Rabbi Kahane debating Prof. Alan Dershowitz

Video: Rabbi Kahane on why be jewish

Why Be Jewish?

    It was the Torah that made the Jewish family a warm and close unit where respect and love dwelt in necessary harmony. It was the Torah that turned out youngsters whose passion in life was not drugs and kicks and violent sadism, but the famous kometz, aleph-aw. And it was from the little Torah cheder that scholarly giants of the earth came forth to teach sweet morality and true goodness.

    If you want an answer, do not seek an easy one. If you want to be a Jew-be the one that always existed. Seize the mainstream of Judaism, no matter how difficult it may be. Let me suggest to you a few points of departure:

l. That life is short and meaningless if its purpose becomes the mere pursuit of pleasure. That unless we are to go mad, there must be something more to this brief candle.

2. The knowledge that the Jew is different and exclusive; that he has a role to play which will determine his and the world’s destiny; that the Torah turns him, his people, and in the end all humanity into a holy and meaningful entity.

3. That Torah cannot endure with simple practice, but is based upon deep and never-ending study, and that without scholarship, Judaism degenerates into the joke of the Long Island temple.

4. That only if we believe that the Torah is Divine will we submit to its will, for if it is just a product of “clever” rabbis, surely you will be convinced that you are as clever as they.

5. That the Jewish people is bound together by common destiny, and that this imposes upon each one an obligation to love and rush to the aid of each and every other Jew; that the Jew has no permanent allies except his own people; that for the Jew, Jewish problems come first; that we measure our responses by the yardstick: Is it good and right for the Jew?

    These are the principles; now go and study them. Study; learn. Learn Torah, for only Torah and Torah knowledge can make you the kind of Jew that you must be. “The ignorant Jew cannot be pious” – this is the deepest of all truths. So find yourself a rabbi, a teacher. But make sure that he believes in what he is teaching. Make sure he is an honest man who does what lie preaches and who can give you the truth that he has in his heart. Torah: go drink deeply from its waters.

    You are young and you have the choice that the Almighty gives to all, young and old: life or death, good or evil, truth or illusion. If you choose the transitory pleasures of your present chapter of life, you will awaken some day with the taste of ashes in your mouth. If you really believe that the things for which our people struggled and fought and died and then continued to live for so long, are so cheap that they can be thrown away for a job or a girl – surely you will awaken one day with a broken heart and a broken soul. And you will follow the path of all the foolish and disillusioned Jews who saw in Emanicipation and Enlightenment an opportunity for “freedom” and “growth.” Their paths led to the dead ends of Auschwitz or the bankruptcy of lives that give neither satisfaction nor permanence.

    Consider what you had and threw awayl You were people that was trampled upon, spat upon, burned and drowned, hanged and shot, gassed and buried alive. And they existed in spite of all these. You were part of a people that did not fall prey to the moral disasters of crime, immorality, and. cultural anarchy, but created geniuses and men of morality and ethics. While others beat their wives, Jews respected them. While others rolled in the gutter drunk with whiskey, the Jew raised his Kiddush cup to G-d. While others dabbled at Inquisitions and conquests, the Jew bent over his Tadmud and created warmth, kindness, and scholarship. While others worshiped idols, the Jew embraced the One G-d.

    In a sense, you live no right to run because you owe an obligation to the unborn child who will someday come from you, to remain with his people – the people of his grandparents and great-grandparents and ancestors from Poland and Russia and Yemen and France and Spain and Babylonia.

    We lose so many of our best sons and daughters. Some die as those in Munich, in a blare of publicity, but many more are buried quietly and we never even know they are gone until we suddenly find them missing. These are the ones who fall before the enemy called Assimilation. These are the ones who never knew or, worse, forgot that Jewish is, oh, so beautiful. The ones who sell their precious birthright for a few cheap coins and leasures. They think they are finding freedom and happiness; only later, too late, do they realize that they died in the bloom of youth.

    Young Jew whom I have never met, come home. Return to your people and their destiny. It is beautiful. You are young and for you, Return is simple. And know that your life can only be lived in one place. Home. The Land of Israel. It is a large land. Extending from the Mediterannean to the Jordan, from Hermon through Sinai to Sharm-al-Sheaykh. It stands, capable of absorbing millions, many millions of its sons and daughters who have not yet come. It is the land where one cannot move without colliding with the Jewish past. This is the land where Abraham walked and Isaac and Jacob traveled; where David and Saul fought the enemy and Deborah and Samson smote the foe; where the Prophets raised their eyes unto the heavens and spoke to the people; where the Maccabees preserved Judaism with the sword and where the Sanhedrin and Ben Zakkai continued it with the book; where Bar Kochba died and where his children will return. Here is Eretz Yisrael; here is your home.

    What a glorious challenge you have been givenl The gauntlet has been thrown down before you, and you must climb the heights of greatness! Aliyah, going up to the land, this is the task at hand. Leave behind the dust of Exile the terrible fate that awaits us, our enemies of the Diaspora who thirst for our blood and plan yet another Auschwitz. Make your plans to leave the graveyards of Galut and live in our own land – free, a majority, alive. Guarantee the preservation of your children and cliildren’s cliildren. Watch them grow tall and tanned, strong and proud, secure and sovereign.

    You need this land and it needs you, many of you. Millions of new Jews pouring into Israel will fill up its empty spaces, guarantee the retention of all the liberated lands of Judea, Samaria, Golan, Gaza, and Sinai; assure a vast Jewish majority despite the addition of a million new non-Jews; add Western democratic and technical skills to the land. Eretz Yisrael will never again be lost to us.

    What a moment in history! How wonderful it would be if we were to understand it, clutch at it, become part of it.

Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me?

    If we would like to know the heart of the tragedy of Israel, of the Jewish-Arab struggle, of the reason why peace eludes a Jewish State that so desires it, of the cause of the ongoing suffering and tragedy, of the immutable rule that there will not be tranquility and peace for the Jew or his state, let me explain. Some time ago, an opinion poll was given to Arabs and Jews by sociology Professor Ephraim Ya’ar of Tel Aviv University. The professor gave his respondents a list of 14 factors that may or may not influence the course of peace between Israel and the Arab states, and asked each of them to rank the list in importance from one to 14. The results? The Arabs placed “the will of G-d” first; the Jews placed it last. Or another example: Yet another Tel Aviv University project was conducted by its Jaffe Center for Strategic Studies. Respondents were asked to comment on the Biblical verse, “The Guardian of Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps.” They were asked who, in their minds, represented the Guardian of Israel. Fifty-seven percent replied “the Israeli army” and 17% declared that it was G-d … And that, dear Jew, is the reason and the source and the cause of a tragedy that is building up, and that, unless swift, radical change takes place in Jewish thought and action, will bring down horrors upon the Jew and his state, Heaven help us.

    The truth is that the Jew has long since become the most unbelieving of all people, the most atheistic of nations. Deluded by his intelligence and intellectualism, believing that he inhabits the heavens, he turns into the most arrogant and proud of men. Like some modern-day Adam, he has eaten from the Tree of Knowledge and dreams of Divinity. Like some modern-day builder of Babel, he is convinced that he can climb to the heavens and conquer. His cleverness and brightness that so persuaded him that he is the wisest and most perceptive of men, insures that he will be the blindest and most obtuse. No people and no faith is so convinced that its destiny is essentially its own, in its own hands. None has relegated G-d to the bin of antiquity, to the shadow of irrelevance, as the Jew. There are those who are convinced that He does not exist. There are those who invent Him as a Being who, indeed, has a place, but it is conveniently limited and He had better know it. There are those who pay prodigious amounts of lip service and ritual to G-d and whose religion fills their lives as long as there is no need to place their “belief” on the line in time of danger. Few are the Jews who sincerely believe that victory in war is totally in the hands of G-d, who are prepared to take the difficult and dangerous steps their religion demands, lest they have to put their faith where their claims are.

    The people that were the most religious of all have become the most indifferent to G-d. The People of the Book place more faith in that of the check than the Bible. In time of crisis, the Jew does not believe in anything, except that which he can see, touch, feel. He can see the U.S. President; he believes in him far more than in the G-d of Abraham. He can feel the Arabs; he fears them more than the intangible G-d he pays lip service to as long as there is no crisis. He can touch the tanks of the Israeli army, and so he prays that there will be enough of them instead of believing that One is enough of Him. “For My people have committed two evils; they have forsaken Me, the fountain of living water, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water” (Jeremiah 2). The truth is that we will swear our belief in the Omnipotence of the G-d of Israel as long as this remains in the abstract, in the realm of theory. We show our fervent belief in the miracles that happened YESTERDAY, but we shrink from testing them today or tomorrow. That which we need not do ourselves is easily believed in and avidly taught or sermonized. Yesterday is always smoothly dealt with – who needs to place himself on the line? Who must be tested? The belief in the GENERAL Omnipotence of G-d easily fills our hearts. It is only when we must get down to specifics, to real and actual implementation of faith in our own lives, that the hypocrisy becomes a stench which is overpowering.

    The G-d of Israel is not a Santa Claus. The religion of Israel is not a plaything. If there is one thing above all that the Almighty desires of us, DEMANDS of us, it is FAITH. “Therefore, the L-rd heard and was wroth; and a fire was kindled against Jacob and anger also came up against Israel, because they believed not in G-d and trusted not in His salvation” (Psalms 78). That is the Jewish Iron Law: Belief and trust in G-d, rather than looking to and raising Jewish eyes unto the gentile. There can be no greater Hillul HaShem, desecration of the Name of G-d, than when the Jew places his faith in the power of the gentile. For what he is saying by this is that there really is no G-d; and this is the end of Judaism, and this is the end of any reason for the existence of the Jew. Jews have long sighed, ” It is hard to be a Jew.” As with most things, this too is a statement of hypocrisy. They do not really believe it. They really do believe that they can mold for themselves a good and happy life and at the same time gild it with a thin covering of comfortable Judaism.

    Of course, it is nonsense. Of course, it really IS hard to be a Jew, the kind of Jew that the Almighty demands – the kind of Jew who is the son and daughter of Abraham, who faced the furnace for his belief and did not flinch; the kind of Jew who is the son and daughter of Mordechai, who faced the gallows and did not bow; the son and daughter of the Jew whose entire Torah rests on the one commandment: “And the righteous shall live by his faith.” That is difficult. That is a Jew. King David turned, in his day, to G-d and lamented: “My G-d, my G-d, why hast Thou forsaken me?” If one listens carefully, the voice of the G-d of Israel can be heard in this era of Jewish neo-atheism, calling softly: “My people, My people, why have you forsaken ME?”

Goyim, Chulent and Torah

Assimilation, intermarriage, alienation and indifference to Jewishness. A drastic drop in Aliyah. A dramatic rise in Yerida – emigration from Israel. There is a common denominator to all of these critical problems facing the Jewish people today. Each ahs the same root cause, all are tragedies that are born form the same seed – the failure of secular and non-traditional theories of Jewishness to persuade the vast majority of Jews that being Jewish is important enough to make meaningful sacrifices on its behalf. Unless the bankruptcy is understood by those who posture as the leaders of the Jews, the assimilation cancer will continue to rage; Aliyah will remain a pallid and sickly thing despite the ridiculous conferences, conclaves, councils and conventions that are called by hapless leaders; Yerida will continue its staggering climb in spite of public relations efforts to downgrade the statistics or to simply falsify them.

Once upon a time, nearly every Jew in the world knew what being Jewish was and why being Jewish was important. That was the time before the era of emancipation came, bringing with it its twin sister enlightenment. Ever since, that which was once so obvious is no longer, and that which was so easily understood needs tortured rationalizations. Once upon a time, the Jew was one because of Torah and the Divine Election of the Jew as a chosen people coupled with a Torah that was Revealed by the All mighty to the Jew, made being Jewish an elementary thing. The Jew was a special people, a different people a separate people because he had the Torah and it was his life and the length of his days. Life for the Jew was the Torah. But then things changed and suddenly Jews were told that Election and Revelation were things that were to be consigned to the bins of the obscurantists and medieval antiquities. Now Judaism and Jewishness had to find another kind of philosophical basis and raison d’etre. The new Judaism was defended and defined by one camp in terms of a religion that that was man-made, a mixture of humanism, ethics and selective ritual. It was a Reform that allowed the Jew to be all things to him and assimilate at his own pace.

Yet another camp defined the New Judaism in terms of nationalism. To be a Jew was no less than an Italian or Bulgarian or (though the secular Zionists did not realize it then) a “Palestinian.” To be a Jew was to be like unto the nations, no less. Alas, what they did not understand was that their definition condemned him to be no better, either.

Little wonder, then, that both of the philosophies proved to be resounding failures, rejected by the next generation that was rid of the complexes and rationalizations and frauds of that which invented the New
Judaism. The secular nationalist theory of Jewishness fell before the obvious question posed by a new generation of Jews influenced by socialism, universalism, and a technologically shrunken world that knocked
down distances and barriers between nations and lands: Why have separate nations? And if for some reason, they must exist, why make a fuss over them? Why cannot French-men marry Swedes, and if they can-and-do-without fuss, why cannot a Jewish national marry a non-Jewish one? Secular nationalism, Zionism, the New Judaism of nationalism had reason for being but one limited to that of all the other national groups and that reason was being questioned by all young people-with not a good answer in sight.

The New Judaism of religion (Reform, Conservatism, Reconstructionism and all the rest) proved to be a tiger of paper no more durable than its secular counterpart. What hold did a “religion” which was conceived by men, albeit scholarly ones have upon young, thinking people? If the laws were not Divine, why observe them? If they were the product of clever people, why surely clever people abounded in modern times, too! How does
one choose ritual and reject that? Why not choose that and reject this? Why have any formal religion that divided people and set up barriers between them, especially when that “religion” was man-made? These were the objections and demands presented by Young Jews and the pitiful parents. And leaders who had rejected Judaism of Election and Revelation had no answers. Certainly, there were large numbers of Jews who
“lingered” on as active Jews essentially for only two reasons and sometimes for only one of those, and were I a Tannaic sage of yesteryear I might phrase it: “On two legs does the modern Jew stand, on goyim and
chulent”

For indeed, the Jewishness of millions of Jews of a prior generation and of today exists because of goyim and/or chulent.

Goyim. Anti-Semitism is a terrible thing and conversely, anti-Semitism has been the means of saving millions of Jews from assimilation. For if not for the rejection by the gentile of the Jew, how many others would have
long disappeared form our midst? Was the Jew of Poland or Lithuania a better Jew than the assimilated and intermarried Jew of Germany and France? Or was he simply not “blessed” with the opportunity to behave
similarly? What happened to cause so many Jews of Eastern Europe to drop a tradition of centuries and seize upon Bundism, and secular Zionism and communism when the opportunity presented itself? When the gentile behaved with any semblance of acceptance, the Jew leaped for joy, his religion falling off in midair. When faced with the implacable, hating, unaccepting goy, the Jew remained a Jew. Because he had no choice.

This is why millions of Jews, one generation form the Czar and pogroms, still retained a measure of the New Judaism. Because they also retained a measure of memory of the goy and because they still recalled the
difference between them that the goy had insisted upon. But what happens when a child is born, free and unencumbered with memories? What happens when a young Jew is raised in an environment where, for the time being, history has allowed him never to know any meaningful anti-Semitism? What happens when he roams campuses filled with gentiles (pretty and handsome); freedom filled neighborhoods and employment, a world of his own that’s uninhabited by hatred of the Jew? What happens when a whole generation grows up that does not know the goy? What happens? Why, the obvious. Not being forced to be a Jew, he does not remain one; not consciously, not actively, not caringly.

There is one other hope. Chulent. For millions of Jews who had left the Judaism of tradition and Torah, becoming members of the New Judaism, the intellectual contradictions and objections were muted by chulent. I speak of chulent in the generic sense, in the broad term. Not merely the chulent that cooked away all Friday night in the oven and that emerged with its potatoes and beans, hot and more-than-filling. I speak of all the chulent that remained as warm, nostalgic memories in the minds of countless Jews. I speak of the nostalgia that passed for Judaism and that kept their dreamers form breaking with their people.

Millions of Jews remained Jews because they were raised in truly Jewish homes. Imbedded in their memories were their own experience and early lives. They had seen and lived a real Sabbath in their parents’ or grandparents’ homes; they remembered the kiddush wine cup and the two challas; they remembered the real Passover seder; they remembered the packed Orthodox shul where people went to daven, not to “pray”; they
remembered the Jewishness of the Old Judaism and so they moved on to New Judaism but could never bring themselves to face the contradictions and absurdities that would force them to drop it entirely. They had to remain Jews because of the grip that nostalgia had upon them. Because of chulent

But what happens when a young Jew arises who does not know chulent? Who comes from a home where Judaism lives only in the nostalgic mind of the parents but which is never practiced? Who never saw the shul but only knows the mausoleum that passes for the temple? Who never tasted the kiddush wine or searched for chametz on Passover eve? Who never saw theSukkah and never danced on Simchas Torah? Who never smelled the chulent: He has no nostalgia; he remembers nothing warm and tender that pricks his conscience and makes him ashamed of letting go. He has no chulent to make him forego the shiksa. And when he has neither goyim to beat him and force him to be Jewish not chulent to prod him into nostalgic reminiscences, he has no reason to be Jewish and so he leaves.

This is the root of assimilation and intermarriage and alienation in the United States. A New Judaism that has no Divine Election and Revelation, that has no Torah, existed for a while on the memories of the goyim and
chulent. It cannot continue, for the young know of neither.

And this why there is no Aliyah and will not be. Not only because there are so many American Jews whose lack of interest in Jewishness never led them to remotely consider Aliyah, but because the same lack of Jewishness exists in Israel which has become thereby not a Jewish state but a mere state of Jews. The secular Zionism of the New Judaism thought that it could create a healthy Jewish people and state without Torah and it created instead a nightmare, a Hebrew speaking Portugal; a generation of Sabras which says: We are Israelis, not Jews; a host of Israelis who desperately ape the manners and customs and madness and abomination of the gentiles; a mass of people that sees no reason to be Jewish and which has built a state that is in their image.

And if Israel is not a Jewish state and if the spirit of Jewishness is missing and if it is no different than others and if it tries to be another America and becomes a pale carbon copy of it- why should even the relatively small number of American Jews who seek something different, give up their comforts and go there? What will they find there that they have lost in America? There is neither goyim nor chulent in Israel, either, and the roots to no-Aliyah may be laid to that too.

And Yerida. Where there is no Torah and no chulent and the Sabra thinks that Arabs are only against Israel but other goyim do not hate Jews; where there is no Torah and no chulent and the Sabra does not really know the
goyim – why should he remain in a state that is constantly threatened by war, which is poor and beset by inflation and unemployment and poverty, which does not have the thrills and pleasures of Times Square and
Amsterdam and Hamburg? When the Sabra sees nothing special in being Jewish why should he be different than the Sicilian or the Irishman or the Pole or all the rest who loved the lands of their birth but who did not
hesitate to leave them, for new worlds of opportunity?

Assimilation, intermarriage, alienation and indifference to Judaism. A drastic drop in Aliyah. A dramatic rise in Yerida-emigration from Israel. There is a common denominator to each of these problems. It lies in a people that threw away Torah and then lost the goyim and the chulent, the only things that gave any real reason to be Jewish.

When one thinks of it rationally the thought of being Jewish because the goyim insisted you could not be anything else, is rather ludicrous. And when one considers being Jewish because of the sweet smell of chulent that is even more absurd. One is thus left with one other reason to be a Jew. Torah. That makes a great deal of sense.

What Makes Bernie Run?

    Once there was a television program which centered about the theme of intermarriage. The heroes of the piece were named Bernie and Brigitte. The American Jewish Establishment put great pressure on the particular network that televised the series and the program was ultimately dropped. Bernie and Brigitte were no longer. They had been canceled…

    How relatively simple it was to cancel Bernie and Brigitte on television and how much more difficult to struggle against the curse and cancer of intermarriage and assimilation that exists in real American Jewish life. How simple to picket a television series to death and how hard to stamp out the disease that afflicts us daily in the real-life existence that is the lot of American Jewry. lf we no longer find Bernie and Brigitte strolling hand in hand across our television screens we need only look at our campuses, at our streets at our neighborhoods, Bernie is alive and well.

    What makes Bernie run? What makes Bernie run after Brigitte? What makes Bernie run away from Judaism and cut the chain of generations? What makes Bernie run away from the Judaism that his great-grandfather clutched at the risk of loss of happiness material wealth and so often very life? What makes Bernie run?

    This is the question that drives the American Jewish Establishment to frantically set up committees, study groups, surveys and commissions. This is the question that drives them to study the problem again and again and then again. This is the question to which they allocate so much time and so much communal money. This is the question that is at the top of their puzzled order of priorities, over which they scratch their collective well-groomed heads: What makes Bernie run?

    The puzzled shepherds of the American Jewish communities can close down their study groups and their commissions and their committees: they can put an end to the learned and expensive surveys. They can stop spending Jewish communal funds. What makes Bernie run away from Judaism? Who created that Bernie who turns from Judaism in disgust or in indifference? Who created the Bernie who pants after a shiksa or who marches for Jesus or Trotsky or Arafat or for nothing Jewish? Who created a Bernie who finds Judaism as unimportant as the color of his hair?

    Why, the answer is obvious: The very same Establishment groups who are busily creating the committees, commissions, study groups and surveys to find out the answer to these questions. Who made Bernie run away from Judaism? The American Jewish Committee, the American Jewish Congress, the B’nai Brith, the federations on every level and in every locality, the temple rabbis and Bernie’s most intimate Establishment figures- his parents.

    All of these are the criminals. All of these had a hand in murdering Bernie as a Jew. All of these robbed him of his heritage, of the beauties of his inheritance. All of these make Bernie run.

    The Jewish Establishment groups – The AJCommittee, the Congress, the B’nai Brith, the federations, ALL the spokesmen for the American Jewish community – the ruling clique, uniformly marched down the American road with a melting pot under their arms, beating it over and over again and shouting forth the Eleventh Commandment to the American Jew: Thou shalt melt!

    Thou shalt melt, thou shalt integrate, thou shalt amalgamate, thou shalt be an American as all others. They beat the drums for interfaith, exchanging pulpits with ministers enthusiastically, in a frantic effort to prove to Christian and Jew alike that there is essentially no difference between them. They were partially successful – the Christians were not convinced but the Jews were.

    Thou shalt melt, thou shalt integrate, thou shalt Americanize thyself and so they raised high the banner of the public school and fought, with a zeal no one knew that they possessed, the one weapon that might have given Bernie knowledge, and a sense of pride and roots. In fear and with hostility, they declared a holy war against the Jewish Day school, the parochial school, the yeshiva. They piously rationalized their struggle on the sacred grounds of separation of church and state but the real reason for their war (and they took the lead among all Americans in fighting the slightest aid to parochial schools) was their fear and consequent hatred of the parochialism and separatism of the yeshiva. The yeshiva threatened them with too much Jewishness! What would the gentile say if Jews were too Jewish, If they looked and behaved too differently, if their profile was not properly low? How did one mix easily with gentiles in the non-kosher country clubs they were so eager to join; how did one assimilate if Jews did not learn to drop the embarrassing customs, habits and old ritual baggage?

    The public school! This was the way to equality, to uniformity, to mixing and assimilating and to the death of anti-Semitism. And so, they urged their flock to send Bernie to the public school (and the flock, as eager to mix as the shepherds, needed little urging). Bernie went to public school.

    And today as the shepherds run frenziedly about surveying Bernie and asking him, where did you meet Brigitte? he calmly answers: “Why, in the public school in the public school; in the public school to which you sent me!”

    Who made Bernie what he is? Who made Bernie run? The Establishment groups, and leaders who took a Judaism of particularism, of separatism, of uniqueness, of DIFFERENCE, and who- in their fears, insecurities and ignorance- created an American brand that leveled all uniqueness, ‘proved’ that Jews and Christians were no different, and eliminated every logical and moral reason to be different. They created Bernie: they made Bernie run.

    And who else made Bernie run away from Judaism? Who else made Bernie what he is and is not? The massive, gaudy musoleums that dot the landscape of every Jewish suburb. The temples. The temples whose senior rabbi is the caterer. The temples that perform human sacrifice rites each Sabbath morning, and they call them, The Bar Mitzvah.

    The Bar Mitzvah, that is not the beginning of a Jew but his end, his spiritual death.

    The Bar Mitzvah – that culmination of an empty, vapid, childish, shallow Jewish “education” taught by men and women whose ignorance and lack of Jewish content makes them superb vehicles for the “education” they pass on. The Bar Mitzvah, that obscene cult of ostentatiousness, the ultimate in Jewish status seeking, the competitive drive to bankrupt that pathetic and hapless “father of the Bar Mitzvah.” The Bar Mitzvah where the young lamb babbles the words he neither understands nor cares to, to the accompanying nachas, pride, of beaming women and men who would not know a correct word from a mistake, whose ignorance is sublime and whose disgusting display of conspicuous vulgarity sends G-d fleeing from the musoleum in wrath…

    The Bar Mitzvah whose necessary “religious” interlude long ago was subordinated to the piece-de-resistance of the entire immorality play – the “reception”. The sickening waste of money and degrading of Judaism, where materialism runs amok in the guise of religion, where drunks and half-dressed women dance and give praise to the L-rd, with African dance, American tunes, and universal abomination. The Bar Mitzvah where the assimilationists, ignoramuses and despoilers of Judaism, beam with patronizing pleasure as the decrepit grandmother – Bubby – is resurrected from her nursing home or Miami Beach condominium and trotted out to light a candleto the applause of the go-go girls and dirty comedians waiting to do their act.

    The temple, that was created to give G-d a Place on earth on condition that He know exactly what His place is. The temple, where man thinks up G-d rather than admit that He made him. The temple, where the Jew can create any kind of religion that he cares to and call it Judaism. The temple, where things too difficult are junked and where from the Board of Directors shall come forth Torah and the voice of the L-rd from the approving Sisterhood membership. The temple, run by men whose ignorance of Judaism is exceeded only by their arrogant insistence on saluting it. The temple, where Bernie visits “G-d” and meets “Judaism” and flees from it in horror. The temples: they created Bernie, they made Bernie run.

    And who else made Bernie run from Judaism? The temple rabbis. The kept theologians who knowingly preside over fraud and grotesque jokes. The well-paid functionaries whose salaries are payments to hold their silence and to declare light, darkness and darkness, light: to give their stamp of kashrut on the impure meat that their temples serve up as “Judaism”. The bribe takers whose eyes are blinded and consciences dulled by kavod, the honor of sitting on the pulpit before the eyes of the congregants, and by the comfortable salary augmented by the offerings of thankful beneficiaries of weddings, funerals and unveilings. The false prophets who hold their silence as Judaism is twisted, perverted, turned into a humorless joke and who, knowing their own corruptness and fraud of soul, rush to justify the fraud by ‘rabbinical’ or lingo that pronounce them “good”. The temple rabbis who take a Judaism of Divinity and truth and go about Reconstructing it and Reforming it and making a mockery of Conserving it.

    The temple rabbis who took the age-old axiom of Revelation, real Revelation, upon which is built the Divinity of Torah and junked it. The temple rabbis who made Judaism the product of “wise men” (and if so, are there not wise Christians and Buddhists and atheists) and thus removed any sacredness and necessary reason for observance. The temple rabbis, so many of whom do not believe in G-d, who took the real and awesome Jewish G-d of history who made man and Created all and who rewards and punishes, and exchanged Him for a “god” who is “the spirit within man”, indistinguishable from indigestion…They are the models of Jewish “religious” leadership we give unto Bernie, these empty vessels whose greatest fortune is that their congregants know even less, about Judaism than they do.

    These are your rabbis, Oh Bernie, and then we wonder why he refuses to enter the temple over which they preside. Only they themselves know what frauds they are; only they, in their hearts, know what a life of lies they lead: only they, in the inner recesses of their being, know the self- hate and contempt they feel for themselves each day that they have to perform acts of faith they no longer believe in and teach a religion that long ago they secretly began to doubt. The temple rabbis; they created Bernie, they made Bernie run.

    And who else made Bernie run away from the embrace of Judaism into Brigitte’s waiting arms? The parents, the good Jewish parents. The loving Jewish mother who took off her golden nose rings and made a Golden Calf which she worships avidly. The Golden Calf called “success” and “money” and “making it” and “my son-the-doctor.” The Golden Calf of material success before which she burns incense and for which she threw the G-d of Jewish values into the trash cans of medieval obscurantism. The Jewish father whose values are those of the garment center and the race track and bagels and lox on Sunday morning before taking the family out to the Chinese restaurant on Sunday after-noon. The Jewish father who tries to think like a gentile, act like a gentile, dress like a gentile, drink like a gentile, and curse like a gentile and then demand that Bernie marry a “nice Jewish girl”.

    The Jewish parents whose credo is upward and upward in wealth and status and who created a comfortable Judaism that would accommodate their needs. Who moved to the suburbs and created a suburban Judaism, and a suburban G-d, ethical and cultured and nice- a vaguely Jewish Santa Claus. Who turned down the Orthodox synagogue of their parents, grandparents and generations beyond because it was too Jewish and too out of step with modern times and too difficult and too outmoded and not compatible with the new pagan-Jewish lifestyle they were creating. Who turned either to the Reform that gave both status (how familiar their Christian friends would find it if ever they stopped by) as well as license (one could be almost anything and do the same in that incredible anarchy known as Reform or – better still – to that new and upcoming movement known as “Conservatism”.

    How many Jewish refugees from Brooklyn and the Bronx arrived in their new status symbols in Massapequa find themselves surrounded by strange natives known generally as “goyim” with large tribal groups called “Protestants”? How many of the Jews, in panic, fearing that Bernie would come home with a Mary rather than a Shirley banded together to build a quick temple of “Jewish Center” to save their precious ones? How many of them who did not know a Jewish concept from a Catholic catechism decided to call it ‘Conservative’ because Orthodox is ‘too old-fashioned’ and Reform is ‘like a church?’ And how amazed was the minuscule, unimportant Conservative movement to be suddenly besieged with requests for ‘Conservative rabbis’ that did not exist? And how many Conservative temples were suddenly hiring Orthodox rabbis who prostituted themselves to the Long Island god of gold? And how true it is that it was not the Conservative movement (sic) that built all the new temples that suddenly made them so prominent but the ordinary, ignorant Jews who bought a temple just as they bought any other commodity they needed and who set the terms of the deal.

    Bernie’s Parents bought their temple and their rabbi and proceeded to create Judaism and G-d in their own image. The garment center knew exactly how to cut a suit to fit…

    Judaism, but not too much, If Bernie was sent to that vast cultural wasteland known as the “religious” or “Hebrew” school which he so despised, it was not so much that he become religious as so that he might acquire ‘culture.’ (At least enough to let him babble the proper words on the great day of Bar Mitzvah initiation rites.) lf he came home and mentioned something about Sabbath observance or a ban on ham and bacon, his parents smiled and told him that “we are not sending you there for that” or “you do not have to listen to everything the teacher says”. They played games with Bernie and thought that they could deceive him never realizing in their own stupidity, that no one can ultimately deceive a child. They created a fraud and thought that they could foist it on their Bernie. They created a Judaism that was created in their own image- a Cohenism or a Goldbergism or a Schwartzism and tried to pretend that it was Judaism.

    They defrauded themselves because it so suited them and thought that Bernie would grow up to be as fraudulent, hypocritical, materialistic and disgusting as they. But he did not. That which makes Sammy run does not necessarily affect Bernie.

    They thought that Judaism was a faucet that could be turned on and off at will. They wanted to give up the uncomfortable and the inconvenient things but still keep the ‘important’ things, like marrying a Shirley. Bernie was honest. He took the whole thing and junked it. He turned on the faucet all the way and Judaism spilled out in to it. He married Brigitte to the wailing of hisparents who shrieked to one and all: Where did we go wrong??

    Where did they go wrong??

    Where did they go right??

    When one thinks about it, the gall and the arrogance of Bernie’s murderers are stupefying. All of them- sleek Jewish Establishment organizations and their portly leaders; the million-dollar temple-musoleums; the temple rabbi-functionaries; the pitiful and hapless parents. All those whose yardstick was “what will the gentile say” and who proceeded to tailor their ‘Judaism’ to fit not the Jew but the gentile; all those spiritual schizophrenics who did not know whether they were Jews or not, fish or fowl, meat or milk; all these now point their grubby accusing fingers at Bernie and shout indignantly:

    “Why are you such a bad Jew? Why are you a traitor to your people? Why can’t you marry a nice Jewish girl, Iike your mother? Why do you want to marry Brigitte the shiksa?”

    The hypocrisy is nauseating and amusing at the same time, but Bernie listens and finds nothing humorous in it. “Why do I want to marry Brigitte? Why not? She is good looking, polite and doesn’t nag. Why do I want to marry Brigitte? Why not?

    What is a nice Jewish girl like my mother? One who desecrates the Sabbath like my mother? So does Brigitte. One who eats non kosher food like dear Mom? So does Brigitte. One who comes to synagogue three times a year to parade about it in our version of Eastern parade? Brigitte has the real thing.”

    Of course, what Bernie is really saying — NO, CRYlNG OUT — is: “Tell me someone. Why should I be a Jew? Why is it so important to be a Jew? What difference does it make? Why not knock down the barriers between religions, nations and groups once and for all? What is there to Judaism that is so unique and special that I should adhere to it faithfully and marry within my faith? Why be a Jew!!!”

    It is an agonizing cry from the souls of tens of thousands of young Jews who assimilate, integrate and disappear into the outer space beyond Judaism. It is THE cry, THE question. It is asked by young men and women who have seen the emptiness and the vapidness of the Judaism they grew up with. It is asked by young Jews who have seen the ugliness and the vulgarity of their empty temples and the fraud and bankruptcy of their temple rabbis. It is asked by young people whose ‘Judaism’ gives nothing, absolutely nothing, in terms of ideals, self-sacrifice and meaning. It comes from those who equate the ‘Judaism’ they know with ostentatious wealth, fat and contented leaders paying lip service to G-d and ‘religion’ and the reality of that religion in the form of rabbis who do not believe in the Divinity of Torah or (increasingly) in G-d and in lay people whose ignorance of anything Jewish is compensated for by Hadassah and UJA checks.

    Those who murdered Bernie took a Judaism of their ancestors that was strong and powerful enough to withstand inquisitions and Crusades and pogroms and Kishinevs and Auschwitzes, big and small. It was a Judaism that lived because its adherents were ready to die for it. It was a Judaism of the zeyde who believed in G-d and proved it by observing His commandments. It was a Judaism that came from G-d and not from man. It was a Judaism whose rabbis and leaders knew Torah, not the latest best-selling book list and who did as they said, setting a supreme example for the Bernies of old who knew why Judaism was different, who never for a moment thought of Brigitte.

    The murderers took this and threw it away, exchanging it for ‘American Judaism,’ a grotesque mixture of Myron Cohen jokes, Miami Beach, UJA checks, Hadassah membership, Jewish food and Moshe Dayan eye-patches. It was a ‘Judaism’ that was stripped of all non-essentials so as to lighten the burden on the long-distance Jewish swimmer through the American waters of assimilation, equality and brotherhood. It was a “Judaism” whose adherents beamed as their leaders got it down to “ethics.” Ethics! As if that was the beginning and end of Judaism. As if Christians and Shintoists could not be ethical, too. As if Brigitte was necessarily less ethical than Shirley. Ethics- intoned the well-paid rabbi from his magnificently furnished pulpit. Ethics- that is Judaism. lf that’s all there is, then Bernie knows that Judaism has lost any exclusive hold on him.

    Everyone, today, is ethical. George Meany is ethical and Nelson Rockeffeller is ethical and Rev. Moon is ethical and Prince Sihanouk is ethical and the late King Faisel was ethical as are his un-countable sons. Is that all there is to Judaism? lf that is all there is, then stop lecturing Bernie as he marches into the sun with his ethical shiksa. Bernie wants to know what is exclusive about Judaism, what is unique, what is special, what it has that others do not. Bernie wants to know this and those who murdered him have no answers for him. The head of the B’nai Brith has no answer for him. The temple caterer has no answer for him, nor the Board Chairman, nor the Sisterhood president. The temple rabbi has no answer for him. Mother and father surely have no answer for him. All of these have no answers for him because all of these have no answers for themselves.

    Judaism lives or dies on the unique fact that G-d Revealed Himself at Mount Sinai and gave the Jew a truth that no one else has. Judaism lives or dies on the fact that the Bible and the Talmud with their laws, commandments, statutes and ordinances were divinely revealed and that the only way to holiness and true goodness comes from the observance of Torah laws. This is what kept Bernie’s zeyde and bubby Jewish; nothing else. This is a reason for being Jewish. This is a reason for not marrying Brigitte. All the rest is fraud and buff. Poor Bernie, victim of the worst kind of robbery – the taking of his heritage and reason for being. lf only he would realize that the ‘Judaism’ that he saw his entire life was anything but that. lf only he realized that he was the victim of the worst kind of spiritual swindle.

    How fortunate he would be. How joyous and happy and how meaningful would his life become if he rediscovered the Judaism of his ancestors that was sold on the American continent for thirty pieces of dross. Jewish is beautiful if you do not play games with it- or with yourself. lf only Bernie understood. How fortunate he would be. He could then turn in his Brigitte for a reason for being. A reason for being Jewish.

Rabbi Kahane on Larry King vs. MJ Rosenberg

Rabbi Kahane was invited to speak on Larry King to debate against Federation functionary M.J. Rosenberg. Mr Rosenberg, in fear of the authenticity of Jewish idea, knowing that he has no ground to stand on against the Torah, doesn’t show up. Rabbi Kahane verbally ruins, while speaking about the regular issues of Arab babies and Jewish betrayal of Torah.

Rabbi Kahane debating Professor Alan Dershowitz

A famous debate held between Rabbi Kahane and Dr. Dershowitz.

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