I will also allow myself to speculate that after the unraveling of Oslo and the continued violence, the Rav would have also come to the conclusion that many mainstream Israelis have: Kahane tzadak.”

    One can legitimately speculate whether or not the Ravs position on land for peace would have changed-remember he was simply advocating that he would give back the Kotel to save one Jewish life-quoite from Rubin speech in 68-but it is clear to anyone that he would never have called a person who distorted Yahadus a Zaddik

  22. Joseph Kaplan

    Thank’s Abba.

  23. IH: Do you object to the concept of red lines or just that YU is drawing it at Conservadox?

    Joseph: I believe that the difference is that at the time YU did not have a mechanism for blocking speakers so it happened haphazardly. I’m sure there were some speakers who were blocked. I remember one case from my days when R. Riskin was blocked because he was too left wing due to a stray remark by a rosh yeshiva who would not have publicly objected. R. Tucker got caught but not everyone else does.

  24. And by the way, the key point of this post is R. Soloveitchik’s rejection of R. Kahane’s theology. The rest is just context (not that it needs to be, as will IYH be explained later this week).

  25. I remember one case from my days when R. Riskin was blocked because he was too left wing due to a stray remark by a rosh yeshiva who would not have publicly objected.

    I know to some he will never be more then Stevie the Wonder Boy but you don’t see a problem with barring him at YU or with a culture that allowed this? R’ Riskin???

  26. MYCROFT:

    “one must remember that since at least Begin in Camp David the old Revisionists in Israel have rejected the Beitar Ideology.”

    really? which “old revisionist” ever considered the sinai desert part of the israeli heartland or part of historical israel? on which classic revisionist map did it appear? remember, it was shetei gedos layarden, not lasuez. one can argue to what extent camp david paved the way for future withdrawals, but in of itself it did not represent a repudiation of classic revisionist ideology

    “remember he was simply advocating that he would give back the Kotel to save one Jewish life”

    i’ve never understood this statement. it really doesn’t make sense (what was the context?). perhaps exaggerated rhetoric?

    “it is clear to anyone that he would never have called a person who distorted Yahadus a Zaddik”

    “kahana tzadak” doesn’t mean he was a zaddik

  27. as an aside, i’ve never understood YU’s passive role in the days leading up to the 6 day war.

  28. HaRav Meir Kahane, ztz”l was a great talmid hacham and visionary whose views were condemned by many aloud though privately supported by many frum Jews who did not have the courage to give voice to their support. (There were a few Jews of courage in America and even more in Israel who did state their support.) All the positions which at the time that he stated them were widely condemned as “racism” or “fascism” now make sense now that the “Israeli” Arabs have proven their overwhelming disloyalty to Israel, and now that it is abundantly clear that no matter how one slices up Israel the Arabs will continue to fight the Jewish State.

    My dear fellow Jews-all roads lead inexorably to that which the great rabbi advocated: the Arab enemy needs to be transferred to their own countries. I should also mention that the young generation of settlers are solidly behind HaRav Kahane’s ideas.

  29. Gil asks me Do you object to the concept of red lines or just that YU is drawing it at Conservadox?

    I was not objecting just observing that the primary point of R. Carmy’s article in 2001 — that you choose to post — is contradicted by YU policy ten years on.

  30. really? which “old revisionist” ever considered the sinai desert part of the israeli heartland or part of historical israel? on which classic revisionist map did it appear? remember, it was shetei gedos layarden, not lasuez.
    ==========================================
    As I was taught in tironut by http://myrightword.blogspot.com/ – shtei gadot layarden , zo shelanu zo gam kein was simply because that was the most recognizeable element based on recent history due to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sykes%E2%80%93Picot_Agreement, not of a limiting nature (of course the eventual vision for us is a halachic issue)
    Bvrachat Tel Chai!

  31. IH: I believe you are incorrect and that R. Tucker would be welcomed as an academic guest, as would (le-havdil) a Christian missionary. It’s all a matter of context.

  32. Gil — see also http://www.yuobserver.com/opinion/censoring-ideas-betraying-ideals-1.2470776#.T4wasdU8thE

    “At the beginning of this year, with the creation of what student leaders have dubbed the “censorship committee,” President Richard Joel offered a new reason: students should choose to attend Yeshiva University so they will never have to confront ideas that fall outside the comfortable domain of Orthodox ideology.”

    I’ll leave it there. It is up to those who pay for YU to decide…

  33. That is entirely inaccurate, which often happens when students rant in a student newspaper.

  34. ” I believe that the difference is that at the time YU did not have a mechanism for blocking speakers so it happened haphazardly.”

    That very well may be right. But what I think is the important point is that it appears that the Rav believed, in R. Carmy’s words, that “students and faculty are entitled to their own mistakes.” Unfortunately (IMO), a censorship committee indicates that YU does not believe that. Personally, I liked the Rav’s position.

  35. Hirhurim and IH – i do not think its inaccurate – its how the students felt – but would remind everyone that this issue is with student sponsor speakers – not yu – or panels (the gay panel) which used to go through the dean of students before this committee was announced and this has nothing to do with YU official sponsored activities from the university.

  36. Having written that blog post (http://betarimna.blogspot.com/2011/01/betar-lead-protest-against-lord-caradon.html), I wish to add something here.

    The Rav received us and accorded us his full attention and engaged us in a discussion that was open and considered, both halachically and politically and perhaps even ideologically, that is, hashkafa-wise.

    It was my impression then, as it is some 44 years on, that the Rav was convinced that we had a point (maybe even over a barrel) and moreover, that he could not overcome our position through ‘normal procedures’, that not even his influence could affect the situation. Wisely, perhaps due to thinking he was out-maneuvered on the ground, he optioned for a platform that he could completely control: a radio broadcast and a presentation of a semi-halachic/semi-hashkafa address/shiur. I rememeber sitting in the dorm lobby watching leading Rabbis gathered there and taking notes as he spoke with almost adoration. We were out-maneuvered.

    We won on the field. Caradon had the invitation somehow withdraw. The Rav won on his field.

    Yisrael (Winkelman) Medad, YC 1969,
    former Rosh Hanhaga Artzit, American Betar, 1967-1969

  37. My memory of Kahane’s visit comes via a [RMWillig] shiurmate (who for some time has been famous and so will remain nameless unless he wishes to identify himself) reporting that he asked Kahane a question based on made-up sources that Kahane did not identify as made-up (but which, the implication was, any actual talmid chacham would have thus identified).

  38. Anonymous at 10:03 was me.

  39. R’MP,
    the actions of your shiurmate present an interesting ethical question – purposely misquoting chazal. I assume the correct response (possibly given in this cxase) is “I’m not aware of those sources”, which might embarass some.
    KT

  40. I admire HaRav Soloveitchik and own many of his seforim and I admire HaRav Kahane and own many of his seforim. Why is there an obsessive need among some to choose one over the other? I find it strange and offensive when people make general, unsubstantiated claims that HaRav Kahane’s hashkafa or halakhic claims were less than solidly based. I never heard anybody persuasively rebut the claim that enemy nations need be dealt with accordingly.

    I should also mention that HaRav Aharon Soloveichik spoke very well of HaRav Kahane during the period after HaRav Kahane’s murder.HaRav Tendler and HaRav Pam are other examples of big rabbis who admired HaRav Kahane’s views.

    Btw, I also find it offensive that no mention has been made of HaRav Kahane’s assassination.

  41. Why is it considered “kosher” to advocate a Palestinian State involving the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Jews because of “demographic” reasons, but HaRav Kahane’s advocating the expulsion of the Arabs from Israel is considered racist, fascist, etc? Both positions are predicated upon the recognition that there is a real demographic problem in Israel.

    Why the need to delegitimize a position which is based upon the desire to save Jews?

  42. Nachum – Wrong speech. What was that whole sanctimonious little comment about facts and so forth? Oh well. Sadly typical.

  43. Kol hakavod to Jay. Those who defame Rabbi Kahane do not like to admit that which is uncomfortable. Kahane was right. Anybody who has learned even a small amount of Torah knows that Rabbi Kahane’s ideas and positions are unadulterated Judaism.

  44. Anybody who wants to see how well-based Rabbi Kahane’s ideas are should read his magnum opus “Ohr HaRaayon”.

  45. Mycroft,

    It’s obvious from your post that you are out of touch with the pulse in Israel today. The expression “Kahane tzadak,” doesn’t mean he was a tzaddik – it means he was right. This slogan, found scrawled all over Israel today, reflects the position of the mainstream. There is a growing feeling that he was indeed correct.

    During his life he was maligned and marginalized, and after death his views distorted and misrepresented. I suggest you read his books and watch the many speeches available today on youtube. You might find yourself coming to the conclusion, like most Israelis today, that indeed “Kahane tzadak.”

  46. DUDE:

    “This slogan, found scrawled all over Israel today, reflects the position of the mainstream.”

    if you are arguing metzius of widespread opinion based on widespread graffiti, this is ridiculous. by that measure, the majority of israelis are breslovers.

    and if you seriously think this is true, then how does this correspond with election results?

  47. shaul shapira

    “Given this change, is it still the case, that “Yeshiva’s existential atmosphere will continue to differ, subtly but crucially, from that of other yeshivas as it surely must differ from that of other universities.”?”

    IH- I don’t know if you’ve been in a convrentional yeshiva recently, but it’s kind of hard to believe that you don’t see a difference. Someone I ‘m friends with called R Berel Wein ‘Yayin nesech’, and R Norman Lamm is completely taboo. Enough with the puralist zeal already.

  48. shaul shapira

    R Aviner pithy as always, has this to say:

    Q: I saw that there was a comparison between the views of Kahane and the Nazi abomination. Is this true?
    A: Not all severe errors or lack of morality is Nazism, G-d forbidden.[sic] And you should call him: Ha-Rav Kahane.
    Q: Why does Ha-Rav hold that Ha-Rav Kahane severely erred and had a lack of morality?
    A: I did not write that Rav Kahane had a lack of morality but that part of his view contained a lack of morality. It is permissible to argue with the view of a Torah scholar but this does not permit one to say that the Torah scholar himself is immoral. Rav Kahane was a righteous man, who displayed self-sacrifice for the Nation of Israel and was murdered for the sanctification of Hashem’s Name. But there are a few difficulties with his view. A big difficulty is relating to secular Jews as Hellenists, and thus removing the Mitzvah of “Love your fellow as yourself.” This is a severe error and lack of morality, i.e. in relation to how to treat another Jew. Obviously, this is no way lessens his positive attributes and the positive parts of outlook.

    http://www.ravaviner.com/search?q=kahane

  49. DUDE:

    “There is a growing feeling that he was indeed correct.”

    if this is true in any way, it is only with regard to some of his interpretation of the situation, but not his practical platform. i would say that israelis now more than ever realize there is little hope for a raproachment and coexistence with the palestinians, as had always been argued by kahane. but this doesn’t mean they reach the same conclusion as he did (i.e., annexation and transfer). rather the israelis mainstream, both right and left, has gone in the other direction, with the aim of disengagement and separation.

    GIL:

    why did you have to take a perfectly good blog and ruin it with a post that would inevitable involve israeli politics 🙂

  50. mevaseretzion

    In High School I heard a Rebbi laughing about Rabbi Kahane with the following story: “We were at YU and Rav Kahane was debating Rabbi X. Rabbi X. quoted a fabricated source in opposition to the view Rabbi Kahane brought from rabbinical sources. Rabbi Kahane stopped, and said, does it really say that? I did not know.” The Rebbi thought this story was hilarious, since he thought Rabbi Kahane looked quite silly not realizing that the source was made up.

    Even back then, I was shocked. Here we have a rabbi who, when presented with a (fabricated) counter-proof, had the humility and intellectual honesty to stop in the middle of his thought and reconsider his immediate point. It struck me that, far from mocking, this episode inadvertently painted Rabbi Kahane in a particularly appealing light. In the face of mocking, sarcastic and cynical opponents who were truly “using the Torah as an axe to chop” at him, he seemed genuinely interested in truth, humility and the Torah’s opinion. When presented with a source that was opposed to his view he didn’t reject it outright as many would, he allowed that he wasn’t familiar, and as far as my high school rebbi recalled, he refrained from pursuing that particular line of argument during that debate.

    During my years in Rabbi Twersky’s shiur at YU, I recall the reverence with which we held him when, in the middle of explaining a difficult Ramban, he stopped for about 12 minutes, and then quietly closed his gemara and said, “what I was saying is wrong. I will have to give this some more thought.” It is strange that the same situation resulted in mocking for Rabbi Kahane.

    Regarding cherry-picking: the fact is that any time one takes a principled stand on a subject, there will be sources in Chazal that stands in opposition, since “Chazal” is a collection of opinions of different people. It is natural that one who takes a particular stance on a subject will focus on the sources that support him, and explain the others to the side. This is so common in shu”t literature, it is more a sad statement on those who seem so rabidly against Rabbi Kahane than an indictment of his methodology.

    I have been in awe of Rabbi Carmy since I met him. I spent three years in his classes at YU. As a close (still) and enthralled student of Rabbi Carmy, I will relate that after class one day, he and I came across the subject of Rabbi Kahane. I can testify that Rabbi Carmy, as great as I know him to be, is human. He did not react in the calm, analytic and semi-detached way to the name “Rabbi Kahane” as he does to some other subject matter. He became as emotional as I have ever seen him. In my experience, Rabbi Carmy’s view is to be taken with a grain of salt on this matter.

    As I responded to Rabbi Carmy’s ad hominem attacks then, I respond to the ad hominems now: We should not be judging the (dead) Rabbi Kahane. Rabbi Kahane used to say, you can hate me, you can say what you want about me, you can kill the messenger. But please, pay attention to the message – think about the message, admit the issues I raise and try to solve them. Examine if the Torah agrees with me, and if you think not, determine how you would solve the problems. Because the problems will not go away when Rabbi Kahane is gone.

    They haven’t.

  51. Joseph Kaplan

    ISTM that R. Kahane is a topic that comes around periodically where each side vents the same views and no one is convinced or changes his/her mind. Can’t we treat it like the old joke about prisoners telling jokes, or, in learning terms, ayan sham.

  52. JOSEPH KAPLAN:

    same can be said for a lot of what is discussed here.

  53. MEVASERET:

    “Regarding cherry-picking . . .”

    ditto.
    i got stuck on being intrigued by mycroft’s interesting use of “gerrymandering” in this context, but thanks for responding in the manner you did.

  54. R’ JOEL:

    “As I was taught . . . shtei gadot layarden , zo shelanu zo gam kein was simply because that was the most recognizeable element based on recent history”

    tel hai
    that might be so, but the iconic shetei gedot anthem and map remained so even after “transjorndan” was removed from the mandate because that area still did have emotional attachment as being part of our historical patrimony. who argued thus for the sinai peninsula? it was important a strategic buffer, oil depository, paradise for tourists and residents, etc. and further more giving it up was to set a bad precedent, but when chanting “not one inch,” who argued it was part of our destiny, recent history notwithstanding?

  55. I’d be interested in learning how “Torat Kahane”, as understood by his fans, compares and contrasts with Torah ha’Melech?

    Ref: http://torahmusings.com/2011/07/torah-and-military-inethics/

  56. Torat ha’Melech, that is.

  57. The former Israeli ambassador to Britain, Yehudah Avner, reported that the Rav told him in the late 1970’s or early 1980’s that territorial concessions should not be made to the PLO, which he characterized as a Nazi-like organization. He explained that his idea of territorial compromise was with a sovereign nation like Jordan.

  58. really? which “old revisionist” ever considered the sinai desert part of the israeli heartland or part of historical israel? on which classic revisionist map did it appear? remember, it was shetei gedos layarden, not lasuez.

    Not sure about the old revisionists, but I’ve seen maps in recent years where: 1) the *entire* Euphrates is the east boundary, meaning from Kuwait to mid-Turkey 2) the entire Nile is the west boundary, including half of Egypt and Sudan in Eretz Yisrael 3) the whole Arabian peninsula is included, since it is between the aformentioned rivers, 4) the Mediterranean off the coast of Israel is included, even *way* off the coast, meaning a strip of land and sea that stretchs west indefinitely to include places like Tunisia and Spain. All of this, I am told, is Eretz Yisrael. I am not kidding.

    On a separate topic, I am curious what exactly the problem with Kahane’s views was, and whether there were methodological flaws or if his conclusions were unacceptable due to eivah concerns. Not having deeply investigated those views myself, my impression is that there is enough difficulty in extrapolating halacha to modern affairs of state that there is certainly room for Kahane’s approach in the sources, as well as many other approaches.

  59. There does seem to be be a majority or near majority of Israeli Jews who currently hold that Rav Kahane was right.It’s about time! How much more tragedy needs to befall Israel before the people wake up.

    And regarding the question how this is reflected in the current Knesset-please do recall that Rabbi Kahane’s Kach party was undemocratically banned for cynical political reasons.

  60. I had a glancing blow with the case of El Sayyid Nosair. I was on jury duty during the winter of 1990, and they called up a pool of 50 of us to be interviewed for the case. We assembled on the side of the jury room, stood around for a while, then got sent back to the main pool, the lawyers had gotten a continuance.

  61. So far all of Rav Kahane’s predictions have unfortunately come true-except for one. That American Jews must make aliya not only because of the mitzva but because of dangers that will emerge. The escalating Islamic-Western clash may well bring upon us this final prediction.

  62. Lawrence Kaplan

    I’d just like to note that R. Carmy’s entire article is a very thoughtful discusion of YU and Torah U-Madda,which I would recomend that evreyone read. Given the context of the article it is clear why R.Carmy did not refer to R. Kahna by name.

    By the way, R.Kahana did not just, as R.Aviner avers, refer to secular Zionists as Hellenists. He also called Prof. Avi Ravitzky a Hellenist.

  63. MOSHE:

    “And regarding the question how this is reflected in the current Knesset-please do recall that Rabbi Kahane’s Kach party was undemocratically banned for cynical political reasons.”

    don’t be ridiculous. who do all these ostensible kahane supporters vote for today? how many seats do moledet and tehiya have?

  64. shaul shapira

    By the way, R.Kahana did not just, as R.Aviner avers, refer to secular Zionists as Hellenists. He also called Prof. Avi Ravitzky a Hellenist.

    Prof Ravitzky also had some unkind things to say about R Kahane
    http://members.tripod.com/alabasters_archive/roots_of_kahanism.html

    I happen to enjoy reading Ravitzky’s stuff very much. You get the impression that he’s really trying to understand each position from within itself. I think he was yotze chutz le’gdero there a bit, because of what he percieved as very clear and imminent danger.

  65. Based on what I read in this post, R’ Meir Kahane had considerable impudence in publically questioning RYBS’s “religious authenticity” – particularly, at RYBS’s own institution. While R’ Kahane was a knowledgeable rav, no knowledgeable person would put him in the category of a major talmid chacham like RYBS. Nor would anyone imagine that someone like RYBS would ever get involved with or encourage an incident which lead to the death of an innocent party (I refer to the smoke bomb left in the offices of Sol Hurok by Kahane’s Jewish Defense League people that resulted in the asphyxiation of a secretary). There is also, of course, the issue of the legitimacy or advisability of radical militantism.

  66. shaul shapira

    “don’t be ridiculous. who do all these ostensible kahane supporters vote for today? how many seats do moledet and tehiya have?”

    For starters, Michael Ben Ari (Ichud Le’umi) is an open Kahanist. There are pleny of others on the right including possibly even mainsreamers like Tzipi Chotovely from Likud who might be sympathetic. But no one wants to be assosciated with a banned movement for fear that they might be banned as well. The fact that there aren’t neo-Nazis in the Reichstag doesn’t prove that aren’t neo-Nazis in Germany.
    (I am obviously making this comparison in one aspect only!)

    By the way, Israeli political party names change all the time. Cherut isn’t around either, but they control the country.

  67. Lawrence Kaplan

    Shaul Shapira: Thanks for linking to Prof Ravitzky’s article. I would suggest that all the admirers of R. Kahana read it and decide if they are willing to support all the positions and policies R. Kahana called for.

    However, contrary to your assertion, despite the fact that Prof. Ravitzky engaged in a very strong critique of, one might call it an attack on, Kahana’s views, he did not personally attack the man himself.

  68. shaul shapira

    In all fairness to R Kahane, Ravitzky really doesn’t answer his question- he just poses a hypothetical follow up. I’m not sure Kahanists would accept the comparison. This is especially so because Ravitzky underplays Kahane’s point regardind the Israeli Arabs. Kahane’s point was that is an INSULT to expexct an Arab to to be a proud member of a Jewish state. I’m not sure the same would hold for the average Chiloni in a state run by, say, R Aviner, R Lichtenstein or R Yisrael Meir Lau.

  69. shaul shapira

    Previous comment of mine was adressed to professor Kaplan.

  70. David Weissman

    I was at the event that Rabbi Carmy wrote about where Rabbi Meir Kahana spoke at YU. The star speaker who absolutely trashed Rabbi Kahana in the Q&A was Rabbi Michael Broyde who was a college classmate of mine. Everyone who was there was stunned by the clarity with which a very young Michael Broyde spoke and how cleverly he took apart Meir Kahana’s argument.

  71. If I recall, Ravitzky’s article was most interesting for me in pointing out the many internal inconsistencies in Kahane’s worldview. Or rather, how all these inconsistencies served to prop up a very narrow set of beliefs that in a sense were extremely nihilistic.

  72. Moshe Shoshan

    “I admire HaRav Soloveitchik and own many of his seforim and I admire HaRav Kahane and own many of his seforim. Why is there an obsessive need among some to choose one over the other?”
    Because judaism demands that we choose berween good and evil. The devil quoth not only scriptue but shas and pskim as well. This has nothing to do with opposing this or that Israeli Governement policy. It is a complete lie to say that most Isrealis agree that kahane was right. The are perfectly moral people, like Benny Begin who take very right wing stands. But Kahane’s every word was laced with hatred. His favorite midah of hashem to imitate was nekamah. His venom was directed not just against arabs and not just against goyim, but even against those frum Jews who had the temerity to oppose him.

    We cannot treat this like an old joke because the fact the the Religious Zionist community accepts such positions as eilu v’eilu is one one of the darkest stains on its soul. So long as we do not declare loud and clear that Kahane is beyond the pale of Torah judaism, we are all yigal amir and baruch goldstein because we are helping to create the environment that breeds murder and chillul hashem.

  73. Lawrence Kaplan

    For those who wish to see for themselves what Moshe Shoshan refers to as the venom and hatred that permeates R. Kahane’s statements, I would again recommend that they read Prof. Ravitzky’s incisive article.

    Nachum: It’s your turn now.

  74. Prof Kaplan — since you jumped in and given your recent chiluk on the Rabbi title, I am curious why you honor Kahane with the title Rabbi?

    Prof. Ravitzky doesn’t. And, as discussed, R. Carmy doesn’t even mention his name referring to “a militant politician from Israel”.

    Do agree with Moshe Shoshan’s view that Kahane stood for evil and is beyond the pale of Torah judaism?

    ——

    Shaul Shapira — Moshe Shoshan correctly calls out where the mistaken puralist zeal is on this issue.

  75. shaul shapira:

    “The fact that there aren’t neo-Nazis in the Reichstag doesn’t prove that aren’t neo-Nazis in Germany.”

    Bundestag.A Freudian slip, I assume.

  76. “It is a complete lie to say that most Isrealis agree that kahane was right. The are perfectly moral people, like Benny Begin who take very right wing stands. But Kahane’s every word was laced with hatred. His favorite midah of hashem to imitate was nekamah. His venom was directed not just against arabs and not just against goyim, but even against those frum Jews who had the temerity to oppose him.

    We cannot treat this like an old joke because the fact the the Religious Zionist community accepts such positions as eilu v’eilu is one one of the darkest stains on its soul.”

    Agreed-of corse an example of a moral rightwinger would have been Menachem Begin

  77. ““remember he was simply advocating that he would give back the Kotel to save one Jewish life”

    i’ve never understood this statement. it really doesn’t make sense (what was the context?). perhaps exaggerated rhetoric?”

    He didn’t say he was advocating giving back the Kotel but decisions of that type must be made by those who are knowledgeable in the risk analysis of military/diplomatic issues. Thus, if it could save one life he would give back the kotel.

  78. “It was my impression then, as it is some 44 years on, that the Rav was convinced that we had a point (maybe even over a barrel) ”
    He certainly was pleading to treat Lord Carradon with respect -it wouldn’t surprise me that he was afraid of a chillul hasem that students could cause

    “and moreover, that he could not overcome our position through ‘normal procedures’, that not even his influence could affect the situation.”

    My translation that Betar people couldn’t have cared less about the Ravs position.
    “Wisely, perhaps due to thinking he was out-maneuvered on the ground, he optioned for a platform that he could completely control: a radio broadcast and a presentation of a semi-halachic/semi-hashkafa address/shiur. I rememeber sitting in the dorm lobby watching leading Rabbis gathered there and taking notes as he spoke with almost adoration.”

    “We won on the field. Caradon had the invitation somehow withdraw.”
    Carradon did his smart thing he discovered a conflict in his schedule-obvious to everyone he did NOT but didn’t the trip to YU-BTW I believe he might have also been president of the Securtiy Council-rotation-during this time period.

    “The Rav won on his field.”
    The Rav laid out a clear statement against what the Betar kids wanted to do-a fortiori on that speech alone one can tell the Rav despised Beitar and JDL ideology.

    • Sorry for getting back to this more than a bit belatedly. Mycroft’s translation ability is serverey impaired and rather his “interprets”. In any case, trying to dump JDL & Betar in one basket is a gross misrepresentation. Covering for Caradon now is surely not what the Rav would have condoned, After all, he was a man of truth. Oh, if we didn’t care, why did we meet with him? Really dumb there, Mycroft.

  79. My turn? I’m flattered! Well, then:

    First, as a side point, I’m always amused by people who can’t get spelling right. “Kahane,” with an “e.” It’s *helpful* to remember that it’s pronounced “Kahana,” but hey.

    I don’t think this is particular to this case: I’m a graduate of Cardozo Law School, and I’m always stunned by the simple inability of the most learned people to get *that* name right. And it’s *pronounced* that way!

    Second, Mycroft’s use of Menachem Begin as an example is amusing. For decades, the most venomous things were said about him. “Fascist” was probably the worst, most inaccurate, most famous and longest lasting. The intelligentsia of the United States signed an infamous letter in 1949 or so describing him as such. (Albert Einstein!) In most parts of the Left, opinions haven’t shifted much. Was he? You tell me.

    So I see people bouncing around the words “evil” or “hatred” and like in these parts. Well, that might be in the eye of the beholder. When you think shaking hands with an Arafat or Abbas (or Sadat, R’ Kahane would say, and look how right he was) is just dandy, for example, I suppose everyone else must, ipso facto, look evil. Me, I judge R’ Kahane on what he said (I’ve heard him speak, live and taped) and what he wrote. Sorry, I just don’t see the caricature people here and elsewhere use. Maybe it’s *my* point of view coloring me. Of course, my point of view was colored by him, so it’s circular. 🙂

    Oh, by the way, no one would claim R’ Kahane was a fraction of the talmid chacham the Rav was. On the other hand, it’s kind of hard to claim that R’ Carmy is more learned than he was. (I’m not sure he’s more learned than Michael Ben-Ari, who is, by the way, Dr. Michael Ben-Ari.) R’ Kahane knew a bit about Torah. Most of what he wrote (in Hebrew) is plain Torah. Just once, I’d like to see people with names (not Sherlock Holmes’ brother) make real arguments. I’m not saying they’re out there, but Moshe Shoshan’s casual use of “evil” to describe a widely-loved hero of the Jewish people is, frankly, easy and light-minded.

  80. Oh, and in response to a nasty post here, yes, I see I messed up on the Youtube video. It was later than whatever R’ Carmy is talking about here. (Of course, I can be as cute as him and wonder if he’s talking about R’ Kahane at all.) But it’s still worthwhile.

    Me, I prefer his Brandeis speech. It’s super terrific, especially his little dustup with Marc Gopin (who has lost the beard but, of course, has learned nothing) at the end.

    You know, sometimes, when the opposition is so strong, we rightists like to see someone who can win a war of words.

    By the way, if you don’t trust me, dig up Yoram Hazony’s obituary. The man is not a Kahanist, to say the least. He did a very good job of summing up R’ Kahane from that point of view. Halevai none of us would see the need to demonize those we disagree with.

  81. I have little time to write now, but in the meantime, I would simply point out that Kahane’s “attack” on the Rav was, while inappropriate, not as harsh as some are making it out to be. All Kahane said was that it was likely that the Rav’s religious philosophy was influenced by his secular education in Berlin University with the result that the Rav’s position on Israel was not a purely Torah-inspired one.

    I thought it was inappropriate for Kahane to speak of the Rav like that in YU, but it certainly is not a horrific suggestion.

  82. Rabbi Kahane At YU in 4 parts:

    Part 1
    Part 2
    Part 3
    Part 4

  83. Anybody who claims that all Rav Kahane did all day long is spout hate and venom have obviously never read his books such as “Ohr HaRaayaon”. Read the book and you will not find hatred but extremely solid Torah. For those of you who call Rav Kahane a hater you probably would have also called David HaMelech a hater as well. After all, David HaMelech was such a racist when it came to the Philistinians!

    Those who object to Rav Kahane’s positions based on moral grounds-please check whether your moral compass is in line with Torah values.

    Rav Kahane was a Jewish hero who called for national teshuvah. He is sorely missed.

  84. Many or most Israelis believe that Rav Kahane was right. Where are those votes now? They are probably in many places-Likud, Ichud Leumi, Shas, and also among non-voters who are simply disgusted by the choices.

  85. Many confuse the issue of Rav Kahane’s style and the essential content. One need not approve of everything that Rav Kahane ever said to recognize that his essential message is correct.

  86. Rabbi Kahane embodied Jewish power and pride. His call for American aliya had better be heeded just like his other messages.

  87. Rabbi Kahane’s use of the word “Hellenist” is being taken out of context. He did not use this word interchangeably with the word secular or non-religious. He used this word principally regarding those who mislead the Jewish nation with non-Jewish values such as Yossi Sarid or Shulamit Aloni.

  88. mevaseretzion

    >Thanks for linking to Prof Ravitzky’s article. I would suggest that all the admirers of R. Kahana read it and decide if they are willing to support all the positions and policies R. Kahana called for.

    It may be instructive as well to read some of the literature Rabbi Kahane left behind to ascertain if Professor Ravitzky described his positions accurately in that article.

  89. Lawrence Kaplan

    Nachum: If you will loook at my latest post you will see I finally spelled R. Kahane’s name right. But, then, for years I have been mispronouncing Cardozo.

    IH: I don’t consider the title “R.” by itself such a great kavod. It, like Professor, describes a professional function. On second thought though, since Meir Kahane functioned as a professional politician, perhaps I should not have accorded him the title.

  90. IH-You’re not adding “Rav” before Rav Kahane’s name is vile. May none of us ever show such disrespect for Torah scholars.

  91. Nachum I see you managed to deliver an entire, lengthy post without responding to a single one of the specific criticisms (based on his written work and speeches) leveled against R. Kahane in the Ravitzky article that others have pointed to, and to which others have asked you to respond. Your response consists mainly of 1) People misspell “Kahane”, 2) People don’t really like Begin as much as they now claim, 3) Some tangent about R. Carmy.

    It just bothers me how Kahanists always go on and on about how misunderstood he was, and how critics ignore the “facts” and “what he actually said [and wrote].” And yet when you confront them with actual data, they fall back on the good ol’ “that’s not what I remember” trick. The “fact” is that there is nothing casual about calling R. Kahane’s ideas “evil.” They WERE evil and dangerous.

  92. For the record, Jay and Harold are posting from the same computer.

  93. I’ll take up the challenge. Who will get me a copy of Or Ha-Ra’ayon for detailed review?

  94. Mevaseretzion: “It may be instructive as well to read some of the literature Rabbi Kahane left behind to ascertain if Professor Ravitzky described his positions accurately in that article.”

    That’s what Ravitzky did. The whole essay is based on quotes from Kahane’s published writings (English and Hebrew), as well as from speeches.

    If you’re suggesting that people go and read the writings themselves, I’d say it’s a question of diminishing returns. If a person has extra time, and this is an issue that specifically interests him, then by all means read Kahane’s books and pamphlets. But if you don’t have the time, or you’d rather spend your downtime doing something more productive, one can simply read Ravitzky’s article – understanding that Kahane has been appropriately marginalized – and move on with life.

    I wouldn’t normally recommend this, but in this case then it seems to me that enough of my own rabbinic leaders and major Jewish thinkers considered Kahane and his views evil, mistaken, unrepresentative of Torah and dangerous that this conduct (in this case) is entirely acceptable.

  95. R. Shlomo Carmey comments about Rav Meir Kahane carried so much distortions, half truth, and personal attacks against a torah scholar it would take over five time more space to correct all the inaccuracies. Where was Rav Shlomo Carmey when Rabbi Kahane was alive to debate an authentic torah perspective on the Goyim’s status in Eretz Yisroel? Where was he when Jews from the JDL were getting arrested on behalf of Soviet Jewery? Does the Rav also think that the Ohr HaHaim, Rashi, Targum Unkelos,Rambam, Hazon Ish, and the Ramban are also unambigious sources since this is what Rabbi K used as his halachic basis for his position on the Arabs in Israel? If anybody is interested in this look at the Ramban’s 4th mitzva on the Ramban. BTW, Rav Yaakov Kamenesky whole heartedly supported Rabbi Kahane.

    You should be embarassed.

  96. Chaim28: Your comments are all beside the point. R. Carmy’s comments were primarily about R. Kahane’s actions, not his ideas, while your criticisms are just random insults. The criticisms of R. Kahane’s ideas, admittedly vague, were from R. Soloveitchik. Are you honestly suyggesting that R. Soloveitchik was incapable of responding to R. Kahane’s Torah arguments?

  97. By the way, I allowed chaim28’s personal attack to remain as an example of typical Kahanist argumentation. I will be deleting any such further comments. If you do not know how to discuss an issue without insulting others, you don’t belong here.

  98. At some level, the debate about Kahane is pointless. Despite whatever fantasies people may have, non-Jews (and Arabs in particular) will not be expelled or “transferred” from Israel. That said, reading Prof. Ravitzky’s 1986 article is a good reminder of the longevity of broader issues to which Kahane’s extremism brought focus. And I would specifically call out:

    The people of Israel face a number of serious national problems, in the social, economic and security domains, as well as in other spheres. The Israeli public, and the youth in particular, are experiencing feelings of disquiet, unease and uncertainty. In such a situation people will tend to opt for one of two possible responses, to make a choice between two spiritual and practical alternatives. One response is to turn inward, to demand an effort, self-improvement, readiness to pay a personal as well as a national price in many fields. It calls for sacrifice and a gradual process of reconstruction. The other response turns outward. It looks for a blemish that is clearly visible and that may be addressed as the source of all trouble and infirmity—a blemish that must be cleansed, that must be removed and, with it, all the problems that beset us. It focuses all the problems on one specific area, on one guilty party, whose elimination is the key to any solution.
    The choice between these two alternatives has had to be made in the past by other nations as well, and their decisions are recorded in the history books. Today it is Israeli society that is called upon to make that choice—and to do so under the most difficult of circumstances, of terror and bereavement. Lately it has become apparent that some of the members of our society are no longer prepared to bear the spiritual-emotional burden, and to pay the price that is demanded of them. They are looking, instead, for the blemish, for the demon whose removal is going to cure all our ills.

    There are broader truths here about Orthodoxy’s interaction with the world more generally and not just in Israel.

    —–

    Prof. Kaplan — despite all your comments, you still haven’t told us your own position. Nu?

  99. Lawrence Kaplan

    IH: I am very strongly opposed to his views.

  100. Both Rav Meir and his esteemed brother Rav Nachman are right about the world, it’s nations, and the destiny of the people of Israel within the land of Israel.

  101. Lawrence Kaplan

    To elaborate a bit: He was a very intelligent, Jewishly and rabbinically knowledgeable, quick thinking, and dynamic speaker, albeit somewhat of a rabble rouser. He also identified certain genuine issues that deserve serious consideration. But he ruined it all with his hatred and venom.

  102. Dr. Kaplan, you may disagree but reading your last comment reminded me that I’ve long thought that an essay contrasting R. Kahane with Malcolm X would be a fascinating one.

  103. I listened to some of the R. Kahane video that Nachum posted yesterday and found him disingenous. He literally read out loud from the Rambam (AZ 5:5) and glossed over (read but ignored) the very phrase that explains his opponents’ views (ke-she-yad Yisrael tekeifah). If you aren’t willing to consider your opponents’ views, you have no right to state that no one can refute you.

    See, for example, R. Shaul Yisraeli’s article on the status of gentiles in Israel: http://www.zomet.org.il/?CategoryID=282&ArticleID=370

  104. Lawrence Kaplan

    Jerry: I see your point. There appear to be striking analogies. Malcolm X, however, shortly before he was assasinated began to moderate his views; the same, alas, cannot be said for Meir Kahane.

  105. Jay is my son who Baruch Hashem agrees with me on the issue of HaRav Kahane wholeheartedly.

  106. Hirhurim-your jab about typical Kahanist argumentation is bogus. All types of ideas and ideologies have more and less rational proponents.

  107. Prof. Kaplan,

    Your strong disagreement with Rav Kahane is strange. You seem to actually be saying that his positions were good but you didn’t like what you perceive as a hateful style.

  108. HAROLD:

    “You seem to actually be saying that his positions were good but you didn’t like what you perceive as a hateful style.”

    i think you misread him. prof kaplan wrote that r. kahane identified issues that deserve addressing. he didn’t write that he agrees with the r. kahane’s “positions” for solving those issues

  109. It seems that there is too much nitpicking going on here. As did the Hazon Ish, Rav Kahane believed that we have a situation now of “yad yisrael tekeifah”.

    One can agree or not agree with Rav Kahane but why one earth would somebody claim that it is halakhically illegitimate to expel one’s enemies. An interesting question-if a secular Prime Minister came to the conclusion that he must expel the Arabs would you also oppose him? I have a feeling that many of the religious opponents of Rav Kahane would somehow find a way to “kasher” it in such a scenario. Another interesting question-was it “immoral” for Poland to have expelled the ethnic Germans immediately following World War II? Few would argue that it was-I rest my case.

    What can I say? The opposition to Rav Kahane’s ideas has always been largely irrational.

  110. I (perhaps wrongly) have a feeling that Prof. Kaplan is not bothered by the injustice of possibly expelling a dangerous, enemy population from Israel but rather from adopting a hateful style.

  111. I wholeheartedly agree with Harold. Why would frum Jews possibly imagine that the Torah would “forbid” expelling enemies of the Jewish people from Israel?

  112. The masses of frum Jews who attended the funeral of Rav Kahane in Jerusalem attests to how authentic his message was perceived to be. May we be zoche to more rabbis such as Rav Kahane.

  113. Harold: As did the Hazon Ish, Rav Kahane believed that we have a situation now of “yad yisrael tekeifah”.

    This is not nitpicking. Many others disagreed and believe that view is contrary to reality.

    Few would argue that it was

    !!! Most people would argue that it was.

    What can I say? The opposition to Rav Kahane’s ideas has always been largely irrational

    It is entirely rational. The thinking that Israel can survive a full year after destroying all its churches and expelling all its gentiles is, in my opinion, irrational.

    Charlie: Why would frum Jews possibly imagine that the Torah would “forbid” expelling enemies of the Jewish people from Israel?

    Not every Arab is an enemy of the Jewish people. There are among them those who observe the sheva mitzvos Bnei Noach.

    The masses of frum Jews who attended the funeral of Rav Kahane in Jerusalem attests to how authentic his message was perceived to be

    Many attended because he died al kiddush Hashem.

  114. a lot of these comments highlight the parallels ravitzky outlines between kahanism and other jewish fundamentalisms. If you first read “Rabbi X was right to criticize Rav Soloveitchik because the latter’s worldview was influenced by non-Jewish ideas. We can see how authentic Rabbi X was by how many thousands of followers came to his funeral” I would assume Rabbi X was charedi…

  115. GIL:

    “The thinking that Israel can survive a full year after destroying all its churches and expelling all its gentiles is, in my opinion, irrational”

    1) so you think it’s irrational or immoral (or both)?
    2) i think it is irrational for israel (of whatever borders to be determined) to host a non-jewish population that continues to grow larger as a proportion of the total population. this problem is of course not only due to the arab minorities, but with them the problem is compounded because for the most they are hostile (of varying degrees) to israel as a jewish state. i personally don’t have an answer. israel is in a quagmire.
    3) as an aside, the entire zionist enterprise from day 1 has been “irrational”

  116. The majority of Arabs living in Israel believe that it is permissible and even good to murder Jews. The majority of Arabs living in Israel do not believe that a Jewish State should exist. The majority of of Arabs living in Israel would not be willing to live under conditions whereby they do not have the right to serve in the Knesset or vote in national elections. This does not constitute accepting the sheva mitzvot and accepting halakhic pre-conditions for goyim to live in Israel.

  117. Abba: 1) so you think it’s irrational or immoral (or both)?

    Immoral to expel someone innocent. Irrational to expel enemies in large numbers.

    2) i think it is irrational for israel (of whatever borders to be determined) to host a non-jewish population that continues to grow larger as a proportion of the total population

    Agree, although I’m not sure how true those demographic predictions will be.

    3) as an aside, the entire zionist enterprise from day 1 has been “irrational”

    But it has functioned based on real-world diplomacy and decision-making.

  118. Harold: The majority of Arabs… This does not constitute accepting the sheva mitzvot and accepting halakhic pre-conditions for goyim to live in Israel.

    Incorrect

  119. Abba — why then does Israel continue to import foreign workers to do society’s dirty work? (some of which — mostly agricultural — used to be done by Arabs from Gaza).

    And who’s going to build housing for all the Jews, if not Arabs from the West Bank? The Charedim perhaps?

  120. Hashem gives us windows of opportunities to expel the Arabs. We could have done it in 1967 and after the outbreak of both intifadas. We need to have the vision, set the goal, and then do it at the most opportune time.

  121. Hirhurim-“Incorrect”

    I’m afraid you err.

  122. Harold — a reminder that Thursday is Yom ha’Shoa.

  123. (speaking of “need to have the vision, set the goal, and then do it at the most opportune time.”)

  124. GIL:

    just so we don’t get bogged down, the issue isn’t whether or not, as you stated, “not every Arab is an enemy of the Jewish people.” rather, how realistic (or “rational,” as you might prefer) to expect them to accept a jewish state of israel. embrace israel as a jewish homeland with a racist law of return (no less racist than transfer, if less dramatic). sing hatikvah. etc.
    all the more so if they approach majority status or become majority?

  125. Abba: Those are details. They don’t have to be happy citizens as long as they aren’t violently trying to undermine it.

  126. IH:

    “why then does Israel continue to import foreign workers to do society’s dirty work?”

    because “avodah ivrit” is a thing of the past
    because israel is dependent on others for “avodah shechora”
    but what’s your point?

  127. IH-That is not relevant to our discussion-and it is despicable to compare the proposed expulsion of an enemy population to the annihilation of 6 million innocent Jews.

  128. IH:

    is it moral that any 1/4 jew can freely immigrate to israel and get citizenship papers upon landing at the airport, but a palestinian refugee who was born in israel and whose family lived there for generations is denied the same opportunity? is this any less of a racist population control measure than transfer (if less dramatic and violent)

  129. GIL:

    ” They don’t have to be happy citizens as long as they aren’t violently trying to undermine it”

    1) well i think it’s irrational to expect them to accept a status as “unhappy citizens”
    2) what about attempts to undermine it non-violently? what happens when it gets to the point when this becomes a possibility? or israel will worry about it then?
    3) the majority (?) of arabs under israeli rule can’t be unhappy citizens because they aren’t citizens and except for perhaps a few nutjob binationalists that are left, no one in israel proposes that en masse they be offered citizenship (excepting perhaps jerusalem/golan)

  130. That’s what Ravitzky did. The whole essay is based on quotes from Kahane’s published writings (English and Hebrew), as well as from speeches.

    If you’re suggesting that people go and read the writings themselves, I’d say it’s a question of diminishing returns.

    I am not going to be drawn into a discussion of details – if Rabbi Kahane was right about this or that, or if Professor Ravitzky quoted this or that correctly or in its appropriate context.

    However, since Professor Kaplan suggested the article, I merely noted that, as much respect as I have for Professor Ravitzky, it is my opinion that some points were misread.

    I wouldn’t normally recommend this, but in this case then it seems to me that enough of my own rabbinic leaders and major Jewish thinkers considered Kahane and his views evil, mistaken, unrepresentative of Torah and dangerous that this conduct (in this case) is entirely acceptable.

    I think it always makes sense to, before taking a strong position one way or another, read the material being discussed. Perhaps on a subject such as this one which clearly ignites passions on both sides, it is all the more so advisable. At the very least, we will be better informed.

  131. Lawrence Kaplan

    I think Meir Kahane’s venom and hatred poisoned the positions and policies he proposed. By and large, I agree with Prof. Ravitzky’s analysis, bu it has been a while since I have thought about Meir Kahane or read any of his writings, and I don’t claim any particular expertise.

  132. Lawrence Kaplan

    mevaseretzion: I would be interested in hearing from you concerning the points where you think Prof. Ravitzky misread Meir Kahane’s positions.

    Abba: Re your question, the two are not at all comparable in my view.

  133. I would be interested in hearing from you concerning the points where you think Prof. Ravitzky misread Meir Kahane’s positions.

    I will email your university address.

  134. GIL:

    “what about attempts to undermine it non-violently? what happens when it gets to the point when this becomes a possibility? or israel will worry about it then?”

    forget this. i didn’t see your response to my previous comment

  135. GIL:

    “I’m not sure how true those demographic predictions will be”

    i have no idea how accurate/objective this is

    http://israelipalestinian.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=000636#Chart8

    from here it seems that in pre-1967 israel has somewhat maintained the jewish population level, with a moderate decrease from 86% to 79%, predicted to decrease to 74% in 2050. (i wonder if the authors took into account the fact that waves of massive aliyah have helped kept the jewish proportion relatively stable over the years and we may not see similar waves in the future; on the other hand some would argue that as arabs become more modernized their birth rate will decrease to the jewish birth rate)

    more troubling is that if one considers from sea to sea, it is not basically split 50/50 between jew and arab.

    (how did non-arab gentiles factor into the stats?)

  136. “it is not basically split 50/50 between jew and arab” shoul read “it is now basically split 50/50 between jew and arab”

    Prof Kaplan:

    “the two are not at all comparable in my view”

    why not?

  137. See this article “Voodoo Demographics” http://www.azure.org.il/article.php?id=130

  138. Prof Kaplan/Gil/Etc:

    nu, so if you were prime minister what would you do to solve the palestinian problem (from sea to sea and in pre-1967 israel itself)?
    i personally think trasnfer is distasteful and impractical (perhaps rather than gil’s irrational), so what are some alternatives? the whole situation stinks.

  139. I don’t have an answer

  140. GIL:

    ““Voodoo Demographics””

    thanks a lot for a teaser preview!

  141. There are plenty of Hellenists who wear kippoth,…all shaped and colors, too. 😉

  142. shaul shapira

    It’s also important to remember what R Kahane was up against. In his book ‘uncomfortobale questions for comfortable jews’, he has actual quotes from leftist mayors and suchlike calling on people to “kill them (kahanists) while they’re small)”.

    And no one here has come close to answering R Kahane’s question: How on earth do you expect an arab to rejoice that “Nefesh Yehudi Homiya” and “Hatika Shnot Alpayim”? Knesset Member Ahmed Tibi was being being entirely rational when he joined Abbas’a statehood delegation to the UN. (.http://blogs.forward.com/forward-thinking/143175/is-mk-ahmed-tibi-part-of-abbass-un-delegation/) So was Kesset member Hanan Zoabi when she sailed on the terrosist flotilla (http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Middle-East/2010/0602/Gaza-flotilla-raid-pushes-unknown-Knesset-member-into-spotlight).

    Whatever Kahane’s idiosycracies he laid bare the hypocrisy of western democratic style Zionist state. And even Ravitzky provides no answer to his essential challenge: Do Israeli Arabs have the democratic right to democratically take over the State of Israel?

  143. shaul: And no one here has come close to answering R Kahane’s question: How on earth do you expect an arab to rejoice that “Nefesh Yehudi Homiya” and “Hatika Shnot Alpayim”?

    The answer is that they don’t have to any more than a Jew living in a Christian country has to embrace the country’s religion. You just have to be happy that you live in a relatively free and prosperous country.

  144. According to the Hazon Ish’s approach there is no way that Muslims could be considered bnai noach. The Hazon Ish writes that to be considered a ben noach one must accept the basic tenets of Judaism as well as be committed to the sheva mitzvoth. Muslims ( or Christians for that matter) can not be considered bnai noach according to this position. The Hazon Ish’s approach requires belief that the Torah is true, thus also mandating acceptance of the fact that the land of Israel was given to the Jews. Given that this is the Hazon Ish’s position it is untenable and absurd to label the expulsion of the Arab enemy immoral.

  145. Even according to this minority opinion, did the Chazon Ish or any of his students advocate expelling all the Arabs? His nephew, R. Chaim Kanievsky, has been active for decades. Has he ever expressed such an attitude?

  146. shaul shapira

    Hirhurim on April 17, 2012 at 1:37 pm
    “The answer is that they don’t have to any more than a Jew living in a Christian country has to embrace the country’s religion. You just have to be happy that you live in a relatively free and prosperous country.”

    If I had to thank our good lord Mary every time I sang the star spangled banner, I’d have problem with that. As I would if the US had a policy giving all Christians instant citizenzship- a policy that has helped insure a Jewish majority in israel.

  147. If we were to poll those on this forum against Kahane, I’m sure we would find that they all live in the Diaspora and don’t know personally any victims of terror.

    Kahane had real solutions to the real challenges that face the State of Israel.

    For many in the Diaspora, the greatest challenge faced is deciding which restaurant in Teaneck to go to.

  148. “The are perfectly moral people, like Benny Begin who take very right wing stands. That is ridiculous/. Benny Begin is hardly a far-rightwinger. He values his view of ‘democracy’ over all else. He is in favor of expelling Jews from legally purchased homes to protect the indefensible, Israeli politcally motivated high court.

  149. Hirhurim- That question is better addressed to the students of the Hazon Ish. According to his position it could not be considered immoral to make them leave.

  150. shaul shapira

    IH on April 17, 2012 at 10:59 am
    Harold — a reminder that Thursday is Yom ha’Shoa.

    I see no reason to bring Ben Gurion, Weizman, and the Jewish Agency’s crimes during the holocaust into this.

  151. If indeed the Hazon Ish is in the minority this does not make him wrong. Logic and common sense side with the Hazon Ish on this issue. It is absurd to assume that acceptance of the sheva mitzvoth does not presume acceptance of Jewish sovereignty. That’s like an American accepting the laws but rejecting the legitimacy if the U.S. government.

  152. “If we were to poll those on this forum against Kahane, I’m sure we would find that they all live in the Diaspora and don’t know personally any victims of terror.”

    ftr moshe shoshan lives in israel. presumably, ledavon libeinu haraba, there are those here who know victims of terror personally (i do)
    in any case this is ridiculous, plenty of israelis oppose kahane as well.

  153. More Jews than ever realize that Rav Kahane was right.

  154. Herein lies the rub “Despite whatever fantasies people may have, non-Jews (and Arabs in particular) will not be expelled or “transferred” from Israel” Liberal Jews (I assume, the author of that comment included) take that statement as a given. Yet in 2005 10,000 Jews were expelled from their legally built and purchased homes for no logical reason. Many Israelis have since paid with their lives and fortunes as a result of that evil deed (and I don’t use that word lightly as it seems many commenters here do). Despite that hard-earned lesson, the current likud government, a faux-right wing government, treats the 350,000 residents of Judea and samaria as enemies, the court views them as second class citizens AND the government is planning to expel, קרי transfer, them from their homes and make the historic heartland of Israel Judenrein, home to a terror state such as the one formed in Gaza. As long as that is acceptable to someone and offering hostile arabs compensation to leave is not, there is no room for rational discussion.

  155. Lawrence Kaplan

    Dude: Moshe Shoshan? Not to mention your insulting assumption that people who live in Israel and who personally know victims of terror do not or cannot oppose Meir Kahane. What of Avi Ravitzsky and all the other “Israeli Hellenists”?

    Your comment about Teaneck is contemptible.

  156. Lawrence Kaplan

    I now see that Abba anticipated my remarks.

  157. Lawrence,

    I’m sorry I hurt your feelings.

    My point was that most of those commenting have less of a stake and are more concerned with steak.

    BTW – have you tried ETC? Get the entrecote.

  158. Teaneck residents also have terror victims. Someone I grew up with in Teaneck: http://www.columbia.edu/cu/record/archives/vol21/vol21_iss19/record2119.31.html

    And if you’re looking for good steak, Jerusalem has plenty of options: http://www.gojerusalem.com/discover/article_1513/The-top-five-steaks-in-Jerusalem

  159. Charlie: If indeed the Hazon Ish is in the minority this does not make him wrong.

    It means most poskim think he was mistaken.

    Logic and common sense side with the Hazon Ish on this issue.

    I disagree. And we don’t decide halakhic issues by “common sense”.

    By the way, where does the Chazon Ish say this? Is it in the context of Heter Mechirah?

  160. Can we get back to R Kahane? Or has this thread run dry?

  161. I believe that whether you oppose or support Kahane has to do with the makeup of your soul. If people and organizations like Patrick Henry, Henry David Thoreau, Malcolm X, Israel Eldad, the Irgun, and Lechi excite you, you will likely like Kahane. If you think that the above people and organizations were crazy and fanatical, you will likely not like him.

    Those of us who like Kahane think that hatred of one’s enemies is normal. We think that caring about the Jewish people is more important than whether some inncent Arabs suffer while killing/expelling the hostile Arab presence in Israel. We don’t care about being proper or moderate or sensible. We are nationalists and believe extremism in the defense of Israel and her future is no vice.

    Talking therefore of Kahane’s hatred is entirely beside the point. First, his hatred was holy. And second, I’d like to see a disppasionate professorial lecturer try to win a following and the prime minister’ seat. He was indeed a rabble rouser. So what? Knowing how to win over a crowd is perfectly fine as long as one is rousing it to a good cause. Which of course gets back to whether his cause was good or not…

  162. Baruch – “We are nationalists and believe extremism in the defense of Israel and her future is no vice.”
    does that mean morals and rights as well as democracy goes out the window?

    “Knowing how to win over a crowd is perfectly fine as long as one is rousing it to a good cause.” yes and were are the limits if there are no rights? certain germans can say the same about a great orator in the 1930s too – all for their good cause (l’havdil of course)

  163. Baruch — how is that different from Hamas as per the small substitutions in your text:

    We think that caring about the Jewish Palestinian people is more important than whether some inncent Arabs Jews suffer while killing/expelling the hostile Arab Jewish presence in Israel. We don’t care about being proper or moderate or sensible. We are nationalists and believe extremism in the defense of Israel Palestine and her future is no vice.

    They too think they have God and their mesorah on their side.

  164. 1) My problem with Hitler is not his speeches. It’s his ideas. If he used all his oratory skills and grand rallies for a good cause, I would have little objection. Would you?

    2) Morality does not go out the window, but we Kahanists believe total war is moral. We believe that Levi and Shimons’ actions were moral. We also believe that Hashem’s many commands to Moshe to wipe out all the men of various nations was moral. (The Maharal explains that wars are fought nation vs. nation and thus everyone in that nation is “guilty.” See his comments to Rashi on the Shimon and Levi story.)

    We further believe that the Allied fire bombing of Germany and Japan was moral. So did the vast majority of Americans in WWII incidentally. It’s not clear to me why everyone is so certain that that generation’s idea of how to fight a war is wrong.

  165. Strikeouts didn’t work, but easy enough to parse. [Testing s tag vs. strike-tag for future use.]

  166. IH,

    Why must I be different than Hamas? This is one of the biggest fallacies. I oppose Hamas because it is trying to kill Jews. I am not trying to kill Jews. I am trying to kill Arabs who are out to destroy the state of Israel.

    Pray tell, what was the difference between Germany and England during WWI? Nothing other than that they had opposing interests. Their morality was exactly the same.

  167. Baruch — Interesting. So you don’t expect non-Israelis and/or non-Jews to condemn Hamas on moral grounds. I.e. if they support the Palestinians, they should support Hamas. Whomever garners more support and gets the weapons to kill more of the other, wins.

    Please correct, as needed, to represent your perspective.

  168. shaul shapira

    IH- It depends on whether you believe Alan Dershowitz or Noam Chomsky’s version of events. You have a right to attack an agressor. (Remember Bibi’s Dresden refence?) Obviously, you can choose to believe that the Mossad was behind 9/11 and therefore America ought not to stand by an Israeli ally who stabs it in the back. It all comes down to reality. if in fact kahane believed that Arabs and not entitled to a state (not Jordan, not Syria, not Iraq etc.,) you’d have a point. Otherwise, I fail to see the comparison between Kach and Hamas. Defending your only homeland is not equivalent to denying you’re enemies only one. There’s nothing great about Ghandi like resistance in the face of annihalation.

    As Kahane (bitterly) put it- “The Jew will not sink to the level of the Arab- he will sink six feet below him.”

  169. IH:

    “how is that different from Hamas”

    it isn’t different than hamas. but that’s the point. to what extent does israel need to be more “moral” than it’s enemy?
    (and you speficially use hamas for your example, as if it’s different than the PA?)

    “They too think they have God and their mesorah on their side.”

    exactly

  170. Shaul — lo l’imyan. Let Baruch speak for himself.

  171. Precisely. I couldn’t have said it better.

  172. Thanks, Baruch. I just wanted to make sure I understood your view.

  173. That comment was in response to IH of 3:16 p.m. You have represented my position accurately.

  174. “There’s nothing great about Ghandi like resistance in the face of annihalation.”

    completely tangential, but i’ve doing research on gandhi’s attitude toward jews. he actually did advise the jews to adopt satyagraha and martyrdom as the best ways to fight the nazis. (he also rejected the jewish claim to eretz yisrael and advised against immigration to escape the nazis, to which buber and magnes responded forcefully)

  175. Abba, Shaul — just to be clear, I was not trying to shut down discussion with either of you; but, this is a topic in which people who feel strongly will not change their minds in a discussion thread. It seems to me, however, that it is important to get clear statements of the views on the poles so that the people in the middle can better assess their own view.

    Thus far, from my perspective, the clearest anti-Kahanist view has been Moshe Shoshan and the clearest Kahanist view has been Baruch.

    P.S. Abba there some articles in the past year aboout Ghandi and the Jews as a result of the recent biography that claims a (homosexual) relationship between Ghandi and the German Jewish Hermann Kallenback.

  176. abba – “to what extent does israel need to be more “moral” than it’s enemy?” – i would think the majority of israelis would not advocate the indiscriminate killing of women and children like hamas and it effects the soul and character of the country and its citizens. so there is a need to be more moral than your enemy – the issue is where is that line.

  177. RUVIE:

    basically agree under the circumstances

    IH:

    interesting. it was kallenbach that the jewish agency sent to india in the late 1930s in a last ditch effort to convert gandhi to the cause.

  178. abba – just trying to clarify the issue on your statement – but not sure baruch would agree.

  179. My point regarding the Hazon Ish is that his position is the most reasonable and logical. So whether most poskim agree is not relevant here.

  180. Reasonable people can disagree as to whether Baruch’s right-wing Kahanist approach or Harold’s centrist Kahanist approach is correct. But, reasonable Jews should not be arguing over whether our enemies should be expelled from Israel. That’s pshita (obvious)!

  181. Charlie: My point regarding the Hazon Ish is that his position is the most reasonable and logical

    It is certainly not the most reasonable and logical.

  182. Bomzer: But, reasonable Jews should not be arguing over whether our enemies should be expelled from Israel

    In an ideal world. In the real world, I agree that reasonable Jews should not be arguing about this but I’m probably on the other side than you.

  183. shaul shapira

    “this is a topic in which people who feel strongly will not change their minds in a discussion thread. It seems to me, however, that it is important to get clear statements of the views on the poles so that the people in the middle can better assess their own view.”

    Agreed. I just want to be clear that you don’t have to be a Kahanist or agree with all his tactics to recognize that he made very trenchant points. It’s unfair to frame this as the Kach crazies versus the rest of us. Just like most people in Israel are neither Charei nor anti-religious, alot of right wingers are somewhat ambivalent about Kahane. It’s those people that can be swung one way or the other.

    [“some articles in the past year aboout Ghandi and the Jews as a result of the recent biography…”

    I remember hearing R Mordechai Becher qoute Ghandi as saying that the Jews should (or shoul’ve) resisted the Nazis peacefully. I didn’t check to find a source. At any rate, that was the cause of the reference in my last comment.]

  184. I reiterate that it is absurd to think that an Arab living in Israel by virtue of his being a Muslim is a ben noach and thus entitled to stay. To the contrary, the Arabs’ Muslim beliefs make it impossible for him to accept Jewish sovereignty which is an essential part of the sheva mitzvot package. Furthermore, Arabs in general and Muslims specifically identify
    with and support organizations which murder and steal land from Jews
    . None of this can possibly be seen as jibing with the obligations of a ben noach.

  185. I should add that Binyamin Kahane once highlighted Shimshon’s reply to the Jewish leaders who asked him, “What have you done to us?” Shimshon said, “As they did to me, so have I done to them.” Kahane added his ironic commentary, “He stooped.”

  186. On the interpretation of such biblical passages, see R. Yitzchak Blau, “Biblical Narratives and the Status of Enemy Civilians in Wartime” in Tradition 39:4 (Winter 2006): http://www.traditiononline.org/news/article.cfm?id=100878

  187. SHAUL/IH:

    “I remember hearing R Mordechai Becher qoute Ghandi as saying that the Jews should (or shoul’ve) resisted the Nazis peacefully.”

    Gandhi had become acquainted with Jews during his South Africa period and he developed friendships with a number of them, but in general he remained unsympathetic to the Jewish religion and in public he was critical of the Zionist enterprise. In 1938 a Jewish friend prevailed upon him to address the persecution of the Jews, but the essay he penned for his weekly Harijan (26 Nov. 1938) was not what the Jewish and Zionist leadership had hoped for. Gandhi condemned Nazi anti-Semitism but believed that the Jews would prevail against the violence if they adopt satyagraha (civil resistance and “voluntary suffering”). Moreover, he rejected Jewish claims to the Land of Israel and he urged the Jews to seek amity and cooperation with the Arabs.

    The essay evoked stern responses from various Jewish quarters, including a passionate open letter from Martin Buber (1878-1965), the prominent Austrian-born philosopher who had settled in Jerusalem earlier that year. (Other letters were penned by Judah L. Magnes, president of Hebrew University, and Hayim Greenberg, the American Labor Zionist.) Buber greatly admired Gandhi but was very troubled by his assessment of what the Jews faced and he opened by rejecting Gandhi’s suggestion that the solution for German Jewry lay in the adoption of satyaghara.

    “Jews are being persecuted, robbed, maltreated, tortured, murdered. And you, Mahatma Gandhi, say that their position in the country where they suffer all this is an exact parallel to the position of Indians in South Africa at the time you inaugurated your famous “Force of Truth” or “Strength of the Soul” (Satyagraha) campaign . . . Now do you know or do you not know, Mahatma, what a concentration camp is like and what goes on there? Do you know of the torments in the concentration camp, of its methods of slow and quick slaughter? I cannot assume that you know of this; for then this tragi-comic utterance “of almost the same type” could scarcely have crossed your lips. Indians were despised and despicably treated in South Africa. But they were not deprived of rights, they were not outlawed, they were not hostages to a hoped-for change in the behaviour of foreign Powers. And do you think perhaps that a Jew in Germany could pronounce in public one single sentence of a speech such as yours without being knocked down? Of what significance is it to point to a certain something in common when such differences are overlooked? . . . An effective stand in the form of non-violence may be taken against unfeeling human beings in the hope of gradually bringing them to their senses; but a diabolic universal steamroller cannot thus be withstood. There is a certain situation in which no “satyagraha” of the power of the truth can result from the “satyagraha” of the strength of the spirit. The word satyagraha signifies testimony. Testimony without acknowledgment, ineffective, unobserved martyrdom, a martyrdom cast to the winds – that is the fate of innumerable Jews in Germany. God alone accepts their testimony God “seals” it, as is said in our prayers. But no maximum for suitable behaviour can be deduced from that. Such martyrdom is a deed – but who would venture to demand it?

    Buber also challenged Gandhi’s rejection of the Jews’ claim to the Land of Israel, although he added, “I belong to a group of people who . . . have not ceased to strive for the achievement of genuine peace between Jew and Arab.”

    Gandhi apparently did not take note of Buber’s critique. He never responded to it publicly or, as far is known, privately. When Gandhi returned to the subject of Zionism in 1946 he essentially repeated what he had written earlier in 1938 without acknowledging Buber’s letter or even taking note of the Holocaust that had transpired in the intervening years.

    References: Encyclopedia Judaica (s.vv. “Buber, Martin”; “Gandhi, Mohandas Karamchand”); Hamim Gordon, “A Rejection of Spiritual Imperialism: Reflections of Buber’s Letter to Gandhi,” Journal of Ecumenical Studies 36:3-4 (Summer-Fall, 1999), pp. 470-79; V. Ramana Murti, “Buber’s Dialogue and Gandhi’s Satyagraha,” Journal of the History of Ideas 29.4 (Oct.-Dec. 1968), pp. 605-13; E. S. Reddy, “Gandhi, The Jews And Palestine: A Collection of Articles, Speeches, Letters and Interviews” (http://www.gandhiserve.org/information/writings_online/articles/gandhi_jews_palestine.html).

  188. I hope to read it when I get a chance. I hope, though, that R. Blau adresses both viewpoints. I am always struck at the utter silence of many meforshim on stories that many people today would find problematic. I think that silence is often telling.

    Thank you for the link.

  189. “Thank you for the link.”

    yes gil loves giving links to teaser previews! 🙂

  190. What amazes me is that whatever the current events one finds that years ago Rav Kahane prepared us for it. Was he a navi? For example today the headlines are all “shalom Eisner”. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=fCB7RQ5uiOw

  191. Was he a navi?

    or Mashiach Sheker?

  192. ” We believe that Levi and Shimons’ actions were moral.”

    Why? Shechem seduced Dinah and so he, his family, and his entire tribe deserved to be killed? What planet do you live on? That’s was moral? ארור אפם.

  193. hi gil,

    oops, it looks like our recent personal email exchange about some other topic inadvertently reminded you about this article and you decided to extract and focus on another aspect of carmy’s characterization of yu.

    in my recent book (God’s Favorite Prayers) i discuss kahane as an example of the “celebrity” archetype of prayer (and hence of jewish theology) – the ideal model who preaches “we’re number one”… the prayer is aleinu…

  194. “If indeed the Hazon Ish is in the minority this does not make him wrong. Logic and common sense side with the Hazon Ish on this issue. It is absurd to assume that acceptance of the sheva mitzvoth does not presume acceptance of Jewish sovereignty. That’s like an American accepting the laws but rejecting the legitimacy if the U.S. government.”

    do you have a cite to the Hazon Ish, or can you be more specific about what he says
    Is it Hazon Ish who connects belief in the torah and acceptance of jewish rule in Israel or is that only your own belief?
    If “right-wing” christians accept jewish sovereignity in E”y (as many do) are they considered bnei noach according to your understanding of Hazon Ish? If nonjews accept the arguments of neturei karta, are they demonstrating lack of belief in the torah?

  195. Is the Hashon Ish indeed a minority opinion? Who then is the “majority?

  196. The Hazon Ish would not consider Christians to be bnai noach either since they do not accept the basic tenets of Judaism.

  197. Charlie-you’re right on track!

  198. Part of the problem with those who reject Rabbi Kahane’s ideas is that they have assimilated intellectually and have incorporated too much of Western liberalism into their weltanschauung. The Torah allows for categorizations and generalizations when faced with various issues such as fighting an enemy. Classifying the Arabs in Israel as our enemy does not sit well with these people.

  199. Another disturbing part of the discourse regarding Rabbi Kahane is that his opponents assume that the supporters are rabble. Many of those who agree with Rabbi Kahane are amazing, frum Jews who wish to serve Hashem in the best possible way.

  200. “Part of the problem with those who reject Rabbi Kahane’s”

    Forgetting his ideas he attacked viciously people who disagreed with him-he could attack people who lived years under Nazidom as those who just have no understanding or caring about Nzis, he could use peoples tragedy I knew quite well someone who is buried in Hebron-the person lived in Hebron not exactly a flaming liberal.My last time that I saw him was in Maarat Hamachpela-it was maybe a year afterthe person got stabbed by a terrorist-he had spent a couple of months in the hospital he was furious at how Kahane tried to use his injuries for political gain. A person living in Hebron was not exactly a flaming liberal.

  201. Mycroft-You are confusing someone who disagrees tactically with disagreeing ideologically.

  202. Part of the problem with R. Kahane’s ideas is that they are based almost entirely on secular notions of the early twentieth century which he received from Jabotinsky rather than on the Torah values transmitted by the
    Rishonim and Acharonim.

    See, I can play that game also.

  203. All of us are influenced by foreign, non-Jewish influences but thankfully Rabbi Kahane was overwhelmingly influenced by authentic Torah values. Read Ohr HaRaayon, which is a large work. There are no Jabotinskian ideas that can be found there.

  204. Harold: All of us are influenced by foreign, non-Jewish influences but thankfully Rabbi Kahane was overwhelmingly influenced by authentic Torah values

    If you say so

  205. Rafael Araujo

    Can’t we all just get along? Can’t we all be friends? Kumbaya….

  206. I agree-there must be peace among us.

  207. Btw, I’m also not so sure the Hazon Ish is a minority opinion-can anyone prove this?

  208. I have also not seen convincing proof that the Hazon Ish is a minority opinion.

  209. And I have not seen convincing proof that the Chazon Ish says this!

  210. You yourself said that the Hazon Ish is a minority opinion. And where is the “majority” against him?

  211. I will respond when you tell me where the Chazon Ish says this.

  212. I have spoken to a friend who will forward me positive proof regarding the Hazon Ish’s position. I’d love to see the proof that the Hazon Ish’s position is a minority one.

  213. I am curious why we need to wait for my friend to forward the source for the Hazon Ish’s position. Is the “clear majority” against him such a secret?

  214. Harold, just provide the citation already! Stop stalling.

  215. How many of the not-agreers with the Chazon ZT”L ate his shiurim at the seder or frinbk it for kiddush on shabbos etc.. but when it comes to dinei nefashos they don’t feel like following his psak?

  216. Lawrence Kaplan

    Roland: Not I!

  217. Even if the Chazon Ish were a minority opinion (so far no proof) Rabbi Kahane had more than a leg to stand on for his positions.

    Harold-I’m also looking forward to the citation whenever you obtain it.

  218. Prof. Kaplan-We were not choshesh-don’t worry 🙂

  219. Hirhurim-Did you ever refer to the question of whether you would fight an Israeli government decision (let’s say by a secular Prime Minister) to expel Arabs from Israel?

  220. I believe it’s a bad idea to fight the Israeli government, even when I think it is wrong.

  221. I disagree with that approach. If the Israeli government does something evil, such as destroying Gush Katif it is incumbent upon us to fight those actions.

  222. wrt to fighting the israeli government, i think it depends on where one lives.

  223. If the Israeli government does something evil, such as destroying Gush Katif it is incumbent upon us to fight those actions.

    And did you, Bomzer?

  224. Lawrence Kaplan

    Bomzer: Thank God!

  225. “Harold on April 18, 2012 at 6:05 am
    Mycroft-You are confusing someone who disagrees tactically with disagreeing ideologically”

    Thus Yossi Beilin and Kahane both essentially agree that Israel can’t live with a fifth column-tactically they disagree kahane expul the fifth column, Beilin give then a state.

  226. Mycroft-That is no analogy. I was discussing a Jew who may indeed support expelling the Arabs but disagreed with Rabbi Kahane’s tactics in getting to that goal.

  227. The source in Hazon Ish: Shviit, Siman 24, pp. 297-298. The Hazon Ish states that only a goy who fully accepts the truth of Torah Judaism, that the Torah was given by Hashem to the Jewish people and were commanded to live by all 613 mitzvot, and that goyim are required by the Torah to live by 7 mitzvot — only such a goy may be allowed to reside in EY when there is no Yovel. This is according to Ra’vad. (According to Rambam, when there is no Yovel, there is no possibility of a Ger Toshav and no heter for any goy to reside in Eretz Yisrael.)

  228. Way to go Harold. That’s an amazing Chazon Ish!

  229. Well, I’ve been away from the internet for a bit. But Gil asked, and I deliver: All of R’ Kahane’s Hebrew works are available free on the internet (from the distributor- it’s all legal). Or Ha-Raayon is here:

    http://rabbikahane.org/BookView.aspx?id=34

    You can follow the links to the other ones. Some of his English books are on the web for free on other sites, e.g.:

    http://archive.org/details/RabbiKahanesBooks

    http://www.jewish-e-library.net/index.html

  230. “mycroft on April 18, 2012 at 10:17 pm
    “Harold on April 18, 2012 at 6:05 am
    Mycroft-You are confusing someone who disagrees tactically with disagreeing ideologically”

    Thus Yossi Beilin and Kahane both essentially agree that Israel can’t live with a fifth column-tactically they disagree kahane expul the fifth column, Beilin give then a state.

    Harold on April 19, 2012 at 3:37 am
    Mycroft-That is no analogy. I was discussing a Jew who may indeed support expelling the Arabs but disagreed with Rabbi Kahane’s tactics in getting to that goal”

    You masy notl ike my analogy but it is clear that both Beilin and Kahane believe that Israel can’t exist with large amounts of Arabs in their terriotoy-Kahanes suicidal approach is to expul them-Beilin’s approach is to get a divorce. It is in general the EY hashleima group that implicitly claims the most possibility of living in peace with our cousins in the same area.

  231. Mycroft-True, that the far left and far right emphasize the demographic issue. Both are “racist”. One want to expel Jews, one Arabs.

  232. Nachum, kol hakavod. There is a ton of great Torah in Rabbi Kahane’s Ohr HaRaayon. It is also a useful manual for anyone who wants to defend the Torah’s position of not giving away land.

  233. Every frum jew should read Ohr HaRaayon.

  234. Food for thought: a wave of horrific Islamic terrorism sweeps America engendering a “collectivist” response expelling all Muslim non-citizens from the U.S. (as a first step). Is it not conceivable that such collectivist actions by the U.S. would create an atmosphere and a window of opportunity for Israel to expel the Gazan Arabs (as a first step)

  235. I meant to say that the the U.S. government would in this scenario take the step of expelling Muslim non-citizens.

  236. MYCROFT/HAROLD:

    i think you are confusing the left and the far-left. both want to give up the shetachim because of the large palestinian numbers there, but they want to give it up for different reasons. the left (and al lot of the center for that matter) desires this as a practical measure. they don’t really care about palestinian claims to a homeland, etc., they just want that “divorce” and to move on. they couldn’t care less about palestinian rights (although they may give it some lip service), building bridges, developing realtionships, etc. and just want to move on with life. the far left otoh believes that the palestinians really deserve their own state and think that anything less that two neighboring states with fully amicable relations would be an inherent tragedy.
    (i don’t know which group beilin falls into, although i suspect the latter.)

  237. Harold: Thank you for the Chazon Ish citation. Here is where he states his chiddush (at the end of par. 3): http://www.hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=41159&st=&pgnum=135

    Note that the Heter Mechirah is, to some degree, based on disagreeing with this Chazon Ish. Those who accept Heter Mechirah implicitly disagree with this Chazon Ish. For dissenters, see this post quoting Kessef Mishneh, R. Shlomo Aviner, R. Avraham Yitzchak Kook, R. Tzvi Yehudah Kook, R. Menachem Kasher and R. Avigdor Nevenzahl: http://torahmusings.com/2010/11/idolaters-in-the-land/
    And this post quoting R. Yitzchak Herzog, R. Shlomo Goren and R. Nachum Rabinovich: http://torahmusings.com/2010/12/renting-apartments-to-gentiles/
    And see here for R. Shaul Yisraeli’s approach: http://www.zomet.org.il/?CategoryID=282&ArticleID=370

  238. Lawrence Kaplan

    Re the view of the HI cited by Harold, for a full discussion, see Dr. Benny Brown’s book, pp. 750-752. As Brown shows, Rav Kook strongly disgrees with the Hazon Ish on these points. It should also be noted that the qualification that the HI attributes to the Rabad is not to be found there. See Brown, p.752, note 58.

  239. Lawrence Kaplan

    Gil: You beat me to it!

  240. Moshe Shoshan

    “Every frum jew should read Ohr HaRaayon.”

    I tried once to read it. I founbd the obsession with the concept on nekama so nauseating that I did not get far.

  241. Oh Haraayon is fine, but it’s not what makes Kahane Kahane. For that you need to read one of his last two books: “Uncomfortable Questions For Comfortable Jews” and “Israel: Revolution or Referendum.” I think they can both be found online.

  242. shaul shapira

    “you need to read one of his last two books: “Uncomfortable Questions For Comfortable Jews” and “Israel: Revolution or Referendum.””

    I’m working my way through the former- it’s got more quotes than you could possibly ask for. They may be out of context, but then again, so may be Ravitzky’s

  243. shaul shapira

    Also worth noting that Ravitzky’s a bit of a protege of Professor Yeshayahu Leibovich who had some nutty ideas of his own. He was in a sense the first DL leftist.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yeshayahu_Leibowitz#Religious_philosophy

    “Leibowitz was a staunch believer in the separation of state and religion. He believed that mixing the two corrupted faith. He condemned the veneration of Jewish shrines, cynically referring to the Western Wall as the Discotel (a play on thewords “discothèque” and “Kotel”)

    And:
    http://he.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D7%99%D7%A9%D7%A2%D7%99%D7%94%D7%95_%D7%9C%D7%99%D7%91%D7%95%D7%91%D7%99%D7%A5#.D7.A2.D7.9E.D7.93.D7.95.D7.AA.D7.99.D7.95_.D7.95.D7.A1.D7.92.D7.A0.D7.95.D7.A0.D7.95

    ליבוביץ השתמש בביטויים קיצוניים כמו “לשבור לבנדיטים את העצמות”, וקרא למלחמת אזרחים.‏[18]

    Ravitzky speaks very warmly about him in the intro to this book, even drawing some paralells with Neviim.
    אבי רביצקי (עורך), ישעיהו ליבוביץ: בין שמרנות לרדיקליות, בני ברק: הוצאת הקבוץ המאוחד ותל אביב: מכון ון-ליר, 2007

    And here he quotes him with veneration in what’s acttually a pretty decent interview with a gay ortho website.
    http://www.tremblingbeforeg-d.com/heb/7link15.shtml

  244. Lawrence Kaplan

    Shaul Shapira: while Avi Ravitzky, may God send him a refuah shelemah, greatly admires Yeshyahu Leibowitz on a personal level, he takes strong issue with him regarding many ideological and religous issues. There is no basis for the idea that he was Leibowitz’s protege. Re the interview: R. speaks with admiration of the way L. dealt with a Haredi homosexual. To say he “quotes him with veneration” is, in my view, an exaggeration. Thanks for linking to the interview. As for its being “pretty decent,” I would expect nothing less from Avi.

  245. For what it’s worth, Prof. Ravitzky grew up attending the same shul as Prof. Leibowitz, so there was probably a personal relationship there. (My cousin also attended that shul at that time)

  246. Nothing necessarily reflecting on anyone here or under discussion here, but I’ve always found it a bit distasteful when people start using first names when someone well-known is under discussion. I hope you can see why. (“I think the president is X.” “I think he’s Y.” “Well, when talking about [my good buddy] Barack…”)

    I half-wonder if we’d see the language used here in reference to any of a dozen (just the ones I can think of off the top of my head) haredi gedolim whose ideas have been far more repugnant and pernicious in influence over the years. Oh, no. It’s always: “Well, I strongly disagree, but let us not minimize the [never specified] good he did, yadda yadda.” For some reason, R’ Kahane brings out the worst in some people.

  247. Ohr HaRaayon is clearly the sefer to read for seeing Rabbi Kahane’s buttressing of his halachic and haskafic positions.

  248. Shoshan,

    Rabbi Kahane discusses many ideas in Ohr HaRaayon. Nekamah is just one of many.

  249. Prof. Ravitzky may have a lot of fascinating and informative analyses on different topics but his left-leaning world outlook is clear. I would not rely on his opinions on Rabbi Kahane’s ideology.

  250. R’ Student,

    In the past you expressed some admiration for R’ Shlomo Aviner. FYI-he has spoken at memorials for Rabbi Kahane and from waht I can tell the only difference between him and Rabbi Kahane is that Rabbi Kahane was less “mamlachti”. R’ Aviner would support an Israeli government expelling the Arabs.

  251. “Shaul Shapira: while Avi Ravitzky, may God send him a refuah shelemah,”

    Amen.

    “greatly admires Yeshyahu Leibowitz on a personal level, he takes strong issue with him regarding many ideological and religous issues. There is no basis for the idea that he was Leibowitz’s protege.”

    I said “a bit of a protege”. Ravitzky’s too smart to be a clone of anybody. In any case he most definitely has left wing political leanings, evidenced by the fact that’s he’s founded a few NIF afilliated t’nuot. He was also big in Meimad.

    BTW: Do you condemn Professor Leibovich for calling for a civil war?

    “Thanks for linking to the interview. As for its being “pretty decent,” I would expect nothing less from Avi.”

    Agreed again, of course. Although I that think by his logic, we could make a case that Gypsies should be allowed free aliyah under the law of return.

  252. Shaul Shapira,

    Thanks for reminding us of Prof. Ravitzky’s left-wing, Meimad connections. So much for his being an objective analyst of Rabbi Kahane.

  253. Lawrence Kaplan

    Bomzer and Shaul Shapira: The issue is not whether Prof Ravitzky agreed or disagreed with Meir Kahane’s views. Of course, he disagreed with them strongly. (Though Ravitzky, unlike Kahane, did descend into name calling.) The issue is whether he presented them accurately and analyzed them fairly. Are you implying that one cannot write a fair and objective scholarly article about someone whose views one condemns? If you have any criticism to make about the substance of Prof. Ravitzky’s article, let’s hear them.

    Shaul Shapira: I condemn many things Prof. Leibowitz said.

  254. Lawrence Kaplan

    Change to: did not descend into name calling.

  255. Professor Kaplan: Just to be clear: I am chareidi not a Kahanist, but I think he did a better job analyzing my beliefs that R Kahane’s.

    My main problem is that instead of really adressing R Kahane’s substance he chose to quotemine Kahana’s books and Paskevillim for soundbites sure to enrage. As I pointed out, we could the same for someone whom Ravitzky greatly admires. He does not adrress the threat posed by a self declared fifth column- as documented by Kahane. (He adresses it as an afterthought and responds with a non sequitur.) He did not adress why an ostensiblty democratic Knesset should be having sessions to bemoan the growing presence in the Galil of Israeli citizens who by chance happen to be arab. (As Kahane notes, if instead of BG, Kahane would have introducesd the Law of Return, all hell would have broken loose.) He also does not adress Kahana’s argument that a government of helleninsts which forcibly secularized thousands of Teimanim has no moral authority over anyone (incidentally something Leibovich would probably agree with,) Instead, he took the easy route by qoutemining Kahana to show him as a demagouge and demagouge only. He IMHO did not do judstice to R Kahana’a arguments.

    It really won’t take too much of youtr time read Uncomfortable questions for Comfortable Jews. It’s packed with quotes.

    “Are you implying that one cannot write a fair and objective scholarly article about someone whose views one condemns?”

    No I am not. But it should defintely be noted. As a non-expert I have a right to know that the one providing the anaylsis is not some dispassionate observer calmly looking to see ‘what have we here?’ And he doesn’t just ‘condemn those view’- he is politically active on the opposite extreme. Would you read Perfidy without knowing Ben Hecht’s views?

  256. BTW Professor Kaplan, that’s all just from the one book of Kahana that I happen to have read.

  257. ” Ravitzky’s too smart to be a clone of anybody. In any case he most definitely has left wing political leanings, evidenced by the fact that’s he’s founded a few NIF afilliated t’nuot. He was also big in Meimad”

    Among people supporting Meimad was Dr. Tovah Lichtenstein-I believe she was a candidate for Knesset on their list.

  258. Shaul — on a more general level, history is replete with evil ideas that took hold because of very convincing books. Of course, they are only convincing when “under the spell” and fall apart when critically assessed (sadly, often after the fact).

    This holds true on the extreme left as much as on the extreme right.

  259. P.S. I’ve never understood why of all books, Hecht’s Perfidy has such a following among yeshivish (aka Charedi) bochers — over the course of 35 years, they are the only people who quote it to me (and long before blogs or The Internet).

  260. pardon the open tag

  261. Shaul Shapira

    “Shaul — on a more general level, history is replete with evil ideas that took hold because of very convincing books. Of course, they are only convincing when “under the spell” and fall apart when (sadly, often after the fact).”

    Abosuletly. Again, I’m no Kahanist. I’m simply complainig that Ravitzky didn’t bother to do “critically assess” his books. Instead he essentially quote-mined.

    ” I’ve never understood why of all books, Hecht’s Perfidy has such a following among yeshivish (aka Charedi) bochers — over the course of 35 years, they are the only people who quote it to me (and long before blogs or The Internet).”

    I read it because R Avigdor Miller said to. It was great to find a treife book endorsed by a Gadol like that. His reasons for recommending it are obvious.

    PS- You’re the only one on the ‘net I’ve ever seen quote Dr Brill’s essay about rabbinc leadership. And you seem to do it at every availible opportunity.

  262. Interesting. I wonder if that’s the source for all the others as well. What’s that expression about first forbidden fruit 😉

  263. shaul shapira

    Sorry, I cant’t resist:

    What are ‘bochers’? Have you beeen ‘Bar-Mitvahed’?
    Please say bochurim.

  264. If you want to be pedantic, Google “yeshiva bochurs” and you will find references in vosizneias as well as books by Prof. Gurock and Prof. Heimreich.

    As yeshiva bochurs like to say: please!

  265. It appears to me that Saul Shapira’s critique of Ravitzky is correct. Quote-mining does not constitute a fair, objective, incisive analysis of the Kahanist ideology. Yes, you can find quotations of Rabbi Kahane saying “nasty” things about our Arab enemies. According to Ravitzky’s value system this is bad-according to others’ Torah values, this is good or not objectionable. I’m sure Dovid HaMelech said “nasty” things about the Philistines.

  266. Yes, I understand that the issue is not whether Ravitzky agrees with the values of Rav Kahane. But, quote-mining without sensitive analysis which takes into account that not everyone agrees with Ravitzky’s value system is a hatchet job, not serious analysis.

  267. I can quote large passages from Perfidy (and many other books by Hecht) almost by heart, and I’m no charedi. Perfidy was one of the books R’ Kahane put on the JDL reading list in the early years.

  268. Perfidy is important reading for any truth-seeking Jew. The Jewish Establishment betrayed, betrays, and will betray.

  269. “” I’ve never understood why of all books, Hecht’s Perfidy has such a following among yeshivish (aka Charedi) bochers — over the course of 35 years, they are the only people who quote it to me (and long before blogs or The Internet”
    They quote it because it attacks the Zionist Establishment.

  270. Without realizing that Hecht was a fire-breathing Zionist. (It’s kind of hard to miss; he says so in Perfidy itself.)

  271. Simetimes haredim get it right. Regarding Perfidy they are right.

  272. It is so obvious that Prof. Ravitzky’s work regarding Rabbi Kahane serves a left-leaning, anti-Kahane agenda.

  273. “mycroft on April 21, 2012 at 8:55 pm
    “” I’ve never understood why of all books, Hecht’s Perfidy has such a following among yeshivish (aka Charedi) bochers — over the course of 35 years, they are the only people who quote it to me (and long before blogs or The Internet”
    They quote it because it attacks the Zionist Establishment.

    Nachum on April 22, 2012 at 1:13 am
    Without realizing that Hecht was a fire-breathing Zionist. (It’s kind of hard to miss; he says so in Perfidy itself.)”

    It didn’t matter-Herut followers were not the establishment-remember it was apai that controlledIsrael until 1977, The enemy of my enemy is my friend.

  274. Now the Establishment seems just as determined to not allow a Torah State to emerge.

  275. I think Hecht would be pretty discomfited at a “Torah State.” The charedim who love to quote him should read some of his other writings. 🙂

  276. Steve — in 2001 R. Carmy was making a point about the uniqueness of YU amongst yeshivot based on this Kahane incident:

    “Academic freedom, in the broadest sense, was served in this case. By which I mean that under ordinary conditions, and even under great strain, students and faculty are entitled to their own mistakes. So long as we can live with such challenges, Yeshiva’s existential atmosphere will continue to differ, subtly but crucially, from that of other yeshivas as it surely must differ from that of other universities

    IH-See R Gil’s letter to the JW, which aptly illustrates my earlier post. YU isn’t Lakewood, Mir or Ponevezh, and students often could care less what the RY say on any issue, but if one is serious about Limud HaTorah,, and really ignores such issues, which are as much a prerogative as passionatley advocating about the future of TuM and other such perennial issues, one can learn on a very high level in RIETS.

  277. Moshe Feiglin who is a Likud power broker supports a State which runs on the basis of Torah principles. Feiglin has learned a lot from Rabbi Kahane who advocated the same ideas.

  278. The essential difference between Moshe Feiglin and Rabbi Kahane is that Feiglin has a lower key style.

  279. IH wrote

    “history is replete with evil ideas that took hold because of very convincing books. Of course, they are only convincing when “under the spell” and fall apart when critically assessed (sadly, often after the fact).

    This holds true on the extreme left as much as on the extreme right

    For those interested, see the works of Marx,Mao, Hitler and his intellectual antecedents, and then read the consequences of Nazi and Communist reign in Europe.

  280. The notion that R Kahane HaShem Yimkam Damo, was anywhere in the same league as RYBS as a Talmid Chacham should be quickly repudiated. I consider his speaking on YU’s campus as much a disrespect for Baalei Mesorah as allowing someone who has decidedly heterodox views on any other issue.

  281. IH quoted this portion of Professor Ravitzky’s article:

    “In such a situation people will tend to opt for one of two possible responses, to make a choice between two spiritual and practical alternatives. One response is to turn inward, to demand an effort, self-improvement, readiness to pay a personal as well as a national price in many fields. It calls for sacrifice and a gradual process of reconstruction. The other response turns outward. It looks for a blemish that is clearly visible and that may be addressed as the source of all trouble and infirmity—a blemish that must be cleansed, that must be removed and, with it, all the problems that beset us”

    We have many mitzvos that illustrate both paths? Who are any of us to judge what works for any one person or community? People tend to forget that Gush Emunim started as a reaction to the events of the Six Day War followed by the YK War, which, in turn, led to a Charedi dominated interest in Kiruv in Israel.

  282. Dude wrote in part:

    “For many in the Diaspora, the greatest challenge faced is deciding which restaurant in Teaneck to go to”

    Actually, one could write a sociology paper on the numbers of card carrying RZs who recite Hallel on Yom HaAtzmaut, whose kids learn in a yeshiva or seminary for a year or two, but whose Zionism is limited to supporting the favorite RZ Mosad of their choice , and who like the good life here for themselves and their families,as opposed to even thinking of moving to Israel, their kids moving there, or spending most of their spare time there. Yet, even R Carmi in Israel as a Religious Reality , frankly acknowledges that he describes the pluses and minuses of living in Israel in such communities as “A View From the Fleshpots”.

  283. “The notion that R Kahane HaShem Yimkam Damo, was anywhere in the same league as RYBS as a Talmid Chacham should be quickly repudiated.”

    Who ever claimed that? On the other hand, if R’ Kahane were to claim that in the areas he concentrated on- halachot of giving up land, etc.- he knew more than the Rav, well, isn’t that what the Rav would say? It’s charedism to assume that one gadol is an expert on anything. If I want to know halacha or hashkafa of a secular culture combining with Torah or matters applicable to the American scene, I’d take the Rav. If I wanted to know about political matters and the State of Israel, I know who I turn to.

    “I consider his speaking on YU’s campus as much a disrespect for Baalei Mesorah”

    This doesn’t even make sense. Lots of people speak on YU’s campus on all sorts of issues. Why should there be a “baalei mesorah” test, and who sets it? You do know that YU’s own roshei yeshiva disagree *all the time*, right?

  284. Nachum-See Thinking Aloud( 2009) especially Pagesm 166-179 and 194-256, where RYBS clearly illustrates the fact that his awareness of Kedushas EY and the halachic, hashkafic and political considerations manifested by Hakamas HaMedinah and his views re RZ today. I think that RYBS’s understanding of the Sifri as quoted by the Ramban and its setting in the overall nature of Hashkafas HaYahadus has never been responded to RZ who have a negagtive view of Torah observance in the US.

    You also noted:

    “Lots of people speak on YU’s campus on all sorts of issues. Why should there be a “baalei mesorah” test, and who sets it?”

    YU isn’t Lakewood, the Mir, Brandeis or the Hillel House Above the Harlem River. I think that it should be fairly obvious that students should not be directly exposed to speakers on campus whose views impugn Nevuas Moshe Rabbeinu, the binding nature of TSBP and normative Halachic observance. If such speakers or programs are offered at an off campus venue, I think that most students would be intelligent enough to realize that such a speaker would warrant consultation with a rebbe or rav as to whether attending or participating in the same was halachically permissible or prohibited.

  285. Steve, I’m afraid you’re over-using cliches and codewords. But let me try to parse this out:

    1. Who is unacceptable? Is R’ Kahane? R’ Riskin? Marc Shapiro? James Kugel?

    2. Who exactly is going to decide this, especially in light of the fact that YU is a university with full academic freedom, something on which all of its presidents *and* the Rav were in full agreement and support?

    3. Did you switch topics mid-post, or are you somehow implying that R’ Kahane is against Torah and halakha? That’s ridiculous.

  286. Nachum-first of all, I merely suggested that you read RYBS’s views as expressed in Thinking Aloud, and disagreed with your views that R Kahane ZL had more expertise re Halachos related to EY gthan RYBS. I stand by those views-regardless of the fact that I will recite Hallel on Yom HaAtazmaut.

    The conflict between YU being a university and a yeshiva will not be resolved by resorting to the abused notion of academic freedom or Charedi style Daas Torah imposed externally. I would argue that each of the above speakers can and should be evaluated under the criteria that I set forth as well as other criteria of an institional nature.

    I can easily see where R Kahane ZL and James Kugel, based on their prior written views on their subjects of expertise, could easily found wanting as expressing views that are inimical to the mission of YU. Professor Shapiro’s views could also be seen as more properly within the rubric of a BRGS seminar.

    As far as R Riskin is concerned, I am afraid that his views on feminism and recently expressed views on interfaith dialoguethat R D Alan Brill linked which go well beyond those of RYBS as expressed in Confrontation would certainly raise more than a few eyebrows.

    I think that R Riskin has spoken at YU’s Gruss Institute on a number of occasions. I think that some of R Riskin’s public statements which have caused him to subsequently retract and explain the same and the fact that he is not respected as a serious Talmid Chacham are factors that do not aid the defenders of the R Riskin that I remember as a rebbe and a great rav on the UWS who set the model for a shul’s education program and priorities.

    On a purely practical level, R Riskin , and any other prominent speaker, Charedi or MO, who walks into any communal venue, is competing with the host’s fund raising capacity in a tight economy. I would suggest that anyone who suggests to the contrary is naive and unaware of the fact that fund raising in Torah world, whether in YU or Lakewood, is projecting your best people , RY and/or professors, in the communities that are the best audiences with potential donors, as opposed to importing the services of a great speaker who has his own institional priorities, which an audience could be attracted to instead of the message that the institution is attempting to progress by sending its best and brightest into its communities.

  287. Nachum wrote in part:

    “2. Who exactly is going to decide this, especially in light of the fact that YU is a university with full academic freedom, something on which all of its presidents *and* the Rav were in full agreement and support”

    RYBS’s views opposing the separation of YU and RIETS and his dismissal of the then YU mantra of “synthesis” are well documented ( R Rakkafet, Vol. 2, Pages 229-230). RYBS did not support Kohanim studying medicine. In R Rakaffet’s book, vol.2, see pages 224-245, RYBS praises RIETS,its RY and Talmidim. There is not a word therein that supports anything remotely within the rubric of “academic freedom.”

  288. “RYBS’s views opposing the separation of YU and RIETS and his dismissal of the then YU mantra of “synthesis” are well documented” ( R Rakkafet, Vol. 2, Pages 229-230).

    The Rav publicly was at a gathering in Furst Hall where he when Dr. Belkin asked the Rav don’t you trust me-the problem is that Dr, Belkin is human..all men are mortal etc.
    The Rav was opposed to slogans re synthesis-that does not mean he was oppopsed to what secular education could add. Of course Torah is primary.

  289. “1. Who is unacceptable? Is R’ Kahane? R’ Riskin? Marc Shapiro? James Kugel?”

    Probably the person who is most acceptable is Dr Shapiro-he writes from an academic viewpoint-he is not a RY or Rav. He deals with post biblical/talmudic times where academics has less conflict with mesorah..

    “f R’ Kahane were to claim that in the areas he concentrated on- halachot of giving up land, etc.- he knew more than the Rav, well, isn’t that what the Rav would say?”
    Of course not-the Rav was consistent that Israel should follow what the military and diplomatic experts believed would be best..”the Kotel is not worth one life” He did not advocate giving up the Kotel -gave logical reasons why it could perhaps be devastating to security of Kllal Israel but merely stated that the issue is one that Rabbonim have no espertise on.

  290. Wow, Steve, you’ve really mastered the art of damning with faint praise. You do it a lot. The rest of your post really takes my breath away. Let me quote two of my rebbeim: One is R’ Rakeffet, from whom I heard about the Rav’s love of academic freedom. The other is R’ Leiman, who writes on his website:

    “we agree fully with Edwin Markham:

    He drew a circle that shut me out –
    Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.
    But Love and I had the wit to win:
    We drew a circle that took him in.”

    mycroft…oh, I give up.

  291. Rav Soloveitchik was a big talmid chacham and in the area of Eretz Yisrael and issues of giving away land and Arabs Rav Kahane was a big talmid chacham. Kol hakavod to those Y.U. students who had the z’chut of inviting Rav Kahane to speak.

  292. Just implying the possibility that it would be inappropriate to invite R. Risking to speak at YU shows how non-obvious it is “that students should not be directly exposed to speakers on campus whose views impugn Nevuas Moshe Rabbeinu, the binding nature of TSBP and normative Halachic observance” the futility and foolishness of that whole concept. For God’s sake, they’re college students; stop treating them like they’re still in HS.

  293. Who is a “baal mesorah” anyway? Some would claim that RYBS was not a baal mesorah in that he advocated innovations unacceptable to many. Rabbi Kahane actually never innovated-what he had to say was straight out of the Shulchan Aruch and Rambam.

  294. Do remember that it states in the Shulchan Aruch that in time of war one even kills the good among the gentiles.

  295. The Shulchan Aruch apparently was less liberal than some of those who post here.

  296. Bomzer-how dare you cite the racist, fascist Shulchan Aruch! Next thing you’ll be quoting from Ohr HaRaayon!

  297. Charlie-this one’s for you:

  298. Joseph Kaplan wrote:

    “For God’s sake, they’re college students; stop treating them like they’re still in HS”

    Merely being of college age is at best one element of reaching one’s legal responsibilities in life, and entitiling you to vote, drive and drink. Anyone who teaches in any of the one year programs , to which many YU students go, will tell you that reaching the above age is hardly the equivalent of having a working knowledge in Torah Shebicsav, TSBP, and Halacha, let alone an adult’s knowledge and appreciation of Hashkafas HaYahadus 101 and its core elements, and what is properly within and beyound the parameters therein.

  299. Joseph Kaplan-all of the excellent responses in the most recent issue of Klal indicate that we are suffering on an individual and communal level, regardless of the Hashkafic labels, from a lack of feeling HaShem in our midst and a comfort zone with such phrases as HaShem Yisborach, the Ribono Shel Olam,etc, despite the fact that we have a far greater and formally educated community than at any time in Jewish history. One would be hard pressed to assert that merely being of legal age means that one has a working, let alone well working sense of Hashkafas HaYahadus 101.

  300. What is hashqafically acceptable is obviously in dispute among post- college folk and the different views among the Y.U. students are simply a reflection of that fact.

  301. “Bomzer on April 24, 2012 at 1:17 am
    Who is a “baal mesorah” anyway? Some would claim that RYBS was not a baal mesorah in that he advocated innovations unacceptable to many. Rabbi Kahane actually never innovated”

    I believe we agree that what the Rav and Meir Kahane believed are entirley different-the question is which beliefs do you believe in the Rav or MKs.

  302. Rav Soloveitchik’s beliefs were not entirely different from those of Rabbi Kahane. The main difference was the approach towards issues of land and enemy residents.

  303. Those who want to demonize Rabbi Kahane will try to demonstrate how very, very far his ideas are from RYBS and mainstream Torah Judaism. When in fact, Rabbi Kahane was a straight-Shulchan Aruch rabbi who felt a need to focus on specific mitzvot connected to Eretz Yisrael.

  304. In any case I am proud to learn from many different rabbanim regardless of differences in views on some issues.

  305. May everyone have a chag sameach, full of appreciation for the miracles which Hashem has granted us and the expectation of a state based upon Torah and proper dealing with our enemies.

  306. There are many great rabbis as we all know who rejected Rav Soloveichik on many issues. There were many Rabbis who rejected Rabbi Kahane. There were also many Rabbis who embraced rav Kahane and most of his views such as the late Chief Rabbi Of Israel Rabbi Eliyahu. What is the point? How does this make Rabbi Kahane right or wrong. In former links on this blog there were futile attempts to bash the late and great Rav Meir Kahane Hashem Yikom Damo, Zecher Tzadik veKadosh L’vracha by trying to disprove the Torah basis of his ideology.

    That Kahane bashing failed miserably when many of the Rav’s talmidim oint by point, disproved the anti-Kahane nonsense. Now, the wise bloggers have returned not to address facts and points but to inform us that there were issues that Rav Soloveichik had with Rav Kahane. Naturally our courageous Kahane-bashing author forgets to bring up the issues so that we can’t intellectually review the points and decide for our-selves.

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