The Root of All The Evils – What Will America Say

Since the election of Netanyahu, all the analysts and “experts” warn us that if “God forbid” the peace process does not continue, then “OY VEY” from the American reaction…

If this was only the “experts” talking, we would be able to understand. The real problem is that we hear the same “tunes” from so many religious Jews: “Yes, it is our land, and we must treat the enemy according to how Torah commands us, but…but what will America say? And how will we manage with out their aid?”

FELLOW JEWS! “WHAT WILL AMERICA SAY” IS THE CARDINAL SIN OF THIS GENERATION!

This is by no means an exaggeration. The underlying root and cause for all our national sins is lack of faith in God. It is lack of belief that God indeed gave us all that he gave us in this generation, including victory after victory over cruel and massive enemies, and that He really can defend us if we hearken to His voice and actualize the national mitzvot He commanded of us – from settling the land to disinheriting the gentiles from it! But alas, apparently even those who resound the praises of God with their lips, grip the sword of fear in their hands. The slightest threat from America – and their knees start shaking!

It really is the sin of the Golden Calf renewed! “America is your god, Oh Israel!” It is the sin of the spies all over again! “We are not able to go up…for they are stronger than we”. Not for nothing do the sages tell us that “than we” is The Master of the Universe himself!

Is it not true that religious Jews says this? Do they not say that Amerca is stronger than us – than the Lord? WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO US! Who brought us to the Land with wonderous miracles in the first place? Who gave us the strength to win so many wars against such impossible odds? Will we be blind and not see it? WHY DON’T WE BELIEVE IN GOD?

Jews! Let us know who we are! Let us know the source of our strength – and say to America: If you stand at our side during our redemption – it will be good for you. And if you try to bother us and steal from our portion – than your fate will be a bitter one!

“WE SHOULD GO UP AT ONCE AND POSSESS IT; FOR WE ARE WELL ABLE TO OVERCOME IT”!!

In memory of the great Bible commentator the holy “OHR HACHAAIM” (Yohrtzeitis 15 of Tamuz), here is what he had to say about the connection between isolation from the gentile and security:

“And Israel dwelleth in safety” – When? When she is isolated. And the word”and dwelleth” is a continuation of what is written above it, that ‘And said: Destroy’, that God commanded Israel to wipe out all the inhabitants of the land, and by so doing, ‘Israel dwelled securely – in isolation’ (Deuteronomy 33:28)

Shavuot: The Time to Get Things Straight

On the Holiday of Shavuot, we all celebrate the receiving of Torah which was given to us in order to bring to fruition the purpose for the existence of the Universe. Since we are speaking about so lofty a purpose, we have been commanded that: “This Torah will not subside from your mouth”; we are commanded to study it continuously in order to set straight in our minds what are the intentions of He who gave the Torah, without viewing it through the prism of our biased personal thoughts.

And this is what we must understand on Shavuot: It is far more difficult to cleave to the authentic ideas of the Torah than it is to fulfill its rituals. Therefore, both Greece and Rome passed decrees forbidding the teaching of Torah, since they understood that the internal thoughts, and not the external trappings, are what set the Jew apart from the gentile. This is the greatest protection from assimilation amongst the gentiles – authentic Jewish thoughts and concepts.

Having said this, in all the exiles, Jews, on the one hand did not want to abandon the commandments, but on the other hand were unable to reject the gentile cultures by which they were perforce influenced. Their solution was to present the Torah as though it were compatible with the spirit of the times in which they lived. Obviously, this is absurd. After all, if the Torah was compatible with Liberalism in 18th Century France, how could it also be compatible with Rationalism in 19th Century Germany and Communism in 20th Century Russia? But this was a convenient escape for the Jew who did not dare make the choice between the Torah and that particular culture by which he was influenced. Apparently even in the days of the Greeks, there were those who managed to convince themselves that there was no contradiction between paganistic Greek culture and the Torah…

Unfortunately, this trend which was once marginal has today become the norm. In practice, the majority of religious Jews believe, on a superficial level, that our Torah is more or less compatible with the ideas of democracy and western culture. We purposely said “on a superficial level”, because the majority of religious Jews have never delved deeply into the matter. They have been conditioned to think that the Torah, by and large, is compatible with “enlightened”, democratic Western culture. But there is no doubt that when push comes to shove, and they are faced with a specific, definite issue, most religious Jews will choose Judaism over Western democratic culture.

For sure, as opposed to other dark days in our history, it is not forbidden today to learn or teach Torah, as witnessed by the number of Yeshivas in Israel. But it is not so simple. An examination of the general trend of High Court decisions over the past 8-10 years reveals that there are significant parts of Torah whose practical applications are forbidden to be taught. For instance, any halacha that distinguishes between Jew and gentile is liable to be considered a crime under the anti-racism law. And so we see parties banned from running for the Knesset, rabbis imprisoned for halachic essays, and the writers for “Darka Shel Torah” harassed. Even if the “Darka Shel Torah” parsha sheet states the case much more bluntly than others, the harassment’s are a message being broadcast to the entire religious community.

We hope that the link between this article and Shavuot is properly understood G-d gives us the Torah – but we have to understand precisely what the Torah, which we receive, IS; and more than that, to accept it as it is.

There is no room for a “shatnez” of ideas; no room for truth mixed with democracy, which by its very essence rejects the concept of absolute truth. We call upon all members of the religious community to search their souls – to decide which Torah they celebrate. And through this soul-searching, cleanse their thoughts from the infiltration of foreign ideas.

Excerpts From the Hagadda of the Jewish Idea

Introduction to the Haggadah of the Jewish Idea
The purpose of the Haggadah of the Jewish Idea is not to add yet another Haggadah to the collection of Haggadot already available to the public. It’s purpose is rather to present the concepts of the authentic Jewish Idea in general, and in particular the concept of faith in G-d, on this holy night of the year: the Seder night, which was ordained as the night which would define the faith of the Jew. There is no task more important today than that of rectifying those most fundamental Jewish concepts, including – indeed, in particular – among b’nei Torah, Torah scholars. For indeed, on one hand the long exile has caused us to forget the very soul of Judaism and the Jewish idea; and on the other hand, foreign cultures have penetrated deep, including into the halls of Torah, and have emasculated our ideology. So widespread have these phenomena become, that few today are capable of differentiating between hametz and matza, between Jewish ideas and foreign ideas.

Similarly, at the core of the necessity for this Haggadah stands the fact that many Jews sit at the Seder table in order to fulfill the mitzvah of the night, to recount the Exodus from Egypt, but find themselves entirely dependent upon “vortim” which have only the slightest of connections with the message of Pesach, or indeed the teachings of Judaism in general. I hope that this Haggadah will serve to aid all who are interested in expounding on the Exodus on the Seder night. “And all those who labor in it greatly are praiseworthy.”

This Haggadah was written according to the principles which I learned from my father and teacher of blessed memory, may G-d avenge his blood. Having said that, I have cited as primary sources his various books (in particular The Jewish Idea and the series of commentaries on the Bible, Perush Hamacabee) only when I quoted from them directly, or when I set forth an idea according to a specific source in his writings; however, I have not cited my father’s works when I concatenated several different sources, nor when I expounded upon a general trend of thought which appears in his writings… Having said that, it is important to emphasize that almost the entire commentary is based upon his words, and of course upon the principles of his teachings. And I hope that my work will cause no one to stumble.

During the months of work writing this commentary, I was “honored” to be harassed by the authorities, especially when they chose precisely this time to carry out an intensive interrogation against me; I was accused of the “crime” of writing various commentaries on the Torah – “incitement” by their definition. Indeed, even this very work was saved from falling into their clutches by the grace of G-d; I was but a step away from being forcibly prevented from publishing this commentary in time for Pesach of this year 5757 (1997). However, it was precisely this fact which ultimately gave me the added strength and impetus necessary to complete this work, to publish this Haggadah, and to spread the authentic Jewish Idea among the Jewish People – in spite of those who desire to delegitimize and to ban the truth, and to prevent us from speaking that truth.

In closing, I hereby thank all those who helped me in this work: David Cohen, one of the outstanding Torah scholars in the Yeshiva of the Jewish Idea in Kfar Tapuach, who toiled unstintingly in preparing the practical and halachic sources for the Seder night so that every detail be written accurately; he neither slumbered nor slept until he prepared a complete addendum (which is at the end of this Haggadah), which gives in a concentrated form the sources for all of the halachot throughout the Haggadah, as well as additional halachot and glosses. I also thank two other members of our Yeshiva – Uri Amit for donating his time to check the entire commentary and to provide his enlightening comments; also of course to the artist Avinadav Vitkin who was good enough to place his unique talent at our disposal. I also thank the anonymous benefactor who placed at my disposal his personal computer for the specific purpose of compiling this work, after the Israeli police saw it fit to confiscate my own computer from my house during the preparation of this Haggadah.

I conclude with the prayer that all those who study and learn this work will be enriched, and will be brought closer to the clear and straightforward concepts of Judaism in general and of Pesach in particular. I also pray that it will encourage them to study and to relate to the authentic concepts of Judaism throughout the year.

Binyamin Zev Kahane

Adar II, 5757 (March ’97)

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“Why Is This Night Different?..”

If he has a son, the son asks. In contrast to Hanukah and Purim where we are commanded to “publicize the miracle” (and include everyone), on Pesach, the publicizing of the miracle starts first of all with the children. And this is for the reason we mentioned (in the introduction) – that here the goal of the publicizing of the miracle is that the father, at the first available moment, will pass down the principles of faith in the G-d of Israel and the exodus of Egypt to the small son, so as to continue the unbreakable chain. And how tremendous is the fact that the Emunah of Yisrael, despite it’s depth, is simple enough in its basis, that it can be conveyed from father to small boy, by means of a simple story appropriate for a child. This is the significance of the questions which appear here. And it is incumbent upon us to arouse each child, according to his ability, to ask more and more questions. Because the idea is better internalized if he asks and gets an answer, than if he just gets the answer (without asking). And from here one can learn that even if there are no children, the adult should provoke questions for himself and others, in order to sharpen the understanding.

On this night we add another link to the chain of our tradition, conveying the concrete basis of the faith through all the generations, because in such a way can the new generation ITSELF see things properly, despite the fact that “officially”, thousands of years have passed since the event took place. And, behold, he did not see it with his own eyes. But the passing down of the message from generation to generation in such a concrete and precise fashion makes it EXACTLY AS IF HE SAW IT. Just as no one doubts historical events which took place two hundred years ago, since everything is known and passed onward by humanity, so, too can the events of over 3,000 years not be doubted, because the people passed it down in the same way, each one to his children. And this is the difference between Hanukah, Purim, and Passover. For only on Passover was each one commanded to see himself as if he left Egypt, since this fact is the basis of our faith, and without it, our faith would not have survived in such a precise manner after so many thousands of years, hundreds of generations, and countless tragedies and exiles. In such a way, the child is not only connected to his father, but also to the father of his fathers who lived hundreds of years ago and thousands of years ago, each one being a special pipeline for this message which is intended PERSONALLY FOR HIM! On this night, the Jewish child will also receive upon himself his responsibility for the next generations, to continue the chain and the pipeline, and he will understand that if he does not connect himself to the Jewish People, there is no reason for his existence.

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Continue reading “Excerpts From the Hagadda of the Jewish Idea”

Purim: Jewish Isolation: Recipe for National Security

There always existed Jews who delude themselves into thinking that if only we could bring down the walls between us and the Gentiles, we could live together in peace, and anti-Semitism would disappear. What these self-hating, guilt-ridden Jews do, in essence, is blame the anti-Semitism on the Jews themselves, who distinguish themselves from the Gentile and are not willing to assimilate. But the fact is that the very opposite is true. History has proven that precisely when the Jew tried to get close to the Gentile, a wave of vicious and “unexpected” anti-Semitism would explode, bringing with it pogroms and holocausts. In Germany, Jews had stopped referring to themselves as Jews and called themselves Germans of the Mosaic persuasion. More Jews died defending the Father Land in WW1 than in all the wars of Israel. German Jews were the epitome of assimilated Jews prior to the Holocaust.

The Torah and our sages teach us about this strange law of nature, and we see a perfect example in the Megilat Esther, and the story of Purim. The story in the book of Esther centers around two major events; the sin of the Jewish participation at Achashverosh’s party, and the intentional provoking of Haman by Mordechai who would deliberately wait at the gates which Haman had to pass, and then would refuse to bow down to him.

Is there a connection between these two events? What could the participation in Shushan’s banquet and Mordechai’s provocation have in common? Many have difficulty understanding Mordechai’s deliberate instigation of Haman. Why did he have to hang out at that very spot, looking for trouble? How could have Mordechai behaved in such an “irresponsible” manner towards this known Jew-hater? For them, it is obvious that it was Mordechai who caused the evil edict which called for the extermination of the Jews! The sages teach us otherwise, explaining that the Megilah opens with the story of Achashverosh’s banquet to indicate that the real cause of the evil decree against the Jews was divine punishment for the pathetic participation of the Jewish community at Achashverosh’s party.

Why did they take part in the feast in the first place? They thought that banning such an event which was to be attended by all the nations of the Empire, would make the Jews stand out and would incur the wrath of the nations. They thought that Jewish participation in the feast would help bring down the barriers, relieve tension and help put a halt to anti-Semitism. Mordechai and those faithful to Torah knew that assimilation and liaison to the Gentile not only does not ease anti-Semitism, but strangely enough intensifies it. They knew that there is a clear Torah prohibition against partaking in such a meal. This commandment is intended to prevent assimilation and the muddling of Jewish identity and uniqueness.

We can now understand Mordechai’s “extremism”. Mordechai understood that the direction the Jews of his generation were going in would surely lead to Divine Punishment. Thus, he took the zealous route. He purposely provoked Haman with the knowledge that this would infuriate him and provoke a reaction which would shock all of assimilated Persian Jewry. Mordechai knew his actions could not bring harm to the Jews, in the long run. He knew his act of faith could only lead to the awakening of Jews to their grave mistake of assimilating (which is indeed what happened when the whole nation of Israel joined Mordechai’s call for three days of fast and prayer). This was the only way to cancel the evil decree.

The More Things Change, the More They Stay The Same

Today’s peace process is nothing more than a modern banquet of Achashverosh, except this time it has been initiated by the Jews. The goal is to create a “New Middle East” which means the erasing of the Jewish character of the state in an attempt to merge, and turn Israel into a nation like all others. This plot to wipe out anything distinctly Jewish will not succeed in buying the love of the Gentiles, nor will it bring us peace. The Interfaith programs of the ADL and AJC, and the New Middle East of Shimon Peres will only exacerbate the very hatred and tensions they seek to diffuse. The Jewish way is the way of “Mordechai HaYehudi” – separation, and not assimilation.

Today, after the fatal bombing in Jerusalem we are once again reminded what the outcome of our “peace” with our neighbors will produce. The only answer is a real separation between Jews and the hostile Arabs who live in our midst. Peres speaks of building a fence around the Green Line, yet ignores the Arab threat within the Green Line. The Likud and the other “right wing” parties still speak of coexistence between Jews and Arabs. The Jewish way is our way and the way of “Mordechai HaYehudi” – separation now!

Skull-Cap Donning Hellenists

Legend has it that the late Professor Yeshiyahu Leibowitz was not particularly fond of the holiday of Purim. In order to evade this barbaric festival, it was his custom to travel to Jerusalem on the 14th of Adar, and on the 15th he would return to Ramat Gan. In an interview last year, his son denied this famous folklore, but admitted that it found its source in the fact that his father abhorred one of the verses in the Megilat Esther, and would skip over it during the reading. (We will bring the verse shortly)

Anyone who knows us, knows full well that when a hellenist (with or without a yamulke) rises up and goes against something in Torah, we will immediately become quite fond of that particular something. For Torah is complete perfection, and if it is not complete, it is not Torah. One who denies even one verse or word of Torah is denying all of the Torah. The Torah is not a supermarket where one picks and chooses.

The professor would have preferred that the Megilat Esther deal only in the “positive aspects”. The idea of Jews killing their enemies was repulsive to him. But did anyone ever pay attention to the fact that almost all Jewish holidays involve to a large extent confrontations with Gentiles, our separation from them and our exacting of vengeance upon them? Take a look: Hanukah – Greeks; Purim – Persians; Passover – Egyptians. Even regarding the Holiday of Shavuot, the rabbis tell us that from Mount Sinai, the hatred of the gentile originated (and thus the Hebrew word for hate and “Sinai” are of the same root). Food for thought, no?

Last but not least, here is the “banned” verse. (Despite the fact that this verse constitutes a violation of the following laws: revolution, incitement, racism, assisting terror, use of free speech for prohibited goals, we will take the risk and present it for all the Shin Bet to see): “And the king said to Esther the queen, the Jews have slain and destroyed five hundred men in Shushan the capital, and also the ten sons of Haman; what have they done in the rest of the kings provinces? now what is thy petition? and it shall be granted thee: and what more dost thou request? and it shall be done. Then Esther said, If it please the king, let it be granted to the Jews who are in Shushan to do tomorrow also according to this day’s decree, and let Haman’s ten sons be hanged upon the gallows.” The result of Esther’s request was 75,000 dead gentiles. I ask you, is that nice?

Toledot: World War One and Forever

The war in Rivka’s womb is pretty intense. In one corner is Yaakov, who at this early stage is already waging the battle for Divine truth. And in the other corner is Esau, who is already denying God; who basically sees the purpose of the world as a place to fulfill his needs and passions.

Good versus Evil

This turbulence in Rivka’s stomach is how it all started. It is the beginning of the most essential war, an eternal one that has run the course of history. We are talking about the war of good versus evil. This is the real war which dwarfs all others. Whether one wants to accept it or deny it, this is the perpetual conflict that is taking place behind the scenes of history.

In a war so basic, of such substance, there is no lull. These two fetuses, who embody the good and the evil, are not able to stand one another even in their mother’s womb. The bitter dispute is already underway, “and the children clashed inside her”.

No Co-Existence

This war is the beginning of what later on will be known as the war of Yaakov and Esau. It has already been written: “The halacha is known: Esau hates Yaakov”. It is an inherent, natural hatred, one that cannot be extinguished. Our sages add something else, to make things even clearer. They tell us that if someone comes to you and says: Jerusalem and Edom (which is the kingdom of Esau) are both thriving – do not believe him; both are destroyed – do not believe him; one is thriving and one is destroyed – believe him. The sages are conveying us an awesome message here —

There is no Peace With Evil

There are those who feel the time has arrived for “world peace”, for co-existence between nations, religions and races of all kinds. The Torah comes and says: No way. No way can there be peace with Esau. These are two opposites. One is good and one is evil. And there is no co-existence between good and evil!

A revolutionary idea? Hardly. Certainly not for someone who learns Torah properly. For the Jewish People, there is no aspiration to make peace with Esau. On the contrary. According to Jewish tradition, God is not complete and His throne is not complete until Amalek has been wiped out from the world. And who is Amalek? Amalek (Esau’s grandchild) is an extreme manifestation of Esau in this world.

Peace at the proper time, and war at the proper time. Yes, we all want peace, but peace only with good, and with good, decent people. With evil, not only aren’t we interested in peace, but the Torah even commands us to wage an all out war against it, “and you shall burn out the evil from thy midst!” Nothing less than that. For the war against evil is not a personal war, but rather a mission that God gave us the moment we breathed the air of this world, and even beforehand…

Chaye Sarah: There is no Placing Trust the Gentile

 The negotiations between Avraham Avenu and Efron the Hitite in this week’s parsha provide great insight regarding how a Jew must approach any negotiation or bargaining situation with the Arabs. There is an old saying: “You cannot trust the gentile even forty years in the grave.” Though such a saying might sound somewhat crude, it expresses a healthy
and natural understanding that has been acquired through several thousand years of experience.

Through the parsha concerning Efron, the sages teach us about the hypocrisy of the gentile and convey to us the vital lesson that “the wicked they promise a lot and even a little do not do.” For here is Efron promising the world: “Listen to me. I have already given you the field. I have also given you the cave that is there. Here, in the presence of my countrymen, I have given it to you. Bury your dead.” (Breishit, 23:11) But in the very next verse, Efron takes 400 shekels, a hefty sum, without blinking an eyelash. So much for his generosity.

Big Talk, No Action
As the parsha illustrates, Efron starts out incredibly big-hearted, expressing an unlimited willingness to give. He behaves in such a manner that no one could possibly doubt his sincerity. Or so it appears. But Avraham is not naive, and he well understands the true nature of Efron and others of his ilk. He knows that the greedy Efron has no intention of giving up something without making a profit, and all his smooth talk and flattery is void of content. Thus, Avraham makes it immediately clear (in the very next verse) that he is not looking for handouts, and wants to pay full price.

The ball is now in Efron’s court, and he certainly does not react as one would expect after such initial “righteousness” and generosity. He takes the money. Indeed, much, much more than the actual value of the cave, and all this without even the slightest guilt or effort to justify his original piousness. Efron’s own words at the conclusion of the bargaining
process best express his very special brand of hypocrisy and decadence: “My lord, listen to me. What’s 400 silver shekels worth of land between you and me? Bury your dead.” On the verse, Rashi comments: “Between lovers like you and me, what is it important…” Avraham accepts the verdict without a flinch. He never expected any favors or any “chesed” from the gentile in the first place. His sole intention was to acquire the cave, without developing any “special relationship” with his neighbor. With this singluar goal in mind, he gets what he wants, and ignores all the rhetoric and hollow words of Efron the Hittite.

The Moral of the Story
What is the lesson for us? The Jew cannot trust and must never expect to build any relationship between himself and the Gentile. Between Jews and Gentiles there is an unbridgeable gap. No agreements, no “faith-building”, and no “normalization”. All the more so when dealing with the Arabs, who are especially endowed with the characteristics
exemplified in Efron. Any attempt to be “nice” and to make “peace” with him will just create illusions that will eventually explode in the Jew’s face. The only healthy approach is to distance ourselves as much as possible from dialogue and deals. Only thus will we prosper. Only thus will we avoid dangerous and unnecessary illusions.

Vayera: A Forbidden Pact: The Precedent

There is a particular Rashbam in “Parshat Vayira” which Rabbi Kahane brought down constantly. The Rashbam asks: Why is the story of the pact between Avraham and Avimelech adjacent to the story of “Akeidat Yitzchak” which follows immediately thereafter, and opens with the words, “And it came to pass after these things…” – words that the sages tell us come to express a real connection between these two events?

The Rashbam gives the following answer: “After the pact that Avraham made with Avimelech, (a pact) with Avraham’s grandchildren and greatgrandchildren, he gave him seven lambs. And the Almighty became enraged by this, for behold, the land of the Philistines had been given toAvraham … and the Almighty commanded them, ‘thou shalt not allow a soul to live’. Therefore, ‘Hashem tested Avraham’ – to teach him a lesson… That is, you were proud of the son I gave you, and made a pact between your sons and their sons (of the Philistines)? – go now and offer him as a sacrifice, and find out how useful your pacts are!”

In other words, the Rashbam explains that this pact, including the very impressive ceremony of the seven lambs, was a sin. And why? Because the content of the pact was, “now therefore swear to me here by G-d that you will not deal falsely with me, nor with my son, nor with my son’s son”. In other words, this was a “not to attack” pact between the offspring of Avraham and the offspring of Avimelech. And what does an agreement “not to attack” mean here? It means that the offspring of Avraham will not be able to attack and conquer the land of the Philistines, which is a part of the land of Israel. By making such a commitment, Avraham is relinquishing a part of Eretz Yisrael! (according to Trachtate Sota, (9-10), only after the Philistines broke the original treaty, Israel was able to fight them and take their land from them.)

Let us understand what the Rashbam is saying here. After all, the Jewish People had not yet even come into the world, and so obviously, the Land of Israel was not in their hands. And what did Avraham do? In order to avoid conflict with the notoriously unpredictable Avimelech, Avraham made an agreement with him. What is the big deal! Yet, Avraham is chastised nonetheless: You should have taken into account that such an agreement would tie the hands of your children, preventing them from conquering the land the G-d promised to your seed in the future!

If so, what can one say when the issue under discussion is not an agreement which forbids us to conquer the land of some goy which is presently under his control, (like the agreement with ‘Jordan’), but rather what is under discussion is an agreement to turn over parts of the land of Israel which G-d gave us and is already under our control?! Can there be a Hillul Hashem greater than this?

Let us go another step further. After all, the principle we have discussed here is, thank G-d, close to the hearts of many Jews who understand the absurdity and the sin in the giving up of parts of Israel to our enemy. But what other sorts of pacts or agreements with a gentile, that does not include concessions? We have become used to thinking that this is a wonderful thing! What huge efforts our foreign ministry makes in order to establish ties with the most obscure of countries. What great pleasure is derived when another “Zimbabwe” or “Honolulu” is ready to establish diplomatic relations with Israel…

Is it so simple that such a thing is permitted? Here is what the sages think about it in “Eliyahu Raba”, chapter seven: “Man must remember in his heart that he must not make partnerships with a goy, and not to make a pact with him, as we found with Avraham Avenu, who made a partnership (with Avimelech) … and from here they said: there is not a nation in the world which does not enslave and torture Israel more than a few hundred years, and it is all because Avraham made a pact with a goy. From here it was said: whoever makes a partnership with a goy…” See in it’s entirety. The above Rashbam also brings down Midrash Tehilim, which mentions several tragedies which struck us, because of the seven lambs that Avraham gave to Avimelech: Israel lost seven wars, seven righteous Jews were killed, seven tabernacles were destroyed, and other tragic events.

Let us accept upon ourselves this national isolation, not as some evil decree, but rather as Rabbi Kahane put it at the end of his book, “On the Emunah, and on the Giula”: “A nation that shall dwell alone – is it a curse? On the contrary! Inherent in our isolation is the salvation of the Jew and the sanctification of his G-d.”

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