November 27, 2013

Rabbi Meir David Kahane

Rabbi Meir David Kahane - leader, philosopher, visionary, revolutionary, scholar, warrior, activist, fighter, hero, Rabbi, writer, speaker, Rosh Yeshiva, father, grandfather, husband, teacher, author and statesman. (Kahane Tzadak)

Rabbi Meir Kahane was born Aug. 1, 1932 (29th of Tamuz) and assassinated Nov. 5, 1990 (18th of Heshvan 5750).

As a youth he was active in Betar. He met Jabotinsky, who was a guest at his parents home, and a close friend of his father, Rabbi Charles Kahane.

Rabbi Kahane resided with his wife Libby in Jerusalem, Israel. They lived there from the time that they immigrated to Israel from the U.S. with their four children in 1971.

All of his children have been active in preparing and publishing his books, writings and manuscripts along with his wife Libby. Before his youngest son Binyamin Zev Kahane was murdered with his wife Talya on December 31, 2000 (May G-d avenge their blood), he headed the yeshiva founded by his father and also served as the former director of the Kahane Chai Movement.

Rabbi Kahane received his smicha - ordination as Rabbi - from the world famous Mirrer Yeshiva in Brooklyn, NY.

He earned an International Law degree from New York University.

Rabbi Kahane served as a pulpit Rabbi and teacher in NY in the early and mid 1960's. During that time he also was one of the editors of the Jewish Press, which was the biggest English speaking Jewish newspaper in the world. He worked as a correspondent for the Jewish Press until his tragic death.

Rabbi Kahane was the author of many books on Judaism, Israel, Torah and politics. He wrote books in English and in Hebrew.

Rabbi Kahane was well known for his electrifying speeches in Israel, on U.S. campuses and in synagogues throughout the world. He was viewed as an eloquent, dynamic spokesman and orator, appearing frequently on radio and TV talk shows.

Rabbi Kahane founded the militant Jewish Defense League in 1968 to combat the rampant growth of anti-Semitism in the inner cities. At that time, the poor and elderly Jews were easy targets for Jew hating thugs. Rabbi Kahane rescued these abandoned Jews and changed the image of the weak and vulnerable Jew to one of a mighty fighter who strikes back fiercely against tyrants. Jew-haters around the world soon began to respect and fear the wrath and retribution of Kahane's Chaya Squad, a group within the JDL, which succeeded in instilling fear in the hearts of the would-be criminals against Jews.

The JDL went on to conquer other local issues and problems as well as global Jewish problems. The JDL was the first group to really bring world attention to the plight of Soviet Jewry. They did so by engaging in unconventional and often violent tactics which succeeded in highlighting the plight of millions of oppressed Jews, suffering behind the Iron Curtain. The JDL succeeded in moving the issue off of the back pages and on to the front pages, where it belonged. Kahane was the "Moses" for Russian Jewry. It wasn't long before the major Jewish establishment organizations were embarrassed and forced into action, after so many years of apathy and indifference.

Russian Jews started to flow out by the hundreds of thousands, thanks to Rabbi Kahane's dedication and vision. But as Rabbi Kahane said, "More than what we did for Russian Jewry was what they did for the young and lost American Jewish youth who finally had a Jewish cause to fight for, and boy did they fight, without sleep and at a risk to their freedom they did that which their parents never did for their Jewish brothers and sisters who perished during the Holocaust."

Rabbi Kahane coined the phrase "Never Again" which did not mean that a Holocaust could never happen. It meant that never again would Jews stand idly by while their brothers cry out for their help.

Rabbi Kahane was jailed many times and was sentenced to prison terms for his actions related to the campaign on behalf of Soviet Jews.

Other famous causes which Rabbi Kahane fought for included Jewish identity and continuity. Far before the Jewish establishment realized that there was a problem - Rabbi Kahane was demanding that Jewish funds go for Jewish causes, primarily for Jewish education. He spoke out against intermarriage and assimilation among Jewish youth. He saved thousands of lost Jewish souls from spiritual destruction.

Aliyah to Israel was another key campaign launched by Rabbi Kahane. In fact, he was assassinated lecturing at an emergency Z.E.E.R.O. conference calling for the mass Aliyah of American Jewry. He directly convinced hundreds of Jewish families to make Aliyah.

After Rabbi Kahane immigrated to Israel he formed the Kach movement. Kach was most famous for its platform calling for the removal of the hostile Arab population from Israel, the annexation of all of the territories liberated in 1967, and to have the right of unlimited Jewish settlement there. He believed that settling the land without removing the hostile Arab enemies would be counter productive. He predicted autonomy and retreat far before Likud ever signed the Camp David Accords and before the Oslo Declaration of Principles were dreamed up.

Rabbi Kahane was despised by many for quoting Jewish sources about Jews being a chosen nation and the exclusive owners of Eretz Israel. Many hated him for pointing out the contradiction between authentic Judaism and Western style democracy. "Judaism is not Thomas Jefferson and the Middle East is not the Mid West, Kahane would say." Kahane made "comfortable" Jews feel uncomfortable for forcing them to deal with the painful truth and painful answers to problems they refused to think about.

Rabbi Kahane was jailed and imprisoned many times in Israel by both Labor and Likud governments. Rabbi Kahane was the first Jew to be held under administrative detention without charges or due process. He was also the first Jew charged with sedition for his population exchange proposal.

Rabbi Kahane also pioneered the campaign to save Syrian and Ethiopian Jewry as well as the battle against cults and missionaries in the Holy Land. Rabbi Kahane dreamed of creating an independent Israel which would no longer fear the Gentiles. He dreamed of a state of Israel that would sanctify G-d's name through Jewish power and faith in G-d.

Rabbi Kahane was elected to Knesset in 1984. He headed the quickest growing party in Israel's history. Polls predicted him receiving as many as 12 seats in the 1988 elections. If he would not have been banned from participating in the elections he would have turned in to the third largest party in Israel, on the way to becoming its next Prime Minister. Likud and Labor joined together and banned Kahane from the 1988 elections.

Two years later, he was killed. Never in Israel's history was there a bigger funeral. Never before did so many different types of Jews stand side by side together. All of the enemies of Israel celebrated his death. Many of the leftists in Israel happily predicted the death of Rabbi Kahane's yeshiva and programs in editorials published in the Israeli press, shortly after his death. Much to their amazement and disappointment, Rabbi Kahane's yeshiva and programs lived on. Some have even grown and expanded despite the governments continued harassment and the outlawing of the Kahanist movements.

Debate - Rabbi Kahane VS Ehud Olmert

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