AHAVAT Y'israel -- LOVE OF JEWRY
The Jewish Defense League came into being to educate the Jewish people to the concept of Ahavat Y'israel -- one Jewish people, indivisible and united, from which flows the love for and the feeling of pain of all Jews. It sees the need for a movement that is dedicated specifically to Jewish problems and that allocates its time, resources, energies and funds to Jews. It realizes that in the end -- with few exceptions -- the Jew can look to no one but another Jew for help and that the true solution to the Jewish problem is the liquidation of the Exile and the return of all Jews to Eretz Y'israel -- the land of Israel. It sees an immediate need to place Judaism over any other "ism" and ideology and calls for the use of the yardstick: "Is it good for Jews?"HADAR -- DIGNITY AND PRIDE
JDL teaches the concept of Hadar -- pride in and knowledge of Jewish tradition, faith, culture, land, history, strength, pain and peoplehood. Hadar is the need to have pride in Judaism and not allow it to be disgraced and defiled by beating and desecration of Jewish honor. This is the concept that the great Jewish leader Zev Jabotinsky attempted to instill in the oppressed and degraded masses of Eastern Europe 60 years ago. The anti-Semite's hatred and contempt of the Jew is an attempt to degrade us. It is an attempt to instill within the Jew a feeling of inferiority. It is an attempt that, all too often, succeeds in promoting Jewish self-hatred and shame in an attempt to escape one's Jewishness. Hadar is pride. Hadar is self-respect. Hadar is dignity in being a Jew.BARZEL -- IRON
JDL upholds the principle of Barzel -- iron -- the need to both move to help Jews everywhere and to change the Jewish image through sacrifice and all necessary means -- even strength, force and violence. The Galut image of the Jew as a weakling, as one who is easily stepped upon and who does not fight back is an image that must be changed. Not only does that image cause immediate harm to Jews but it is a self-perpetuating thing. Because a Jew runs away or because a Jew allows himself to be stepped upon, he guarantees that another Jew in the future will be attacked because of the image that he has perpetuated. JDL wants to create a physically strong, fearless and courageous Jew who fights back. We are changing an image, an image born of 2,000 years in the Galut, an image that must be buried because it has buried us. We train ourselves for the defense of Jewish lives and Jewish rights. We learn how to fight physically, for it is better to know how and not have to, than have to and not know how.MISHMAAT -- DISCIPLINE AND UNITY
Mishmaat -- discipline and dedication -- creates within the Jew the knowledge that he (or she) can and will do whatever must be done, and the unity and strength of willpower to bring this into reality. It was the lack of discipline and Jewish unity that led continually to the destruction of the Jewish people. It is Jewish unity and self-discipline that will lead to the triumph of the Jewish people.BITACHON -- FAITH IN THE INDESTRUCTIBILITY OF THE JEWISH PEOPLE
Faith in the greatness and indestructibility of the Jewish people, our religion and our Land of Israel is Bitachon. It is a faith that is built by our belief in the Jewish G-d of Hosts and the incredible saga of Jewish history that has seen us overcome the flood of enemies that have arisen to wipe us out in every generation. It is this faith in the permanence and survival of the Jewish people that, in turn, gives faith in the ultimate success of the Jewish Defense League. No matter how difficult, no matter how impossible the task may seem -- if it is a good task, if it is a holy task -- it will succeed, because it must.
The sources for the philosophy and actions of the Jewish Defense League are Jewish sources. They stem from the wellsprings of Jewish tradition and have their roots in Jewish teachings. In the Bible, in the Talmud, in the teachings of our rabbis throughout the ages, in Jewish practice throughout history, the concepts of Ahavat Y'israel and Hadar Y'israel and the practices of Barzel Y'israel, Mishmaat Y'israel and Bitachon Y'israel are hallowed. At the same time, an eternal debt is owed to Jews of our age who also recognized that these concepts are indeed Jewish and who fought an assimilated Jewish tide to put them into practice. We refer to the great Zev Jabotinsky, his followers and his movement of which we consider ourselves a spiritual part. And sitting in Heaven righteously alongside Jabotinsky is the founder and forever spiritual leader of the Jewish Defense League, Rabbi Meir Kahane. May the Almighty grant us the understanding to recognize and act on our problems forthrightly and the courage to go out to battle against our enemies in the face of all obstacles -- from within and without.
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Rabbi Shlomo Nachman