A Jewish State Pt. 3: Freedom

"Judges and officers shalt thou make thee in all thy gates which the L-rd, your G-d, giveth thee throughout thy tribes, and they shall judge the people with just judgment" (Deuteronomy 16). And the commentary "the Chinuch" explains: "We are commanded to appoint judges and officers to compel the people to observe the laws of the Torah and to return those who stray from the path of truth unto it by force, and they shall command what is proper to do and prevent that which is abominable."

The Jewish concept of government differs totally from that of the liberal West. The liberal, gentilized society, lacking any concept of objective truth and, indeed, not wishing to have any such concept, desiring the anarchy and totality of freedom to sink to the depths in the mire as they please, is institutionally and ideologically opposed to government coercion in the area of personal life. But Judaism knows that it is
precisely the area of personal life of the individual that shapes his character and soul and that will lead to good or evil. And G-d sees in immorality and self-indulgence and materialism, in anarchy, all the things that are evil and obscene and destructive to man and the world. That is why there is Jewish government: To teach man the path of "good," and to ensure that the individual and society follow that path of "good."

Of course we want "freedom." What child does not want the totality of freedom to do exactly as he wishes, when he wishes, regardless of responsibility or lack thereof? And when in human history was there any wider era and area of adult children indulging themselves in their pleasures and freedoms under a society that they have created to justify and legitimize that "freedom?" But the freedom of the west runs counter to the basic Jewish concept of freedom as enunciated by the rabbis:
"And the tablets were the work of G-d... engraved on the tablets" (Exodus 32); the rabbis take the word "engraved" (in Hebrew "charut") and the word "freedom" (in Hebrew "cherut") and declare the sublime and magnificent basic law of society, the law that divides man from the animal and, eventually, Israel from the nations and material philosophy: "Read not 'charut' (engraved) but rather 'cherut' (freedom). For no man can be free except one occupied by the study of The Law" (Avot 6).

Of course, and what
lack of freedom is there in an individual and state addicted to materialism which have long since lost any ability to escape the narcotics of pleasure and hedonism!

Both the individual and state in the material west have long since lost the power and freedom to break the shackles of the need, the yearning, the bondage of pleasure, drugs, sex, "I"! Western man and western state are prisoners of their own egos and material selves. The great "I," the utter concentration on self, turns them into captives of the animal lust and power within themselves. They are prisoners of what they call "freedom," sentenced to life imprisonment in the camps of license and anarchy. For Judaism, true freedom, authentic freedom, can only be when man is free to break the power of his "I," of his material ego over his free will. Only within the obedience to laws that place the soul over the flesh, the commitment of the will to be holy and sanctified over the lust to be an animal, can man truly be free.

Judaism and the Jewish State create the true freedom of that unique creation called Man, through a society of Divine laws of sanctity that raise the Jew to the Heavens of holiness and that grant him freedom from animalism. The state that the west has created under its perverted "freedom" is a state and society that have institutionalized slavery of the soul within their citizens. The western state has legalized imprisonment of the soul and murder of sanctity.

Do you think that this kind of state is what G-d wanted and desired for the Jew? A state in which all the ugliness and obscenity of animal hedonism and bestial selfishness can be given free reign in order to enslave and then destroy the special Divine image that was given to man? A state in which drugs and pornography and abortion and perverted sex and immorality are licensed and enthroned as kings and queens on the two-legged stool-throne called "democracy?" A state in which our children are exposed to the worst and the most ugly and dangerous, all in the name of a perverted and twisted "freedom" that is in reality the very opposite of the term? A state in which all the nausea and vomit of greed and lust for pleasure are declared legal by a society which is drowning in the great Sea of Boredom and lack of direction?

Do you believe that that is the kind of state the Almighty chose for the Jews? And do you believe that that is the kind of state we could ever offer him or allow to go unchecked, a foreign, imported cancer eating away at the bodies and souls of our children? What conceivable positive or substantive values does such a society-state possess over and above the cool refreshing and life-giving ones of the true freedom of Judaism, to be Man the Unique and Holy, and to climb the spiritual mountains of greatness and sanctity? We will never accept the "right" of man and state to be ugly and selfish and addicted to evil and animalism. We will never accept a state that insanely sanctifies the concept of "freedom" of pornography and unbridled, illicit and perverted sex, and murderous abortions, and artistic national suicide, and drugs that ravage the soul and kill the spirit of Heaven within the unique child called Man. Never. That is not freedom. That is slavery. That is bondage. That is tyranny most foul.

And the Almighty who took the Jew out of the physical bondage of Egypt never meant to then take him up to his own land to build a state of slavery of the soul and spirit. The state that freely allows values that create the Jewish child lying dead of an overdose of "pleasurable" drugs in a urine-ridden doorway near Tel-Aviv's Central Bus Station is not the Jewish state of G-d - or Kahane. The Almighty never meant such a state for His people and never will allow it. He is not some plastic god invented by clever Jewish entrepreneurs to fill a need of people to feel something "spiritual" as long as it does not interfere too much with their material pleasures. He is not an artificial cabbage-patch doll created for our pleasure and desire, a perpetually laughing Santa Claus come down from the Heavenly North Pole to perpetually dispense gifts and the counterfeit "love" that modern theologians, in cowardly prostration before the mob, have created to cover every possible sin and abomination.

The G-d of Israel postulates and decrees truth and greatness and true freedom. He does not ask, He
demands that the Jew choose that truth and greatness and freedom. And He warns and guarantees awesome punishment for the Jew who, given the freedom of choice, rejects Good and chooses Evil. This is the essence. G-d is truth, G-d has given us truth and G-d demands from us that we follow and observe and live by that truth and the perfect goodness within it. There is no "choice." There is no concept of "live and let live." That is the most un-Jewish of all concepts! The Divine reward and punishment that must be, is not one that is granted to the individual Jew, in this world. His personal blessings will be granted in the world to come. Here, all Jews are one. All Jews - as the one, chosen people of G-d - are judged together. They stand together; they fall together. One's sins are visited upon all; we are all brothers and sisters; we are all surety and guarantors for each and every Jew. How did the rabbis put it? "It is similar to a group of people in a boat. One suddenly took a tool and began to knock a hole in the boat. Said the others to him: 'What are you doing?' He answered: 'What concern is it of yours; am I not knocking the hole under MY side?' They replied: 'But the water will rise and sink the entire boat'" (Vayikra Raba 4). There are no individual seats or sides in the Jewish boat. The sinners, the choosers of evil, knock holes in the boat and we all go under. There is no freedom of choice for the Jewish individual. He has no luxury of demanding live and let live! All of us live together, and all of us fall together.

By Rabbi Meir Kahane
1987
Uncomfortable Questions For Comfortable Jews
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