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Audio: R' Nachman Kahana on the Religious Divide & His Brother's Murder

"Make a living outside, or make a life in Israel," says Rabbi Nachman Kahana. Tune in for more insight on aliyah, religious strife & more."
8/16/2013, 2:45 PM

A7 Radio's "Life Lessons with Judy Simon" with Judy Simon
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Although Nachman Kahana's great grandfather was one of the founders of the Sanz Chassidishe community in Tzfat in the 1860s, and his grandfather and father were both born there, he and his brother were born in New York City, played with Italian and Irish kids, and eventually merited to make Aliyah to Israel.

One might say that Rabbi Kahana straddles the boundaries between the Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) religious community and the Dati-Leumi (National Religious) community, also known by their head-coverings as Kipah Serugah (crotcheted yarmulkes).

Today's world finds a deep chasm very different than the unity the Torah proposes. Rabbi Kahane says of this: "All the negative elements (in Israel), and there are negative things, are imported. Anti-Zionism is an import from Eastern Europe. Eretz Yisrael has a home-grown Jewish culture, and that's Religious Zionism--our youth, the Kipot Serugot [National Religious]. Everything else is imported. It's not indigenous to Eretz Yisrael, and these imports make problems."

Rabbi Kahana served as the Deputy Minister of Religious Affairs in the Knesset, penned 15 volumes of commentary on the Talmud and teaches Torah in the Old City of Jerusalem, but what he expresses strong pride in is his service in the IDF Air Force for many years. "In 1967, the Israeli army did something unprecedented," Rabbi Kahana says of the Six Day War. "What took Joshua seven years to accomplish, Israel did in three days."

When asked to share some of the lessons learned in life, Rabbi Kahana does not hesitate. "If you want to make a living, stay where you are anywhere in the world. But if you want to make a life, come to Israel."

Tune in to hear Rabbi Kahana's thoughts about his famous brother, Rabbi Meir Kahane, their relationship, their differences, and thoughts and details about his brother's murder. Tune in to hear his views on how to bring about a better future for the Jewish people.

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Judy Simon is the host of the show Life Lessons and the mother of six children. After almost 20 years of teaching English and special education, Judy now serves as the Beit El Tourism Coordinator, and organizes tours of the site of Jacob's Dream in Beit El. Check out Beit El's website: and "like" the Beit El Heritage Center Facebook page: To "like" the Hebrew page: Life Lessons explores fascinating people from all walks of life and follows their stories of lessons learned along the way. The Life Lessons podcast airs every Thursday from 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Israel time on Israel National Radio.
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