Kedoshim: Hellenism vs. Havdalah – Universalism vs. Particularism

This article is dedicated to Rabbi Ido Elba, a true Tzadik and Torah scholar whose personal sacrifice for truth without compromise has landed him a two year jail sentence for “incitement to racism”.

An Indictment of Holy Proportions
Rav Elba delved into the depths of the Talmud and the Halachic Codifiers, and composed a scholarly Torah essay about the Halachic perspective on the killing of Gentiles and enemies during a time of war. Just a look at the title had the Shin Bet and the District Attorney drooling. They had been “looking” to get their hands on Elba ever since the round up of the alleged “underground” from Kiryat Arba, which proved to be a baseless hoax. When they saw the article, they knew they caught a “big fish”. This was not because they understood the contents of the essay. Even if they bothered to read it, they are a bit weak in the subject of Judaism, though they may boast great proficiency in the field of British and Turkish law.

And thus was hatched a rather amazing indictment against Rav Elba. An indictment which quoted directly and in great detail, sources which Rav Elba quoted. Rabbis from all sides of the political spectrum agreed that Elba quoted authentic views that exist within the framework of Talmudic discussion.

The Real Struggle
This is all very far from being a joke. We are talking here about another serious step taken by the Israeli regime to make Judaism illegal, and to turn the state of Israel into a universalist unJewish state. One of the great scholars of our generation who is a former Chief Rabbi of the state of Israel said, the way the Judicial system refer to Rav Elba reminds him of the way Heretics used to speak about the Talmud. And now for a little history. The law which Rav Elba allegedly violated termed “The Law Against Racism”, was drawn up and created to help silence my father, Rabbi Meir Kahane (may G-d avenge his blood). However, as my father warned us then, the law was not only against Rabbi Kahane as an individual, but against the entire Torah as well. And indeed, for the first time, a righteous Jew and Torah scholar has been convicted on this very charge for the words of Torah he has written. The worst possible nightmare is being actualized before our very eyes.

When Rav Elba was charged with “racism”, he was being accused of adhering to the concept of “Havdalah” – seperation between Jew and Gentile. This concept of particularism and belief that Jews are members of a “chosen people”, is one of the most basic and fundamental principals of Judaism. There is nothing that bothers modern day Hellinists more than this Jewish concept of “Havdalah”. The real goal of the Helinist is to assimilate into the Gentile world. They are universalists who want to erase the Jewish character of the state of Israel. They refuse to understand why the Jewish nation must be separate and special, and thus act to eliminate any Jewish uniqueness – and attack anyone who clings to the tenet of “Havdalah”. This was the crux of the war they waged against Rabbi Kahane, and it stands at the root of their obscession with Rav Elba.

We Must Decide Where We Stand
Our Parsha of the week states, “You shall be holy”, commanding us: Be seperated from their abominations, from the evil and from the falsehood of the Gentile. Every Saturday night, Jews around the world conclude the Sabath with the ritual Havdalah prayer and recite: He who separate light and darkness and between the seventh day and the rest of the week also seperates between the Jewish people and the rest of the world and between good and evil. What wil be next? Perhaps they should arrest Jews for observing the Sabath, performing a brith, reciting Havdalah or any of the countless Mitzvot which manifest the concept of Havdalah.

The sages comment in Leviticus, on the end of our Parsha (see Rashi): “If you set yourself apart from them, then you are mine; but if not, then you will belong to Nebuchadnezzar and his friends.” We must decide where we are holding! Here or there. There is no coexistence between good and evil.We are either with Hashem or with Nebuchadnezzar. We are either with Rabbi Kahane and Rabbi Elba or with Yossi Sarid and Achmad Tibi. Many “moderdox” Jews and Rabbis continue to live a big lie. They lack the courage and the honesty to chose. They speak of being Universalist and particularist at the same time. We are living through a momentous era of confusion. Now is the time for every Jew to take a stand and to be honest with himself and his constituents. Where is the outcry of the Rabbis on behalf of Rabbi Elbah? Do they not understand that the next decree may be against them and their confused universalist Judaism? Where are all of the universalists who fight for “free speech”? We must decide where we stand and act upon our convictions with integrity.

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