letting them go: the i’s and thou’s of separation

There is a story of the police commissioner under mayor David Dinkins in the early 1990′s , Lee Brown who visited the famous Chabad Rabbi in Crown Heights. In meeting the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Commissioner Lee Brown asked for a blessing; he asked for a blessing that he could catch all the crooks in NYC. Obviously not a normal request. The Rebbe apparently said he could not comply with such a demand, but in place, said a blessing that the police institution itself could be blessed so that it is so strong, it acts as a deterrent so that the criminals would be afraid to commit crimes.

---Rabbi Kahane believed that the major Jewish organizations in the United States had failed to protect America’s Jews from anti-Semitism, which he saw as “exploding” all over the country. "If I have succeeded in instilling fear in you," Rabbi Kahane said in the closing statement of his standard speech, "I consider this evening a success." In fact, Kahane consistently preached a radical form of Jewish nationalism which reflected racism, violence and political extremism. ---Read More:http://www.adl.org/extremism/jdl_chron.asp image:http://lovesandstratagems.blogspot.ca/2010/12/sagittarius-love-harpo-marx.html

Apparently, this did not satisfy the honorable commissioner and he reiterated his desire in additional fashion, apparently not catching the subtlety of the line of thought. And so it goes. The identical line of reasoning applied to the more infamous Rabbi, Meir Kahane who advocated divine intervention or not so divine activity of forcibly removing the Palestinian Arabs from the Biblical land of Israel. At the extreme it was a call to ethnic cleansing of the Arabs through outright genocide or the softer approach of voluntary resettlement. Inciteful and as dysfuntional as that tasted, there are still many who adhere to this ethos. Again, the Rebbe’s position was not to condone the demagoguery which also based a theoretical platform on Judaism and the Torah being incompatible with democracy, but to convey the idea that the more effective route is to ask for a blessing to make the jewish people so strong, and at such a exalted spiritual and unified level that the Arabs would leave and conform of their  own volition.

---...Stanley Lowell, chairman of the National Conference on Soviet Jewry, observed that "had the bomb injured or killed an innocent individual, the cause of Soviet Jewry would have been irreparably harmed." Lowell added, "those who continue these tactics and their supporters accomplish nothing. Terrorist acts can only hurt the cause of Soviet Jews. . ." March 26, 1976: The Jewish Armed Resistance claimed responsibility for a time bomb that was discovered at the Amtorg Trading Corporation, the Soviet trade agency, on Lexington Avenue in New York. On March 28 1976, in an article titled "Anti-Soviet Violence Here Upsets Jews in Moscow" The New York Times reported that Soviet Jewish refuseniks had publicly criticized the JDL's actions: "A number of Jewish activists refused permission to emigrate... feel that harassment in New York hurts their cause and may give Soviet authorities an excuse to become even more intransigent." The article also quoted several Jews awaiting exit visas in Moscow as expressing opposition to violent attacks upon Soviet personnel in New York, and concluded: "Another Jewish activist feared that such actions could make authorities more unwilling to relax emigration policies for fear of losing face." Read More:http://www.adl.org/extremism/jdl_chron.asp image:http://www.violinonline.com/unit6_2.html

Kahane is also credited with with launching the “Let My People Go” campaign to liberate Soviet Jews through the means of exit visas to Israel. Smarter, less media hungry minds knew this route of mass demonstrations, mobilizations in front of consulates and a general frenzied whipping up of less complex minds, would only reinforce the Soviet mentality of digging in the heels, and a firm NYET involving upping the ante of the price of Jewish flesh and blood as export commodity.

---Cleverly, Beckerman counterpoints Kahane’s self-aggrandizing and reckless violence with the deeply disciplined resistance of the Soviet Jews themselves. To become a refusenik, Beckerman shows, was to make a frightening leap outside the boundaries of Soviet society. The process of emigrating was turned into a diabolical ordeal, built around a set of catch-22s. To get a visa to go to Israel, you needed a character reference from your employer; but when you told your employer why you needed the reference, you were certain to be fired; and once you were fired, you could be sent to jail for the crime of “parasitism.”---Read More:http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-arts-and-culture/books/49210/last-exit

In the memoirs of Natan Sharansky, who was the symbol of the Russian Jewish refusenik movement, he recounted his transfer in prison to solitary confinement whenever there were large demonstrations in the West or terrorist activities. He said that without any information, his isolation was a response to outside activities that backed the Russians into a corner and did not allow them to save face and play their diplomatic cards…


( see link at end) …Wolpe’s style and his path are not exactly the official Chabad movement’s cup of tea, and in the past Chabad spokesmen have come out against him and have expressed reservations about his way and his style. But Wolpe, together with his colleague in the United States, Rabbi Yekutiel Rapp, is gaining more and more popularity, especially among the public that has decided to divorce itself from the state of Israel….

Wolpe himself talks about this openly in his book “Between Light and Darkness.” In it, he calls upon the religious Zionists to disengage themselves from the state, because there is no proof that it is 

the start of the Redemption,” and proposes relating to the state as though it were British rule, as something technical. “Do not recite the prayer for the welfare of the state or the Hallel [prayer of thanksgiving] on Independence Day,” he wrote. “We are in the diaspora, and we are anticipating the kingdom of the House of David.”

Wolpe believes that the power to carry out the disengagement was given to Sharon by the same public that decided that the state of Israel is its state and that the government of Israel headed by Sharon was its government, the same public that blessed him from the depths of its heart every Sabbath before an open Torah scroll as a part of the prayer for the welfare of the state.

“All the limits have been reached,” wrote Wolpe. “Therefore the holy one, blessed be he, has set over us a king as harsh as Haman. The holy one, blessed be he, is expecting us to internalize the truth that the establishment of the democratic state has nothing to do with the redemption, and in fact it is entirely a rebellion against the God of Israel, the Torah of Israel, the people of Israel and the land of Israel. Only when we stop believing in the sanctity of the state and its institutions will we be able to plead from the depths of our hearts: Speedily cause the offspring of David, thy servant, to flourish, and let his radiance be exalted by thy salvation.”

In contrast to the prevailing perception in religious Zionism, Wolpe believes that Zionism and the state have in fact distanced “the beginning of the Redemption” and it appears that this was manifested most clearly at one of the SOS Israel assemblies, when a large audience sang the Neturei Karta anthem with Ariel Zilber: “We do not recognize the heretic Zionist regime and its laws do not apply to us.”

Wolpe and his organization are the ones behind the giving of cash to soldiers and their families who refuse to take part in uprooting outposts in the West Bank and Jewish areas in Hebron. Wolpe is also the one who is behind the continuing campaign Yesh din veyesh dayan – “There is a law and there is a judge,” the SOS Israel version of “Crime and Punishment.” The crime is “the crime of the disengagement” and the “expulsion,” and the punishment takes different forms: ousting, resignation, illness, a commission of inquiry, conviction of a crime or just plain political failure.

The list of the victims of the “disengagement curse” has been composed by Wolpe and his colleagues and more than a million copies have been distributed in synagogues around the country. Read More:http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/features/renegade-chabad-rabbi-right-of-kahane-plans-run-for-knesset-1.258666

And during the unpredictable periods when the USSR decided to let out thousands of Jews, it became clear that many of them did not actually want to go to Israel at all. Once they got to Vienna, where Soviet refugees were processed, increasing numbers renounced their Israeli visas and chose to go to America, instead—to the consternation of the Israelis, who looked at Russian Jewry as an essential demographic resource. But when the Israeli government tried to force the so-called “dropouts” to go to Israel, the reaction from American Jewry was indignant. Wasn’t the whole campaign for Soviet Jewry based on the idea that freedom of emigration was a human right? And if the Israelis really thought that a Jew was obligated to live in Israel, what did that imply about American Jews themselves? Read More:http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-arts-and-culture/books/49210/last-exit

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