The Lemming

The lemming is a small animal, about the size of a rat. The lemming is a strange animal with a very strange custom. The lemming, every few years, gathers together with a great many other lemmings, and they all march together - to the sea. The lemming and all the other lemmings march shoulder to shoulder and when they reach the sea they do a very strange thing: They jump in and drown. The lemming is a very strange animal and no one can understand it.

There are various categories of lemmings and last Saturday night, the Hebrew lemmings gathered in Jerusalem. There were several thousand of them, small creatures, the stature of rodents. And they marched. Shoulder to shoulder down the road of madness, inexorably moving to the sea of destruction. The march of the lemmings, "Suicide Now." The Hebrew lemming is a strange animal, undoubtedly the most irrational of all. Psychologists and sociologists and anthropologists and biologists and students of irrational behavior from far and wide gathered to study the march of the Hebrew lemmings. "Peace Now" was what they carried as their slogan as they marched to the Sea of Suicide to partake of the most permanent of peace. "Leave Lebanon" was etched on their banners as they marched in preparation of leaving the world. "Stop Jewish settlements in the Occupied Territories", they proclaimed as they began their uprooting of their settlement on this earth.

The Hebrew lemming is a strange animal and it is said that no one understands it. That is not really true. I understand the small Hebrew lemming, the stature of a rodent, who seeks to leap into the sea to die. And if sociologists and psychologists and anthropologists and biologists and students of irrational behavior will gather together, I will describe for you what makes the Hebrew lemmings run - to commit suicide. The issue is not and never was "Lebanon." The issue was never "Occupied territories of 1967." What strikes terror into the hearts of the Hebrew lemmings of the stature of the rodent, is an immense cancer called guilt, that grows inside of them until it gives them no rest.

The lemming of guilt is the Hebrew-speaking rodent who is haunted by the thought that he is not only an oppressor and aggressor in the "occupied lands of 1967" but he is also a thief and a robber of people he calls "Palestinians," and really has no right to come from Russia or Poland or Galicia or England or Canada or Argentina or the United States to create a "Jewish state" on lands that were owned by others. But since the lemming is the size of a rat, who lacks the courage to honestly follow up his convictions and stand up before the "Palestinian" and say: "I am a thief and hereby return my Kibbutz to you" - he must, instead, fight all the harder for the poor "Palestinian" in Judea, Samaria, Gaza, Lebanon. His weakness and inability to give up his houses in Kibbutz Mishmar Ha'Emek or the artist's colony of Ein Hod or the tennis courts of Ramat Hasharon or villa in Savyon, drives the Hebrew lemming into even greater depression of guilt and self-hate.

His need to prostate himself before the poor Arab of any other area except his own house, becomes an all-consuming, obsessive one. And, of course, the guilt goes much further. The Hebrew lemming, who is a small animal about the size of a rat, deeply despises with a psychopathic passion everything that smacks of Judaism and the curse of fate that made him Jewish. In his little heart the Jewish lemming knows that Judaism's values are at odds with everything that he wishes his life to consist of. The separateness and exclusivity of Judaism vis-�-vis other peoples is anathema to his universalistic desire to intermarry, assimilate, amalgamate with all the goyim and thus find love and escape in their midst. The concept of Chosenness repels him, for he seeks anything that will enable him to eliminate the barriers between Jews and others. The holiness that decrees discipline and sanctity and abstinence and personal limitations are all diametrically opposed to his materialistic need for total freedom, anarchy, limitless right to license. He sees in Judaism racism, primitiveness, parochialism, concepts that he abhors because he seeks to be a universal rodent.

And faced with his Judaism, he is faced, too, with the fact that he is a Jew. This is the horror that he cannot abide. From guilt emerges self hate, black and ugly self hate. The lemming cannot exist with self-hate. No one can survive with terrible malignancy growing within him. The Hebrew lemming must escape. His escape is through the sea. The Sea of Suicide. Suicide Now.

Let the state that he feels to be a robber state, go under. Let the people and faith that he feels to be reactionary and fascist and abominable, cease to exist.
"Let my soul perish with the Philistines!" The cry of the Hebrew lemmings of Suicide Now. The tragic story of the Hebrew lemmings. But, if it must be, it would be sufficient if they leaped into the sea themselves. The real tragedy is that while ordinary lemmings take the plunge themselves, the Hebrew ones seek to take all of us with them. And that cannot be.

That is why the lemmings of Israel must be fought. Because they have become more than an interesting zoological phenomenon. They threaten the existence of normal, healthy, true Jews who are not small animals the size of a rodent.

By Rabbi Meir Kahane
Spring, 1984
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