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Words from my Rebbe

I have mentioned many times in this newspaper that my Rebbe was Rabbi Meir Kahane. I studied from him, learned his ways and above everything else was mesmerized by the fact that he put into action – on the street – what he taught us in the classroom. Simply put, there has never been another Rabbi like him. With that in mind, allow me to quote an article he wrote way back in 1976 just before Rosh Ha’Shanah and Yom Kippur.

“The high holy days, the days of awe, approach.  The key word, the one that will be bandied about is tshuva, repentance and return.  Lest the word continue to lose its meaning and reality, let us remember the key to that return –faith.  Faith and belief, real and deep, faith that proves itself by self-sacrifice and by giving of oneself.  That faith is manifested in a number of basic ways that go beyond the obvious mitzvoth-Shabbat, kashrut, learning family purity, etc.

Those basic ways are yardsticks by which one measures his commitment to faith.  Those yardsticks are:

1)      Ahavat Yisrael-love of Jews and the readiness to feel their pain, to rush to their aid by giving of time, money and body.  Tzedaka to the poor, sacrifice for the oppressed in the Soviet Union and Arab lands, not caring what the gentile says and acting on behalf of a Jew even if it means jeopardizing personal interests.  Faith that if one obeys the commandment not to stand by his neighbor’s blood, G-d will help and protect.

2)      Aliyah-to cleave unto the commandment of a returning and living in the Land of Israel and thus eliminating the Hillul Hashem-desecration of the L-rd-that is the essence of the exile.  To manifest Jewish faith by knowing that to fulfill the commandment of living in the Land will find G-d standing by our side so that we overcome all the difficulties and dangers that appear to be so overwhelming.

3)      Cleaving unto the land knowing that it is forbidden to give up Jewish land to gentiles and that every retreat from the land because of fear of the world is a retreat from the great miracle and Kiddush Hashem of 1967.  Faith in the L-rd rather than in Washington.

These are the Pillars of Tshuva.  May we have a year of return and Redemption”

These words, written 38 years ago are as true and accurate as if they were written today. I have nothing to add except one thing: Next Year in Jerusalem!!


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