Rabbi Meir Kahane's yahrtzeit was 18 Cheshvan.
I can't remember when I first came across Rabbi Kahane's writings.
But years ago, I read 3 of his books and several essays.
His fiery love for all Jews invigorated me. His unique ability to shepherd the klal while honing in on the individual Jew both fascinated and inspired me.
His writing was sharp & passionate.
In particular, Rabbi Kahane managed to see & come to the assistance of Jews in pitiable circumstances who remained unseen & unheard.
He expressed sincerely righteous anger on behalf of impoverished lonely elderly Jews living in once-thriving Jewish neighborhoods that turned into crime-ridden danger zones – elderly Jews who needed to stock up on powdered milk and other non-perishable foods because it was too dangerous to make the trek to the grocery store more than every few months.
And he rescued them.
He found safer neighborhoods for them and arranged to pay for their rent.
Rebbetzin Heller told of a 13-year-old Jewish girl who could not manage a Jewish education because she was in a wheelchair and the religious girls school simply did not have the funds or ability to make the school wheelchair-accessible.
Rabbi Kahane made time to come to this girl's home & teach her privately on a regular basis.
(This was literally several decades go; nowadays, disabled students enjoy the same religious education as their able-bodied counterparts. In fact, here in Eretz Yisrael, I've seen girls in wheelchairs attending Beis Yaakov schools right along with their able-bodied classmates, not to mention all the special ed schools available.)
And I never did find the horrible racist attitudes he was supposed to have expressed, despite looking out for them as I read his material. I know that disappoints or befuddles some people, but that was my honest response. Too bad.
Every Jew was important to Rav Meir Kahane.
Torah was important to him.
Torah was so important to him that he stood up to the anti-Torah leaders and their minions fearlessly & forcefully.
They tried to humiliate and derail him on talkshows & in debates.
(In the 1985 debate between Rav Meir Kahane and Alan Dershowitz, Dershowitz made insinuations comparing Rav Kahane to truly evil menuvalim like Louis Farrakhan and Yassar Arafat.)
But Rav Kahane was unflappable and impossible to manipulate.
While I ended up leaving the Kahane path and joining the charedim instead, I never lost my admiration for his passionate & courageous ahavat Yisrael.
People usually give me funny looks when I mention his ahavat Yisrael.
That's not what he was known for, but if you actually read what he says, that was his driving force.
Interestingly, Toras Avigdor created a post in honor of Rav Kahana's yahrtzeit.
Rav Avigdor Miller sided with the majority of the charedi Gadolei Hador regarding the Shoah, which focused on the deeds & attitudes of Jews, rather than the establishment of a Jewish Homeland.
Rav Kahane focused on the State of Israel as a preventative to a future Shoah and strove to do everything he could to make the State a safe harbor for Jews.
(The above represents one of the major differences between the charedi & dati-leumi in hashkafah, which I'm not going to go into here.)
Rav Miller always held by the halacha that a Jew who is shomer Torah & mitzvot is your brother and you absolutely must love him.
So despite Rav Miller's sharp difference in hashkafah with Rav Kahane, Rav Miller still had strong praise for him – praise which Rav Miller did not hesitate or fear to say publicly.
You can read it in the link above. Or simply click here:
Rav Avigdor Miller on Rabbi Meir Kahane
Hashem yinkom damo.