Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Parashat Eikev – Fear and Love of G-d – Rav Meir Kahane

Now, O Israel, what does Hashem your G-d, ask of you? Only to fear Hashem, your G-d, to go in all His ways and to love Him, and to serve Hashem, your G-d with all your heart and with all your soul... (Deut. 10:12)

The fear of G-d! The thoughtful, contemplative person who sees G-d's wonders is astonished by the greatness of Him Whose word brought the world into being and embarrassed by his own insignificance. Fear takes hold of him – the fear of G-d.
[King] Solomon said, “The fear of the L-rd is the beginning of knowledge”(Prov. 1:7).
The beginning, the first essential element in a person's wisdom and knowledge, if he is to understand what his task is and where he is going, is the fear of G-d, vanquishing his ego and accepting G-d's yoke. If one merits this, the whole world is his. Otherwise, better he was never born. Without fear of G-d, wisdom is nothing but conceit and a tool to self-advancement. Even one's Torah lacks holiness, modesty and purity, and without these it is not Torah. Does G-d desire mere wisdom and brilliance in Torah? Does He need vain argumentation and polished, sophisticated explanations? Is not all wisdom His? Just as He has no need of candle light, so has He no need of the Torah scholar's wisdom. As our sages said (Shemot Rabbah 36:2), “It is not that I need you. Rather, shower light upon Me the way I showered light upon you.” In just the same way, G-d does not need the Torah, yet He gave it to mortal men for their own good so they would subdue their egos and cling to Him. Hence, if there is no fear of G-d, the Torah becomes mere wisdom, and better that man should not study it.
It is impossible to lead a sinless life without the fear of G-d. It therefore says (Lev. 19:14), “Fear your G-d. I am the L-rd.” Fear is the purest element there is and it naturally guarantees the absence of sin. Such is the intent of Psalms 19:10: “The fear of the L-rd is pure; it stands firm forever.” Fear, dread and reverence bind a person so he does not sin.
How difficult it is to acquire the fear of G-d! Man's arrogance and evil impulse incite him to distance himself from that trait. For this reason, before R. Yochanan ben Zackai passed away, he blessed his students as follows (Berachot 28b), “May it be G-d's will that as much fear of Heaven be upon you as fear of mortal man.” His students then asked, “Is that all?” and he responded, “You should be so fortunate as to achieve just this! Consider that when people sin they say, 'I hope no one sees me' [i.e., they do not fear G-d, Who sees all.]”
Our sages had the same intent when they said (Sotah 3a), “No person sins without suffering first a flash of insanity.” After all, any sane person will recoil from committing any sin, for G-d can see him! Would anyone sane steal, smite or murder while a policeman is standing by? Thus, if someone who believes in G-d still sins, it can only be that at that moment his thinking processes were so clouded and his selfishness and lust so overwhelmed him that he dared to sin under G-d's gaze.
It is, thus, quite important that a person always set G-d or one of the commandments before him. This is fundamental to fearing G-d. If someone envisions a commandment before him, it is as though he sees the One Who commanded it. How can he not tremble with fear?
“I set the L-rd ever before me” (Ps. 16:8): This verse [...] Rama saw as appropriate to insert at the very beginning of Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim 1:1):
“Setting G-d ever before you” is an exceedingly important principle of the Torah and of those saintly individuals who walk before G-d. The way a person sits and moves and behaves at home alone is not the way he sits and moves and behaves before a great king... And when he notices that G-d, the Supreme King, Whose glory fills the earth, stands over him and sees his deeds... how much more so will he be filled with reverence and humility out of his fear and constant shame before G-d.

Envisioning G-d constantly in one's presence serves to magnify one's fear of Him. Without such fear, man has no hope, and that is why G-d requires it. (Berachot 33b): “Everything is in G-d's hands but the fear of G-d: 'And now, Israel, what does the L-rd your G-d require of you but to fear Him' (Deut. 10:12).” Whoever examines the entire verse will see that it continues, “To walk in all His ways, to love Him, and to serve the L-rd your G-d with all your heart and all your soul.” In other words, these last achievements are fulfilled through the fear of G-d. Without such fear, one cannot possibly achieve holiness, for one's ego will always take control.
That same faith in G-d which leads us to fear Him, and subsequently to modesty, lowliness and self-effacement, ultimately leads man to recognize G-d's greatness, omnipotence and omniscience. It creates in us the desire and longing to serve G-d wholeheartedly, to emulate Him and to be with Him always. Such longing is called Ahavat Hashem, the love of G-d.
Fearing G-d, without which man cannot merit holiness of purity, is itself a prerequisite to loving Him, the second stage of man's spiritual growth as he proceeds to accept upon himself the yoke of Heaven. Loving G-d is a more exalted stage, as our sages said (Sotah 31a), “One motivated by love for G-d is greater than one motivated by fear.”
Fear ensures man's separating himself from evil, making it infinitely easier for him later on to attain reward. As King David said, “Turn away from evil and do good” (Ps. 34:15). Fear of G-d distances man from evil, whereas love of G-d ensures that he will do good, out of desire and craving for G-d and His commandments. The more a person ponders G-d's wonders and examines the truth of His attributes and moral code, the more he will understand how much wisdom and truth are contained in them and the more there will grow within him a love for the Master, Who is all goodness, kindness and mercy.
This is Israel's task, in love and joy, longing and desire, to bring the world to recognize G-d's majesty and sovereignty, the Divine greatness of His attributes and moral code, His laws and statutes.
Even so, just as the Torah spoke in human terms, so did G-d create human love. While such love cannot be compared to love for G-d, still, as far as man is concerned, such love is so fierce that it contains within it a slight hint of what we are commanded to feel toward G-d.
As the Rambam said (Hilchot Teshuvah 10:3):
What is befitting love for G-d? It must be so enormous and fierce that it bends man's soul to G-d. A man can be so lovesick for a woman that he is never free of his infatuation for her, whether he is at home, going out, getting up in the morning or eating. Our love for G-d must be greater even than that. We must be ravished with this love constantly, as G-d commanded us, with all our heart and soul. As King Solomon said (Song of Songs 2:5), “I am lovesick.” All of Song of Songs was a metaphor for man's love of G-d.

Rabbi Akiva likewise said, “The whole universe never had as much justification to exist as the day Song of Songs was given to Israel. While all the Writings are holy, Song of Songs is holy of holies” (Yadayim 3:5). The reason for this is both profound and clear: The greatest love that man can fathom is that between man and woman, in which the man is ravished and lovesick on her account.
Ultimately, that love will be so fierce and profound that it will capture his spirit and soul. It will be a love of true devotion, as it says, “To love the L-rd your G-d, to hearken to His voice and to cling to Him” (Deut. 30:20).
[As Rav Kahane put it in “Why be Jewish?” p. 179]:
This is how a Jew who knows G-d prays:
“Thou art the Flame and I the straw – and who should have mercy upon the straw if not the Flame?
Thou art Pure, and I am sinful – and who should have mercy upon the sinful if not the Pure?
Thou art the Supporter and I the falling one – and who should have mercy upon the falling one if not the Supporter? Thou art the Shepherd and I the flock...”

The words of the Jew who looks to the real G-d and who daily whispers: I believe, I believe, I believe ... I know!”
We certainly cannot achieve the infiniteness of the love with which we were commanded, over and over, to love G-d: “Love the L-rd your G-d with all your heart, all your soul and all your might” (Deut. 6:5). We must actually love Him “with all our soul.” As our sages said (Sifri, Va'etchanan 32), “Even if He takes your soul.”
[How far this ultimate love goes we can learn from] Berachot 61b: When Rabbi Akiva was taken out to be executed [for teaching Torah in public, against a Roman decree], it was time to recite the Shema, and as they raked his flesh with iron rakes, he recited it. His students asked him, “Master! Does one's duty extend that far?” and he responded, “All my life I agonized over the verse, 'Love the L-rd your G-d... with all your soul' (Deut. 6:5), which means we must love G-d even if He takes our soul. I said, 'When will I have the opportunity to fulfill this?' Now that the opportunity has arisen, shall I not fulfill it?”

To bend the knee and bow the head and accept the Divine yoke, as one does “good” unto humanity in the way that the Almighty commanded – and then appreciate and hold Him in awe and love Him in a totality of body and soul. That is the purpose of man. [Rav Kahane in “Uncomfortable Questions for Comfortable Jews”].

Compiled by Tzipora Liron-Pinner from 'The Jewish Idea' of Rav Meir Kahane, HY"D, with brief excerpts from "Why be Jewish" and "Uncomfortable Questions for Comfortable Jews".

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Parashat Devarim - The Foundation of Torah: Emunah and Bitachon - Rav Meir Kahane

And in the wilderness, as you have seen, Hashem bore you , as a man carries his son, on the entire way that you traveled, until you arrived at this place. Yet in this matter you do not have faith in Hashem, your G-d, Who goes before you on the way to seek out for you a place for you to encamp... (Deut. 1: 29-33)

Faith and trust (emunah ve'bitachon) in G-d are the foundation of the Torah.
Our sages said (Makot 23b-24a): Six hundred thirteen mitzvot were given to Moses... David emphasized eleven of them... Isaiah emphasized six... Micah emphasized three... Isaiah returned and emphasized two... Habakuk emphasized one, as it says (Habakuk 2:4), “The righteous man shall live by his faith.”
Emunah, faith, means accepting and knowing clearly that G-d truly exists, that He created everything, and that He performed great miracles for Israel's sake. In other words, it is decisive knowledge regarding something in the past, i.e., that G-d indeed created the world and performed miracles for our ancestors in Egypt and at the Sea of Reeds, and everywhere else described in Scripture.
Bitachon, on the other hand, is the direct result of emunah, and points to the future. It is the conviction that just as in the past G-d performed miracles and wonders, He will do so for us in the future, as well, as shall be discussed below.
[...] Faith, emunah, relates to the creation of the world and everything in it ; the other aspect of faith is the belief that G-d performed great signs and wonders for our ancestors. Neither aspect is based on blind or theoretical faith, but on seeing, on real testimony. In Egypt and the desert, the Jewish People were direct witnesses, because G-d's miracles were performed before the eyes of all Israel. The Torah instructs us that throughout the Exodus, the plagues that broke Egypt were performed openly, so that Israel would see the reality of G-d, would believe in Him, revere Him and cling to His attributes and commandments.
The connection between the signs Israel saw and faith in G-d as Creator of the universe is alluded to in the Torah's starting out with Creation - “In the beginning G-d created the heaven and the earth” - and ending with the phrase, “all the mighty acts and great signs that Moses displayed before the eyes of all Israel” (Deut. 34:12). The mighty acts and the miracles and wonders performed before the eyes of Israel imbued them with the belief that G-d created heaven and earth, and that He is the One Supreme Power. The Torah's conclusion attests to its beginning. Such is faith.
Bitachon, trust, on the other hand, is the result of emunah. Since we believe that in the past G-d performed the things I have enumerated, we are certain that He is capable of doing so in the future as well, and that He will fulfill what He promised us. Whoever does not trust in G-d shows that he does not believe in G-d's power and ability, a sign that he does not really believe in G-d's existence. Bitachon, trust, includes also the idea that G-d is all-powerful and in charge of everything, as well as the central idea that we, lowly, weak and finite, are incapable of dealing alone with our adversaries and our troubles. Trusting in G-d means admitting that we are few and weak, that we need to raise our eyes to G-d for help. “Keep my soul and deliver me. Let me not be ashamed, for I have taken refuge in You” (Ps. 25:20); “Place your hope in the L-rd. Be strong and let your heart take courage. Yeah, place your hope in the L-rd” (27:14); and, “Be strong, and take courage, all ye that place your hope in the L-rd” (31:25). From the last two verses, we learn the secret of true bitachon: it is exceedingly hard to withstand crushing misfortune, to stand on the brink of despair, and to trust in G-d all the same. This requires enormous strengthening, and it was for this reason that King David said “Place your hope in the L-rd.” Beset by misfortune, place your hope in the L-rd and trust in Him. If you try and it is hard, then “Be strong and take courage.” Fortify yourself and you will find the strength to trust in Him, and then your trust will strengthen you on its own.
The rule is this: Bitachon means a Jew's recognizing and acknowledging that he is a worm and not a man, dirt and dust, like a broken potsherd, weak and finite, and that only G-d can help him in times of trouble, because G-d is omnipotent and infinite, and none can stand against Him. The worse the situation looks, the greater the despair, the more one must strengthen himself with bitachon: “Many are the ills of the righteous man, but the L-rd delivers him from them all” (Ps. 34:20).
Rabbenu Bechaye says (Kad haKemach, entry: Bitachon), “Bitachon must not be tinged with doubt. Even if many evils befall a righteous man, he should serve G-d valiantly and truly trust in Him.”
Rabbenu Bechaye adds (Ibid.):
If someone has bitachon, then we know that he has emunah as well. Bitachon is like the fruit of a tree, and emunah is like the tree. Just as the fruit's existence signifies the existence of a tree or plant on which it grew, but a tree' s existence does not signify the existence of fruit, as some trees, such as shade trees, produce no fruit, so too does the presence of bitachon guarantee the presence of emunah, but not vice versa.
We should reflect well on this holy man's ostensibly puzzling comment that “emunah is no guarantee of bitachon.” Surely, someone who believes that G-d performed miracles for our ancestors, created the world and everything in it, and controls, manages and directs everything, will be certain that G-d will fulfill what He promised us if we follow His path and keep His mitzvot. Surely such a person will act accordingly, despite all the difficulties.
What then is the meaning of Rabbenu Bechaye's comment that emunah is no guarantee of bitachon? Is not bitachon a logical, necessary result of emunah? To our chagrin, it is not. Many fine Jews cry out heartfelt declarations of faith in G-d and in His omnipotence, yet few trust in Him and endanger themselves for the sake of His commandments and for the sake of sanctifying His name.
How easy and pleasant is it to declare one's faith, to make loud speeches about G-d's power and might in the days of old! Who among the Torah-observant does not declare his faith that G-d performed miracles and wonders in Egypt, or that He appeared from Mount Paran to give Israel the Torah? Who does not recite in synagogue the psalms in morning prayers, which state (Ps. 146:3,5), “Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, through whom there is no salvation... Happy is he whose help is the G-d of Jacob.” Yet how many of all those who are proud of their daily recitation immediately before the morning Shemoneh Esreh, that “G-d redeemed us from Egypt... delivered us from the house of slavery, slayed all their firstborn... divided the Sea of Reeds, drowned the arrogant but took His beloved ones across,” carry through on their faith in the past with trust in the future?
The prime blight of our day is lack of bitachon, hesitating to trust in G-d, whether due to uncertainty over His true ability to help, fear of mortal man, or fear of “reality” which destroys fear of G-d and our trust in Him. This is so both regarding the individual Jew and the whole Jewish People. It applies both as far as our fears and worries regarding our personal future and private troubles and our fear of enemies threatening the Jewish People.
The same Jew who mumbles in his prayers, “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we call upon the name of the L-rd our G-d” (Ps. 20:8), cannot understand how the Jewish People and their state will be able to hold out without chariots and horses. The banner of emunah, faith, which is so easy to wave and answer Amen to, demands nothing of a person.
Not so, however, bitachon, trust in G-d. Bitachon demands of a person that he act, accomplish, give, sacrifice, risk his life, he, himself, right now, all the while trusting that ultimately things will turn out well. Not every believer has bitachon. A person's lack of trust in G-d ultimately proves the weakness of his faith, or , G-d forbid, its falsehood.
[Tracing this back to our Parasha, we know that] both Joshua and Caleb demonstrated [...] trust in G-d. Even so, when G-d swore that Israel would not enter the Land, it says, “The only exception will be My servant Caleb, since he showed a different spirit and followed Me wholeheartedly. I will bring him to the land that he explored.” Why was Joshua's name not mentioned here, when he, too, stood firm in his bitachon? It also says, “only Caleb son of Yefuneh will see the land... since he followed the L-rd wholeheartedly” (Deut. 1:36). Why, again, was Joshua omitted?
The answer is inherent in G-d's comment, in both Num. 14:24 and Deut. 1:36, that Caleb “followed him wholeheartedly.” Here we learn once more the need to have full bitachon. Our bitachon must express itself in readiness to sacrifice our lives to sanctify G-d's name, and this was evinced by Caleb but not Joshua. After the ten spies issued their bad report about Eretz Yisrael and incited the people, it says, “Caleb quieted the people for Moses and said, 'We shall surely go up and inherit it'” (Num. 13:30). He silenced them and began to express ideas which ultimately opposed those of the majority. He did not hesitate, although he knew the people's mentality and was aware of their stubbornness and what they had done to Chur [who had been killed]. He – not Joshua – was the first to rise up and try to blot out the chilul Hashem, and in doing so, he took a risk and was ready to sacrifice his life. Caleb “followed G-d wholeheartedly", thereby surpassing Joshua and meriting to be mentioned alone by G-d.

Compiled by Tzipora Liron-Pinner from 'The Jewish Idea' of Rav Meir Kahane, HY"D

Monday, July 1, 2013

Parashat Mattot-Masei: G-d's vengeance. We deliver! – Rav Meir Kahane

Hashem spoke to Moses, saying, “Take vengeance for the Children of Israel against the Midianites; afterwards, you will be gathered unto your people." (Num. 31:1)
Moses spoke to the people, saying, “Arm men from among yourselves for the legion that they may be against Midian to inflict Hashem's vengeance against Midian." (Num. 31:3)

Great is revenge for it resurrects G-d, proves His existence, and humbles the arrogant sinner so that the righteous and the world joyfully declares (Ps. 58:12), “Verily there is a reward for the righteous. Verily there is a G-d Who judges on earth.” In this regard our sages said (Tanchuma, Matot 4), “Moses yearned to see G-d's revenge on the Midianites before his death, and he would ask G-d to let him see it with his own eyes. Of Moses it says (Ps. 58:11), 'The righteous man shall rejoice when he sees vengeance.'” It says here, “Moses yearned.” He did not merely wish or hope, but he yearned.
The righteous yearn to see revenge against the evil, for it proves that “there is a G-d Who judges on earth.”
By contrast, whoever relents from revenge against Israel's enemies is actually giving up on avenging G-d, for whoever attacks the people of Israel is actually attacking the G-d of Israel by showing that he does not fear Divine retribution.
Our sages said (Sifri, Matot 157):
“The L-rd spoke to Moses saying, 'Take revenge for the Children of Israel against the Midianites'... Moses spoke to the people saying, 'Detach men for armed service against Midian, so that the L-rd's revenge can be taken against the Midianites'” (Num. 31:1-3): This is in praise of the righteous. They do not depart from the world until they take revenge on behalf of Israel, which is the revenge of Him Who brought the world into being."
G-d told Moses to take revenge “for the Children of Israel", and Moses called it “G-d's revenge,” to inform us that the two are the same. Our sages also said (Sifri, Beha'alot'cha, 84):
“Arise, O L-rd, and scatter Your enemies! Let Your foes flee before You” (Num. 10:35): Can He Who created the world be said to have “enemies”? Rather, the verse informs us that if someone hates the Jewish People, it is as though he hates G-d.
Elsewhere Sifri teaches (Matot 157):
Moses told them, “You are not taking the revenge of flesh and blood, but of Him Who brought the world into being, as it says, 'The L-rd is a zealous and avenging G-d' (Nachum 1:2)”.
To forgo such revenge is wrong, indeed, abominable! The issue here is not personal revenge, which is not only permissible to forgo, but forbidden to carry out (Lev. 19:18): “Do not take revenge nor bear a grudge against the children of your people”. Our sages said (Torat Kohanim, Kedoshim, 4), “You may take revenge and bear a grudge against others [i.e., non-Jews],” and Yalkut Shimoni (Vayikra 19:613) states, “Do not take revenge nor bear a grudge against the children of your people, but you may do so against non-Jews.”
As Rav Binyamin Ze'ev Kahane points out in his commentary on the Parasha:
[...] when Pinchas and the Israeli army return from battling Midian, Moses angrily questions Pinchas: “Have you saved all the women alive?!” Concerning this, the Ramban quotes the “Sifri”: “Pinchas answered Moses: As you commanded us, so we did!”
Pinchas assumed that this war was the same as any other obligatory war (milchemet mitzvah) or permissible war (milchemet reshut), whose laws are outlined in Deuteronomy 20:10. In most of these wars, only males are to be killed (with the exception of obligatory wars against Amalek or against the nations who dwelled in the land previously, where all are to be killed, including women and children). We can now understand what Pinchas meant when he said, “as you commanded, so we did.” He meant, as you commanded us in the Torah.
And so when Moses saw that Israel left the females alive, he explains, “Behold, these (specifically the females) caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Bileam, to revolt against the L-rd in the matter of Pe'or, and there was a plague among the congregation of the L-rd.” Moses is teaching us a vital lesson here: There is another category of war – a war of vengeance. As opposed to the regular wars, where the laws are pre-set regarding who is to be killed or spared (see Rambam, Hilchot Melachim, Ch. 6), the wars of vengeance are a direct response to what was done to Israel. It takes into consideration specific actions of the enemy in the past. Therefore, the way in which the enemy is treated varies from one war to another, depending on the specific circumstances. In the case of the war against Midian, which was fought to avenge what the women of Midian did, it would have been proper for the Jewish army to make the women of Midian the very first victims. And so, we have learned a principle regarding a war of vengeance – that the type of vengeance which is exacted, depends on what or who is being avenged.
[As Rav Meir Kahane continues in The Jewish Idea]: The Torah dons sackcloth over the distortion of the concept of revenge, which has become a a target for the arrows of all Jewish Hellenists and worshippers of the [Western] alien culture, as if revenge were negative and evil by nature.
The very opposite is true! No trait is more justified than revenge in the right time and place.
G-d, Himself, is called “Nokem”, Avenger: “The L-rd is a zealous and avenging G-d. The L-rd avenges and is full of wrath. He takes revenge on His adversaries and reserves wrath for His enemies” (Nachum 1:2). Our sages also said (Berachot 33a), “Shall we say that even revenge is great because it appears between two names of G-d? 'A G-d of vengeance is the L-rd' (Ps. 94:1). R. Elazar responded, 'Indeed. Where revenge is necessary, it is a great thing'” [see Rashi].
“It is a great thing!” It is a great mitzvah to take the revenge of the righteous and humble from the evildoer. Whoever forgoes or rejects such an opportunity is cruel, and he denies belief in G-d.
The evildoers' presence in the world and their taking control of it constitute a challenge and threat to G-d's exclusive sovereignty. It is thus imperative to rid the world of them.
Therefore, regarding Israel's war against its enemies, also enemies of G-d, our sages said (Tanchuma, Shoftim 15):
“When you go forth to battle against your enemies” (Deut. 20:1): What do the words, “against your enemies” add? G-d said, “Go forth against them as enemies. Show them no mercy, just as they show you none.”

Our sages said, “Go forth against them as enemies,” not as friends. These evildoers will never care about your welfare, so you should not care about theirs. This is the ethical, philosophically based law of G-d. Regarding one's enemy, there is no room for love and forgiveness. On the one hand, he will not show loving pity for Israel if he has the opportunity to dominate it. As our sages said (Yalkut Shimoni, Devarim 20:923, quoting Eileh HaDevarim Zuta):
“When you go forth to battle against your enemies”: If you take pity on them, they will go forth to battle against you. It is like the shepherd who used to watch his sheep in the forest. He found a wolf cub and took pity on it, letting it suckle from the goats. His employer saw this and said to him, “Kill it! Take no pity on it or misfortune will strike the flock.” The shepherd did not heed him. When the wolf was grown, it would see a lamb or kid and kill it. His employer then said, “Did I not tell you to show no pity?” Moses said the same to Israel: “If you take pity on them, then 'Those that you let remain shall be as thorns in your eyes' (Num. 33:55).”

A curse upon those who falsify G-d's attributes! Hillel clearly gave us a great principle when he said, “That which is hateful to you do not do to your fellow man – this is the whole Torah.” Yet he concluded, “The rest is commentary. Go learn it!” (Shabbat 31a). The principle has a commentary and only an ignoramus, fool or charlatan would ignore it and intentionally conceal the end of Hillel's utterance. Does this great principle apply to the way we must approach a non-Jew who is an enemy of the Jewish People? Must a Jew put himself on equal terms with a cursed, wicked non-Jew who thirsts for his blood? Anyone with the least bit of Talmud under his belt, anyone who has studied even a small measure of Shas [Mishnah] and Poskim [halachic authorities], will understand how ridiculous this is.
Love thine enemy? Is he our “neighbor”, our “re'a”? Read not “re'a” but “ra”, evil! He is an evildoer, an enemy. There is no obligation to be friendly to him. Quite the contrary, our sages declared (Bamidbar Rabbah 21:4): “'Harass the Midianites' (Num. 25:17): Why? 'For they harass you' (Ibid.). Our sages accordingly accordingly said, 'If someone comes to kill you, kill him first.'” We must kill him, not love him.
At the same time, we must not relate lovingly and forgivingly to those who rise up against G-d, and the law is that any enemy who rises up against Israel is considered to have risen up against G-d.
The rule is this: Whoever conquers his evil impulse and his false thinking, will go on to uproot evil and take revenge on evildoers because of G-d's command, clinging to G-d's traits and without any personal interest. Then he will be called merciful and saintly for having eradicated evil.
To our sorrow, and once more due to the terrible exile in which we were blinded by the alien culture, G-d's attributes have been corrupted and distorted, deliberately so by those who cast off G-d's yoke and with depressing ignorance by a large portion of the holy camp. It has reached the point in which war and revenge against the nations and the sanctification of G-d's name through Jewish victory have entirely disappeared from our agenda. Yet, in the original Jewish idea, precisely as we received from Sinai laws of the Sabbath and of separating meat and milk, so were we given laws of war and revenge, which are practical laws during this pre-Messianic era in which we live.

Compiled by Tzipora Liron-Pinner from 'The Jewish Idea' of Rav Meir Kahane, HY"D, and from 'The writings of Rav Binyamin Ze'ev Kahane, HY"D'.