Rabbi Kahana: Parashat Vayigash – Is the Malady Incurable?
Rabbi Nachman Kahana
Is the Malady Incurable?
To my holy brothers and sisters in the Chareidi Chassidic centers of Monsey, Williamsburg, Boro Park and Crown Heights.
The initial steps in solving a problem are to define it, then to measure its intensity and its implications. In your case the problem suffers from an additional complexity, in that you have no one who can help you; because those who should be holding the light at the end of the tunnel are the very ones who cannot discern between light and darkness.
A short story to illustrate the point.
Years ago my holy brother Harav Meir Kahana hy”d returned from the States and related the following incident; believe it or not:
There was one too many attacks on Jewish property in Boro Park, where groups of blacks would cause damage in the wee hours of the night. Meir created a patrol group whose influence was felt almost immediately. However, there were several Chassidic rabbis who, for reasons we can only speculate, called a meeting in a large hall to protest the patrols. Meir was present at the event to hear the intelligent, well-founded demands to stop the patrols. One of the Rebbes stood up before the enlightened audience and said in Yiddish, ”My zaide was beaten up by the goyim, My tatta was beaten up by the goyim, and if it is HaShem’s will that I be beaten up by the goyim – so be it.”
The holy assembly applauded the encouraging erudite message of their great spiritual leader and with this Meir left and disbanded the patrols.
This incident is not a matter for rabbinic review; it is for a psychiatrist’s couch! As the saying goes: “Slap me once, shame on you; slap me twice, shame on me!”
I recall saying to Meir that these people are not only in galut, which is a curable situation; their incurable malady is that the galut is deeply in them!
The new decade beginning with 2020 is now upon us. The term “20/20 vision” is also used to characterize the standard of average, or normal, visual acuity. With this in mind, let’s expand our vision to see that the Jewish problem in the States is actually part of a much wider American calamity, whose roots are racial, historic, religious, social and financial; and will explode when set off by a major decline in the economy.
Prior to a significant volcanic eruption or earthquake, warning signs appear to those who wish to recognize them and then choose to distance themselves as far as possible from the impending disaster.
What is happening now in the United States, with the unprecedented rise in anti-Jewish incidents are warning signs to those Jews who cherish life to pack up and leave. The wise will come to Eretz Yisrael (others claim that the wise will prefer to go to China). HaShem’s message is a call (or a scream) to get out before American society turns into one ghastly free-for-all where it will be every man for himself.
American society, as a whole, is criss-crossed with more fissures and faults than there are under the streets of Los Angeles! But the position of the Jew is the most vulnerable, because regardless of how the goy defines “who is a Jew”, the Jew will be the fulcrum of three active anti-Jewish forces: the Blacks who believe that the Jews were the major slave traders who kidnapped blacks in Africa and sold them in the southern states of America (when in fact the major traders were Arabs); white supremacists who regard Jews as white Afro Americans who stole their native pure white land, and the radical socialists who demand that the hard-earned money of the Jew be shared by all.
Logic does not enter in the discussion when the issue at large is hated, jealousy and age old anti-Semitism.
Why should this be happening to the US when there are far worse people in Europe? But in fact, we now see the beginning of retribution in England, France and indeed in the entire continent.
I was born in the States and remember it as a great fun place; but America has many skeletons in its closet vis a vis the Jewish people.
The mass murder of Jews in the Shoah could have been prevented had the Americans bombed the camps, or even the tracks leading to them.
When we were fighting for our very survival in the War of Independence, the American administration declared an arms embargo on the fledgling Jewish state and left it to die. But the worst is that the American people created a culture and an environment which has been conducive for millions of Jews to assimilate.
No one can know HaShem’s calculations and how He balances – good acts with evils ones; but we can observe what is happening before our eyes, and what we see is more than disturbing.
May HaShem bless our leaders to see 20/20 Torah vision and call for mass aliyah to our holy land.