Thursday, October 06, 2011

The five principles of Jabotinsky

Gennadiy Baruch Faybyshenko

The original five principles of Ahavat, Hadar, Barzel, Mishmaat and Bitachon Yisrael were theorized by one of the greatest 20th century Zionist Revisionists, Zev Jabotinsky, laying the foundation for one of the greatest, most prophetic Jewish leaders, Rabbi Meir Kahane, zt"l, hy"d, to implement them. The principles were the cornerstone of the Jewish Defense League and later adopted by the present day B'nai Elim. Because Jabotinsky's principles are more relevant now than ever before, they bear thorough explication.

First and foremost is the principle of Ahavat Yisrael--love of Jewry. This is taken from the third book of Torah, Leviticus 19:16: "You shall not stand idly by thy brother's blood." This means that whenever and wherever a Jew is hurt you should do everything in your power to help him or her. While it is noble to help other peoples, Jewish interest should come first. A Jewish leader should not march with his feet, but with his head. Yet there are so many Jews who need our help. The freeing of Soviet Jews by no means marked the end of Jewish persecution. Jews are stuck in Iran and Syria with no means of getting out. And unfortunately, there are Jews who are persecuted in Israel for being observant. The Israeli government confiscates self-defense weapons from Jews while providing weapons to Arab terrorists; Jews are arrested for defending themselves from Arab trespassers; the Israeli government tolerates Arabs shooting rockets at developing towns in the western Negev where kids are forced to live and study in bomb shelters, while Arab terrorists are pardoned from prison, and Jews whose only "crimes" were self-defense and public protests have no rights for parole. These miscarriages of justice should disturb every Jew. When similar events happen to other people in other countries, all Jews stand up and scream. When there were massacres in Darfur, Jews rose up quickly and marched by the thousands. Jews were again at the forefront of the movement against South Africa's apartheid, as well as the U.S. civil rights movement. How is it that I have never seen a rally for Ethiopian Jewry and Jews stuck in Arab countries? A truly good-hearted Jew should be disturbed and do something about it, even on a small scale. That is Ahavat Yisrael, the love for every Jew, no matter his background, religious affiliation, color of the skin or what language he speaks. A Jew is a Jew, and with few exceptions, in the moment of trouble, a Jew has no one to turn to, except for another Jew.

The second principle is Hadar, translated as dignity and pride, lacking in the majority of Jews. Throughout the ages, Jews were a minority fearful of what the majority would say, and tending to agree with the negative assessments-Jewish self-hatred. When Israel was at its peak in the late sixties and early seventies, the anti-Semites were quiet. But with the weakening of the Jewish State, all the anti-Semites, like rats and cockroaches, came out from their cracks to attack the Jew, preying on his weakness. We are living in the Messianic Era, where the ruling generation is similar to dogs as described in the book of prophets where the rulers care more for the wealth of their enemies than their own people. The Israeli government constantly embarrasses itself by negotiating with terrorists and hurting its own population. Many nations are shocked what is going on. Some even compare the Israeli government to the Bolshevik regime, but that is not quit true because the Bolshevik regime was trying to benefit its country while in Israel it's the other way around. Those actions produce anti-Semitism worldwide and embarrassment on the part of many Jews, breeding either indifference to what is going on, or even outright hostility toward Israel and Judaism in general.

A proud Jew should be ethical and respectful and show the anti-Semites that they cannot mess with a Jew without getting hurt. Pride fosters self-esteem and respect. Zev Jabotinsky tried to instill pride into Eastern European Jews but they laughed at him. And when the Nazis came to deport them to concentration camps, Jews suddenly became depressed and went like sheep to the slaughter house. Today the story repeats itself because there is a lack of pride in today's Jewish community. The public schools do not mention Jewish heroes except the Holocaust. Because the Holocaust is not a source of Jewish pride, Jews turn to revering gentile heroes. Jewish kids are jealous of gentiles because they have heroes. Yeshivas teach their students about Biblical heroes to some extent and mention that their situations cannot be repeated today. But in reality there is so much to be proud of. Jews are the only nation that did not become extinct throughout generations without having a land of its own and scattered among the nations. Hebrew is the only language in the world that was risen from the ashes and reborn. The world has witnessed the miracles of Israel being resurrected after 2000 years and the liberation of biblical Israel with Jerusalem as its capital in only six days. The Pentagon refuses to study Israeli wars because they defy reality. Imagine when five large mobilized Arab armies attacked the newly born state that just came into existence and lost embarrassingly to amateurs and people who survived the Holocaust. Behold the freedom fighters for Israel like Avraham Stern who fought zealously the British colonists, Joseph Trumpeldor who until the last moment of his life defended the Hill called Tel Chai with 100 Jews against 5000 Arabs, and said that it is so good to die for your country. The Irgun retaliated when Arabs attacked new Jewish settlements by destroying theirs. The brave Haganah, despite all odds and numbers, fought valiantly against the Arab armies that outnumbered them by a 100 to 1 ratio, and defeated them victoriously, driving the Arab armies to beg the United Nations for help. Consider also the martyrs from the freedom fighters for Israel who sacrificed themselves by destroying British posts, the brave warriors of the Jewish Defense League who sacrificed their freedom to free Jews from the former Soviet Union and many more. Yet another source of pride in our culture and religion is that the Jews were the first to recognize that there is only One Omnipotent in the universe, and all other religions, as much as they hate to admit, followed this Jewish concept, including Christians and Muslims. There are so many stories that during the Inquisitions Jews chose self-sacrifice rather than convert, where they jumped into fire with their children and burned alive. The biblical stories of the Great Revolt where Simon Bar Kochba lead his warriors against the Romans and pushed them out for some time by losing hundreds of thousands of their own. There is so much Jewish dignity to learn about and be proud of because to survive and indeed flourish after everything our people has been through, and to be at the center of world attention, takes a miracle.

The third principle is known as Barzel or Iron. The image of a Jew should be changed because a Jew is known as someone who walks away from trouble and pretends to be peaceful while he is being attacked. Some people say that a Jew should not stoop to their level, but in practice if he will not stoop to their level, he will fall six feet below. A Jew should train and know how to fight either in self-defense or defending his fellow Jews. It is much better to know how to fight and not have to, than have to and not know how to. African Americans have a good understanding of self-defense and they are proud of their heritage and will not allow others to desecrate.

When a Jew retreats from persecutions and fights, he sets a bad example for his fellow Jews. Obviously, if one's life is in danger, it is better to run-not walk-- away from a bully. Ends justify the means. A Jew should use any means necessary to survive, including using strength, force and violence. Violence is a terrible thing, but sometimes it is terribly necessary. The Torah commands Jews to slay your enemy first before they slay you. That makes perfect sense because staying idle, waiting for your enemy to slay you, will end you up in a grave and enable him to continue the massacre. Having liquidating your enemy, you are first and foremost alive and there is that much less evil in the world. We do not want the world's love, we want its respect. And the only way to gain respect is to earn it.

The fourth principle is Mishmaat Yisroel which stands for discipline and unity. A Jew should be disciplined and be the light unto all nations as G-d chose us to be. The Torah recognizes that there is a time for peace and a time for war. In peaceful times Jews should go about educating people to be decent and ethical, teaching them the concepts of Godliness. And in war time, Jews should set an example of not pitying one's enemies because unless you destroy them, your enemies will destroy you.

Unity is one of the biggest problem Jews have faced throughout history. Jews always separated themselves into different categories even while observing the same traditions. The modern State of Israel, one of the smallest countries in the world, has 31 political parties which simply divide the nation. So what does unite Jews? It's not the language and culture because Jews come from the East and the West, North and South. It's not the songs or clothing. It's the Torah with its commandments. It is a known fact that the Jews who strayed from the Torah are the Jews who assimilated throughout the ages. Only those that observed faithfully, have their descendants alive today. The Torah and Talmud teach a Jew how to survive and the scriptures are valid at any given time. Jews are by no means monolithic in their political opinions, but the interesting thing is that when an Arab Muslim terrorist wants to blow himself up in a Jewish neighborhood, he will not care whether those Jews love him or hate him because, to him, a Jew is just a Jew. Last century there were Jews who did not want to leave the Galut and settle in the Land of Israel as G-d commanded. Those Jews even condemned Jabotinsky and banned him from coming. The gentiles exterminated those and almost no Jew is found in those places. The Jews may argue with each other, but in the end, they have to unite in order to survive.

The fifth principle is Bitachon, faith in the indestructibility of the Jewish people. This principle if very powerful and others cannot exist without it. We have to admit that only miracles saved the Jewish people from total annihilation. This is a strong faith in G-d of Israel, the One who created the heavens and the Earth. G-d showers us with love and tries to get us back on track when we lose our way. Jews were chosen for the mission of spreading the message of G-d until the final redemption. Without G-d, Jews would not survive the turmoil that has befallen them from biblical times, with the destruction of both temples and exile, crusades and inquisitions, persecution and harassment all over the world, pogroms and massive slaughtering of Jews, and the horrible plague of the 20th century that took away six million innocent Jewish lives. No other nation that ever existed on this planet has had to endure so much suffering, falling deep down and yet rising above all. Despite being such a small country, Israel tends to lead in many technological, medical, scientific, agricultural and other researches. Israel is mentioned almost daily on the news in every country in this world from the most civilized to the most barbaric ones. G-d gave the Jews His writings that we would closely follow them and understand His message. Without faith in G-d, there is no future, not for the Jews, not for Israel, not for the world. All natural odds are working against Jews. During the Holocaust the world thought that Jews would be history, yet they survived and prospered in Israel and America. Before 1967 the world thought that Arab countries would push the Jews into the Sea. Instead, Israel liberated more of its cities. As of now, it seems that there is no hope where Arabs inside Israel are becoming a majority, the politicians from all over the world (including Israel) are searching for ways to destroy the tiny Jewish State, and the surrounding countries are vigorously renewing their efforts to achieve Israel's annihilation. However, thank to G-d, the only G-d, not only will He keep Israel alive, but will make it greater and more powerful and will cast all of Israel 's enemies into oblivion and straight to hell. Jews should not be afraid to pursue any course of action that would sanctify the Name of the L-rd because no matter how difficult or impossible the task may seem, if it is a good task, if it is a holy task, it will succeed, because it must.

A Jew is sent into this world to be an example to the nations, and by walking away from his mission he is desecrating the Name of the L-rd and his fellow Jews. A Jew is sent to make the world better and influence the gentiles to follow a true path. King David was a fine Jew who studied during night and fought during the day. His heart and his mind were governed by the five principles outlined above. This is the kind of Jew we need to be today-- with a Sefer Torah in one hand and a sword in the eved Hashem. That is the sanctification of G-d's Name; that is Kiddush HaShem.

No comments: