Six Knocks שש דפיקות
1 א

Eight years ago, in the midst of a night of the terrors of Majdanek, Treblinka, and Buchenwald; in ‎a ‎night of gas chambers and crematoria; in a night of total divine selfconcealment; in a night ruled ‎by ‎the devil of doubt and destruction who sought to sweep the Lover from her own tent into ‎the ‎Catholic Church; in a night of continuous searching for the Beloved — on that very night ‎the ‎Beloved appeared. The Almighty, who was hiding in His splendid sanctum, suddenly appeared ‎and ‎began to beckon at the tent of the Lover, who tossed and turned on her bed beset by ‎convulsions ‎and the agonies of hell. Because of the beating and knocking at the door of the ‎mournful Lover, ‎the State of Israel was born.‎

2 ב

How many times did the Beloved knock on the door of the Lover? It appears to me that we ‎can ‎count at least six knocks.‎

3 ג

First, the knock of the Beloved was heard in the political arena. From the point of view ‎of ‎international relations, no one will deny that the rebirth of the State of Israel, in a political ‎sense, ‎was an almost supernatural occurrence. Both Russia and the Western nations supported ‎the ‎establishment of the State of Israel. This was perhaps the one resolution on which East and ‎West ‎concurred [during the Cold War era]. I am inclined to believe that the United Nations was ‎especially ‎created for this end — for the sake of fulfilling the mission that Divine Providence had ‎placed upon ‎it. It appears to me that one cannot point to any other concrete accomplishment on ‎the part of the ‎United Nations. Our Rabbis of blessed memory already expressed this view: At ‎times rain falls on ‎account of one individual and for one blade of grass (Breishit Rabbah 66:2). I do ‎not know who the ‎representatives of the press, with their human eyes, saw to be the chairman in ‎that fateful session ‎of the General Assembly in which the creation of the State of Israel was ‎decided, but he who ‎looked carefully with his spiritual eye saw the true Chairman who conducted ‎the proceedings — ‎the Beloved. He knocked with his gavel on the lectern. Do we not interpret the ‎passage “On that ‎night the king could not sleep” (Esther 6:1) as meaning that the King of ‎the ‎Universe could not sleep? If Ahasuerus alone had been sleepless, the matter would not ‎have ‎been at all important and salvation would not have arisen on that night. If, however, the King, ‎the ‎Master of the Universe, could not sleep, as it were, redemption would be born. If just ‎anyone ‎were to have opened the session of the United Nations, the State of Israel would not have ‎been ‎born. But it was the Beloved who rapped on the Chairman’s lectern, and the miracle ‎materialized. ‎Listen! My Beloved Knocks!‎

4 ד

Second, the knock of the Beloved was heard on the battlefield. The tiny defense forces of ‎‎[the ‎State of] Israel defeated the mighty Arab armies. The miracle of “the many delivered into ‎the ‎hands of the few” materialized before our eyes, and an even greater miracle happened! ‎God ‎hardened the heart of Ishmael and commanded him to go into battle against the State of ‎Israel. ‎Had the Arabs not declared war on Israel and instead supported the Partition Plan, the State ‎of ‎Israel would have remained without Jerusalem, without a major portion of the Galilee, ‎and ‎without some areas of the Negev. If thousands of years ago Pharaoh had allowed the children ‎of ‎Israel to leave immediately, as Moses had originally requested, Moses would have been bound ‎by ‎his word to return in three days. Pharaoh, however, hardened his heart and did not listen ‎to ‎Moses. “The Holy One then took Israel out with a mighty hand and by an outstretched ‎arm” ‎‎(Deuteronomy 4:34). Consequently, the force of the promise [that the children of Israel ‎would ‎return to Egypt] was vitiated. No contract that is based upon mutuality of promise binds one ‎side if ‎the other party refuses to fulfill its obligations. Listen! My Beloved Knocks!‎

5 ה

Third, the Beloved also began to knock on the door of the tent of theology, and possibly this is ‎the ‎strongest beckoning. I have, on several occasions, emphasized in my remarks concerning the ‎Land ‎of Israel that the theological arguments of Christian theologians to the effect that the Holy ‎One has ‎taken away from the Community of Israel its rights to the Land of Israel, and that all of the ‎biblical ‎promises relating to Zion and Jerusalem now refer in an allegorical sense to Christianity and ‎the ‎Christian Church, were all publicly shown to be false, baseless contentions by the ‎establishment of ‎the State of Israel. One must have a broad familiarity with theological literature ‎from the time of ‎Justin Martyr down to the theologians of our own day to comprehend the full ‎extent of this marvel ‎by which the central axiom of Christian theology was shattered. We should ‎pay careful attention to ‎the learned explanation of our Secretary of State, Mr. Dulles (who served ‎as the deacon of an ‎Episcopalian Church), to a Committee of the United States Senate that the ‎Arabs hate the Jews ‎because they killed the founder of their religion. This “explanation” possesses ‎hidden and deep ‎symbolic significance. I am not a psychiatrist and surely not a psychoanalyst, but I ‎know how to ‎study Talmud, and I remember well what our Rabbis of blessed memory said about ‎Balaam: “from ‎his blessings … you may learn what was in his heart” (TB Sanhedrin 105b). ‎Sometimes, when a ‎person speaks too much, something of the truth slips out. When one of the ‎Senators asked the ‎Secretary of State, “Why do the Arabs hate the Jews?” he really wanted to ‎answer, “Personally, I ‎too, as a Christian, have no great love for them, because they killed our ‎messiah and consequently ‎forfeited their portion of Abraham’s heritage.” An angel sat in the ‎throat of the Secretary, or a ‎hook was put into it (as in the exegesis of the Rabbis of blessed ‎memory on the phrase “and God ‎put a word in Balaam’s mouth” [Numbers 23:5, TB Sotah 10a], ‎‎“[i.e.] he put a hook in his mouth”), ‎and instead of saying, “Our Lord” and “for myself,” he let other ‎words slip out, the “Arabs” and ‎‎“Mohammed.” In his subconscious he was terrified of the “awful” ‎fact that the Community of ‎Israel rules over Zion and Jerusalem. I find satisfaction in reading about ‎the State of Israel in the ‎Catholic and Protestant newspapers. Despite themselves they must ‎mention the name of Israel ‎when they report the news of Zion and Jerusalem, which we possess. I ‎always have a special sense ‎of satisfaction when I read in the paper that Israel’s reaction is not as ‎yet known because today is ‎Saturday and government offices are closed or when I read, on the ‎eve of Passover, an item from ‎the United Press that “Jews will sit down tonight to the seder table ‎in the hope that the miracles of ‎Egypt will return and recur today.” Listen! My Beloved Knocks!‎

6 ו

Fourth, the Beloved knocks in the heart of the youth which is assimilated and perplexed. ‎The ‎period of hester panim in the 1940’s brought confusion among the Jewish masses ‎and ‎especially Jewish youth. Assimilation increased, and the urge to flee from Judaism and the ‎Jewish ‎people reached its apex. Fear, despair, and ignorance caused many to forsake the ‎Jewish ‎community and “climb aboard the ship,” to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord ‎‎(Jonah ‎‎1:3), just as Jonah sought to flee God’s presence. A seemingly unstoppable tidal wave ‎stood over ‎us and threatened to destroy us. Suddenly, the Beloved began to beckon to the hearts ‎of the ‎perplexed, and His beckoning, the establishment of the State of Israel, at least slowed the ‎process ‎of flight. Many who were once alienated are now bound to the Jewish State with ties of ‎pride in its ‎mighty accomplishments. Many American Jews who were partially assimilated find ‎themselves ‎beset by hidden fear and concern for any crisis that the State of Israel is at the time ‎passing ‎through, and they pray for its well-being and welfare even though they are far from being ‎totally ‎committed to it. Even Jews who are hostile to the State of Israel must defend themselves ‎from the ‎strange charge of dual-loyalty and proclaim daily and declare that they have no stake in ‎the Holy ‎Land. It is good for a Jew when he cannot ignore his Jewishness and is obliged to ‎perpetually ‎answer the questions “Who are you?” and “What is your occupation?” (Jonah 1:8), ‎even when ‎extraordinary fear grips him and he does not have the strength or fortitude to answer ‎with true ‎pride, “I am a Jew, and I fear the Lord, the God of heaven” (Jonah 1:9). The unrelenting ‎question ‎of, “Who are you?” ties him to the Jewish people.‎

7 ז

The very mention of the name Israel is a reminder to the fleeing Jew that he cannot escape ‎from ‎the community of Israel in whose midst he has been enmeshed from birth. Everywhere we ‎turn ‎we hear the name “Israel.” When we listen to a radio station, when we open a paper, when ‎we ‎participate in a debate on current events, we encounter the question of Israel; it is always a ‎topic ‎of public concern.‎

8 ח

This phenomenon is extremely important for Jews who are afflicted with self-hatred and want ‎to ‎turn away from Judaism and run for their lives. They hide, like Jonah in his day, in the recesses ‎of ‎the ship (Jonah 1:5) and seek to “slumber” (Jonah 1:5). The Captain, however, does not ‎permit ‎them to ignore their fate. The shadow of Israel continuously chases after them. Random ‎thoughts ‎and paradoxical reflections arise from the subconscious of even the most confirmed ‎assimilationist. ‎And when a Jew begins to think, to reflect, when he is unable to sleep, it is ‎impossible to know ‎where his thoughts will take him and how his doubts will be expressed. Listen! ‎My Beloved ‎Knocks!‎

9 ט

The fifth knock of the Beloved is perhaps the most important. For the first time in the annals of ‎our ‎exile, Divine Providence has amazed our enemies with the astounding discovery that Jewish ‎blood ‎is not cheap! If the antisemites describe this phenomenon as being “an eye for an eye,” we ‎will ‎agree with them. If we want to courageously defend our continued national and ‎historical ‎existence, we must, from time to time, interpret the verse of an “eye for an eye” literally. ‎So many ‎‎“eyes” were lost in the course of our bitter exile because we did not repay hurt for ‎hurt. The ‎time has come for us to fulfill the simple meaning of “an eye for an eye.” (Exodus 21:24) ‎Of course, I ‎am sure everyone recognizes that I am an adherent of the Oral Law, and from my ‎perspective ‎there is no doubt that the verse refers to monetary restitution, as defined by ‎halakhah. However, ‎with respect to the Mufti and Nasser I would demand that we interpret the ‎verse in accordance ‎with its literal meaning — the taking of an actual eye! Pay no attention to the ‎saccharine ‎suggestions of known assimilationists and of some Jewish socialists who stand pat in ‎their ‎rebelliousness and think they are still living in Bialystok, Brest-Litovsk, and Minsk of the year ‎‎1905, ‎and openly declare that revenge is forbidden to the Jewish people in any place, at any time, ‎and ‎under all circumstances. “Vanity of vanities!” (Ecclesiastes 1:2) Revenge is forbidden when it ‎is ‎pointless, but if one is aroused thereby to self-defense, it is the most elementary right of man ‎to ‎take his revenge.‎

10 י

The Torah has always taught that a man is permitted, indeed, has a sacred obligation, to ‎defend ‎himself. With the verse, “If a burglar is caught in the act of breaking in” (Exodus 22:1), the ‎Torah ‎establishes the halakhah that one may defend not only one’s life but his property as well.7 If ‎the ‎thief who comes to take the property of the householder is capable of killing the ‎householder ‎‎(should the householder not comply with his demands), the householder may rise up ‎against the ‎criminal and kill him. For good reason the Torah relates that two of its great heroes, ‎Abraham and ‎Moses, took sword in hand to defend their brethren: “And when Abraham heard ‎that his kinsman ‎was taken captive, he led forth his retainers” (Genesis 14:14). “And when Moses ‎saw the Egyptian ‎smite a Jew … he struck down the Egyptian” (Exodus 2:11–12). This behavior ‎does not contradict ‎the principle of loving-kindness and compassion. On the contrary, a passive ‎position, without self-‎defense, may sometimes lead to the most awesome brutality. “And I will ‎gain honor from Pharaoh, ‎and all his hosts, his chariots, and his horsemen. And the Egyptians will ‎know that I am the Lord” ‎‎(Exodus 14:17–18). God did not seek honor and recognition. He wanted ‎Pharaoh, Moses’ ‎contemporary, to know that he must pay a high price for his edict that “Every ‎male child born shall ‎be cast into the river” (Exodus 1:22). His present desire is that the blood of ‎Jewish children who ‎were slain as they recited the eighteen benedictions of the daily [Amidah] ‎prayer shall also be ‎avenged. When God smote the Egyptians, He sought to demonstrate that ‎there will always be ‎accountability for the spilling of Jewish blood. At present, it is necessary not ‎only to convince the ‎dictator of Egypt [Nasser], but the self-righteous Nehru, the Foreign Office in ‎London, and the ‎sanctimonious members of the United Nations, that Jewish blood is not cheap. ‎Therefore, how ‎laughable it is when they try to persuade us to rely on the declaration of the three ‎Great Powers ‎guaranteeing the status quo. We all know from experience what value can be ‎attached to the ‎pronouncements of the British Foreign Office and the so-called friendship of ‎certain officials in our ‎State Department. In general, how absurd is the request that an entire ‎people be dependent on ‎the kindnesses of others and remain without the ability to defend itself. ‎Public and private honor is ‎dependent upon the possibility of defending one’s life and one’s honor. ‎A people that cannot ‎defend its freedom and tranquillity is neither free nor independent. The third ‎of the phrases of ‎Divine redemption is “And I shall redeem you with an outstretched hand and ‎with great ‎judgments” (Exodus 6:6).Thank God we have lived to see the day when, with the help ‎of God, ‎Jews have it within their power to defend themselves.‎

11 יא

Let us not forget that the poison of Hitlerite anti-Semitism (which made Jews fair game to all) ‎still ‎permeates this generation, which looked with equanimity upon the horrible scene of ‎the ‎suffocation of millions in gas chambers as a normal event that need not be challenged. ‎The ‎antidote for this venom that poisoned minds and dulled hearts is the readiness of the State ‎of ‎Israel to defend the lives of its citizens. Listen! My Beloved Knocks!‎

12 יב

The sixth beckoning, of which we should also not lose sight, was heard at the time of the ‎opening ‎of the gates of the Land of Israel. A Jew escaping from an enemy’s land now knows that ‎he can ‎find refuge in the land of his forefathers. This is a new phenomenon in the annals of our ‎history. ‎Up to now, when a Jewish population was uprooted, it wandered in the wilderness of the ‎nations ‎without finding shelter and habitation. The shutting of the gates in the face of the exiled ‎caused ‎total destruction for much of the Jewish people. Now the situation has changed. When any ‎nation ‎expels its Jewish minority, the exiled now direct their steps to Zion, and she, as a ‎compassionate ‎mother, absorbs them. We are all witnesses to the settlement of Oriental Jewry in ‎Israel over the ‎last several years. Who knows what would have been in store for these brothers of ‎ours in the ‎lands of their origin if not for the State of Israel, which brought them to her in planes ‎and ships? ‎Had Israel been born before the Hitlerian Holocaust, hundreds of thousands of Jews ‎could have ‎been saved from the gas chambers and the crematoria. The miracle of the State tarried ‎somewhat, ‎and in the wake of its delay, thousands and tens of thousands of Jews were taken to ‎the slaughter. ‎Now that the hour of hester panim has passed, however, the possibility ‎exists for Jews who ‎are pried from their homes to take root in the Holy Land. This should not be ‎taken lightly. Listen! ‎My Beloved Knocks!‎