To Leah Jordan:
First, please note that I did not address you as Rabbi. It is clear from your article that you are not versed in any our Jewish holy books be it the Tanach, Mishne, Gemarah, Rishonim or Achronim. Therefore, I will suffice to call you Leah throughout this article.
The day after you came out with your article, titled I’m proud to have led Kaddish, I wrote that I would respond within 24 hours unless you retracted. Due to a family emergency, this rebuttal was delayed by a week, which meant that you had more than ample time to reconsider. I was disappointed that you failed to do so. I would merely hate for the unlearned Jew to read your dribble and conclude that you speak from the authority of Torah or historical facts.
So, without further ado — here is my refutation quote by quote:
Leah Jordan — Quote 1:
“Gathered in Parliament Square to mourn the deaths of the Palestinians killed by the Israeli army.”
Yosef Rabin — Response:
Did you somehow forget that shortly before your gathering Hamas admitted that 50 of 60 killed were Hamas operatives? Somehow it was lost on you that the goal of these rioters was to infiltrate Jewish communities in southern Israel and slaughter Jews and take others captive.
- Mahmoud al-Zahar, co-founder of Hamas and a senior member, stated on live Al Jazeera TV on Sunday, May 13th: “When we talk about ‘peaceful resistance,’ we are deceiving the public. This is a peaceful resistance bolstered by a military force and by security agencies, and enjoying tremendous popular support.”
- Hamas leader, Yahya Sinwar, during a gathering near the border on May 6th, stated the goal was to “We will take down the border and tear out their hearts from their bodies.”
- The Hamas Charter States in its opening section: “Our struggle against the Jews is very great and very serious. It needs all sincere effort.” This declaration is followed up by a quote from the hadith of Abu Hurayrah in Article 7, stating: “The Day of Judgement will not come about until Muslims fight the Jews. When the Jew hides behind stones and trees, the stones and trees will say, “O Muslims, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.”
So, Leah why should Israel have genuinely believed that these rioters were coming to bring us flowers and best wishes? No, they were coming to slaughter us and thank G-d they learned “Never Again” means just that.
Leah Jordan — Quote 2:
“We came together, united in our grief for the deaths of so many and in our anger at the Jewish establishment’s failure to condemn the occupation and siege of Gaza that caused such violence.”
Yosef Rabin — Response:
Let’s break this down.
- Did you forget that Israel left Gaza in 2005, ripped nearly 10,000 Jews out of their homes, exhumed 48 Jews from their graves, eradicating 17 vibrant communities in the process?
- Did you forget that Israel left Gazans with an intact Jewish built greenhouse industry worth a combined $23 billion and that the Arabs decided to destroy those greenhouse farms? Oh yes, they were converted within days into terror-training camps after the expulsion of their former Jewish owners.
- Did you forget that the Gazan population voted for the murderous Hamas regime in January of 2006, essentially declaring war on Israel? Hamas won a resounding victory capturing 76 of the 132 seats in the Gazan Government.
- Did you forget that Hamas then launched a series of rocket wars against Israel from 2007-2014, which included nearly 5,000 rockets and mortars attacks on Jewish communities throughout southern Israel? And yes, Israel had to create a blockade, but still allowed many truckloads of goods daily into the strip (FYI – all the cement was used to build terror tunnels). Even after the most recent conflict at the border, Israel tried to send in truckloads of medical goods, which Hamas rejected.
So, Leah. Israel expels 10,000 Jews, leaves them a $23 billion industry, they declare war, and we are somehow still at fault for “causing violence”? Also, there is no occupation, learn more by reading my letter to President Trump about the historical, religious and legal facts of the conflict.
Leah Jordan — Quote 3:
“We finished by reciting Kaddish, the beautiful prayer remembering those who have died, which concludes with a plea for universal peace.”
Yosef Rabin — Response:
Okay, so Leah tries to get a little bit Jewish here and ends up failing miserably.
Kaddish is not a prayer for the dead; it is a prayer to affirm our belief in God and the Torah despite our feelings of despair after losing a loved one. In fact, initially Kaddish was only said upon finishing a Torah lesson to essentially praise God for the Torah; “Upon Israel, and upon our sages, and upon their disciples, and upon all the disciples of their disciples, and upon all those who occupy themselves with the Torah, here or in any other place.” It could be that our “rabbi” is not familiar with this Kaddish, I think she should go back to yeshiva or perhaps visit an Orthodox shul where this Kaddish is still recited.
Anyways, back to our prayer for the dead. Let us start with the beginning of the Kaddish: “Exalted and sanctified be His great Name. Throughout the world which He has created according to His Will. May He establish His kingship, bring forth His redemption and hasten the coming of His Moshiach.”
What constitutes the exaltation or desecration of God’s Holy Name?
“Hashem spoke to Moshe saying: Avenge the Children of Israel’s vengeance against the Midianites; afterward you will be gathered unto your people. And Moses spoke to the people, saying, Arm from among you men for the army, that they can go against Midian, and carry out the revenge of the Lord against Midian.” (Numbers 31:1-3). Notice how when Moses relays the command to the Jewish People, he changed the wording from “Children of Israel’s vengeance” to “revenge of the Lord.”
The great rabbinic commentator Rashi (Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki) quotes Midrash Tanchuma that Moses was teaching the Jewish People an important lesson: “Those who stand against Israel is as if they stand against the Holy One, blessed is He.” It was in this vein that the poet and warrior of Israel, King David wrote: “Blessed is the Lord, my Rock, Who trains my hands for battle, my fingers for war…Who flattens nations beneath me… Deliver me and rescue me from the hands of foreigners, whose mouth speaks vanity and whose right hand is a right hand of falsehood.” (Psalm 144:1-11)
It was also in this spirit that did Ezekiel the Prophet prophesy: “And they entered the nations where they came, and they desecrated My Holy Name, when as it was said of them, these are the people of the Lord, and they have come out of His land.” (Ezekiel 36:20)
You see when the Jewish people are scattered in the exile, persecuted and beaten down, and the non-Jews can mock and humiliate us, there is no greater desecration of God’s Holy Name than this. Which is why Ezekiel repeats this refrain “they desecrated My Holy Name” five times in the course of just several verses.
Furthermore, our rabbis teach in Talmud, Tractate Shabbat 114: “Any Torah scholar who has a stain found on his clothing it is like he incurs the penalty of death.” Imagine if our sages stress the importance about the outward presentation of a single Torah scholar, imagine the significance of the physical appearance of the entire Jewish nation. Were we not commanded to be “A kingdom of priests and a holy nation” (Exodus 19:6)? If we are successfully attacked by the likes of Hamas, killed and maimed, (God Forbid) and do not respond with the utmost strength, then it is we who are causing the greatest desecration of God’s Holy Name.
Leah Jordan — Quote 4:
“Our tradition teaches that justice must underlie true peace.”
Yosef Rabin — Response:
You are going to have to bring me a quote for that one, as maybe you know something that I don’t.
In Kohelet Rabbah, the sage Resh Lakish taught: “He who has mercy on to the wicked will end up being wicked to the merciful.” Similarly in Chapter 39 of his Guide to the Perplexed, Maimonides teaches how to deal with murderers: “No mercy should be shown to them, and the course of justice must not be interfered with, even if they claim the protection of that which is the noblest and high, as it is written; ‘he shall be taken from my altar and put to death’ (Exodus 21:14) …. because mercy on sinners is cruelty to all creatures.” In other words, there is no sanctuary for the willful murderer and compassion for them is itself the height of cruelty.
I believe we have sufficiently highlighted the historical events leading to the latest Gaza conflict and have accurately quoted from our Torah and Sages to refute the views and actions of Leah Jordan (and her followers). We good, decent and loyal Jews applaud our brave and courageous IDF soldiers for holding back the wild and murderous Gazan mobs, as it is written: “Let your hearts not be faint; you shall not be afraid, and you shall not be alarmed, and you shall not be terrified of them. For the Lord, your God is the One Who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.” (Deuteronomy 20:3-4)