Rabbi Binyamin Kahane
Rabbi Binyamin KahaneFlash 90

Rabbi Binyamin Kahane was not only the son of Rabbi Meir Kahane, he was also a student of his father, a “talmid muvhak”. That made him the ultimate continuation of his father’s legacy – for he inherited his “genes” and he absorbed his Torah externally. I first became acquainted with Rabbi Binyamin at the the Yeshiva of the Jewish Idea which he played a major role in establishing. He was a serious and dilligent “matmeed”, quiet, reserved, exuding a princely demeanor.

Even before he was thrust into the limelight by his father's death and assumed a leadership role, I recognized his remarkable writing skills and ability to analyze the political landscape through the lens of the Jewish Idea. At that time, he had already initiated his weekly parsha commentary titled "Kach He Darka Shel Torah" – “Thus is the Way of Torah.

Impressed by his work, I took on the task of translating everything Rabbi Binyamin wrote or spoke into English and did so during the decades between Rabbi Meir Kahane's murder in 1990 and Binyamin Kahane's death in 2020. Much like his distinguished father, Rabbi Binyamin possessed vision and an ability to discern trends, foreseeing the trajectory of events. For quite a time already, Rabbi Binyamin had firmly concluded that casting votes in the Knesset was not the avenue for bringing about change, a sentiment he frequently expressed in his writings. The blessed redemption, according to him, would have to manifest through alternative means. Rabbi Binyamin also urged the Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria to “take their destiny into their hands”.

Today, given the looming threat of Arab pogroms fueled by their success on October 7, coupled with the feared absence of an IDF response to these attacks (as witnessed two years ago in Jaffa, Lod, and Acco where Jews were left to endure Arab pogroms), Jewish communities are increasingly recognizing the need to protect themselves.

Response teams in settlements across Judea and Samaria are preparing for a potential recurrence of events similar to October 7. They are procuring drones and undergoing independent training, acknowledging the reality that reliance on the IDF for their safety may be precarious. In certain respects, the settlers are proactively "taking their destiny into their own hands."

Rabbi Binyamin Kahane hoped that this movement would evolve into something more profound – additional Jewish sovereignty over Judea and Samaria and a revitalized spirit of Zionism. The following is a translation of some excerpts from his parting message, written in the midst of the “Arab Intifada 2000” which saw the renewed murder of Jews and the trashing of Joseph’s Tomb in Shchem:

To my dear Brothers living in the mountains of Judea and Samaria: The situation facing us demands that we courageously reassess that we have believed until now. The issue before us is no longer just the fundamental problem of Chillul Hashem and Jewish humiliation. It is now a simple issue of security and survival that involves each and every one of us. Living in the mountains of Judea and Samaria, we are truly fortunate in that we comprise a community that fears its G-d, loves its nation, and is prepared for self-sacrifice. At this time of unrelenting strife, violence and an all out declared war, this faith grants us an advantage over those who may live in safer areas.

The situation in Israel is complex. On the one hand, we are fully prepared physically and spiritually to retain Jewish control over the Jewish homeland, more than any other sector in Israeli society. On the other hand, the IDF is being exposed, with all the goodwill – as a confused body lacking direction and ideology, and above all, with no faith in G-d.

My suggestion is as follows: All the settlements on the mountain ridge running north-south along the length of Judea and Samaria must conjoin with each other, forming a united leadership. This will immediately broadcast an unequivocal message to the Israeli government: We, who live here, are ready and willing to take responsibility for this area upon ourselves... By the grace of G-d, here in these mountains we have wonderful youth and highly trained military personnel whose moral is high; they will glady accept the responsibility upon themselves.

Without a doubt, the Arab denizens will be terrified merely at hearing this news: authority here will no longer rest with the shackled army which for so long has been the punching bag for Arab hooligans. Rather, those “monstrous settlers” (and thank G-d the media portray us as the devil incarnate) will now take charge. Without the slightest of doubt, such a step would clear the air here. There will be a complete about face: this news will, for the first time in too many years, attract the youths in their hundreds. At long last, there will be a genuine “yishuv Ha-aretz”, and the beginning of Jewish sovereignty over the Land of Israel. This will put an end to the confused stammering and search for ways of handing over the land to the enemies of G-d. Can we even begin to imagine the inspiration this this earth-shaking news would give to so many secular and religious Jews, in Israel and abroad. It has been far too long since we experienced that deep and stirring feeling of national pride.

None of this entails separating ourselves from society. To the contrary, we will remain part of Israeli society, willing at a moment’s notice to defend the state that has until now refused for 33 years to annex us. We speak hear not of separation, but of additional Jewish sovereignty over a part of the Land of Israel which has been too long abandoned. We act for the good of the Nation of Israel and for the sake of our families safety. Above all, we act for the sake of Kiddush Hashem, the sanctification of G-d’s Name and eradicating its desecration until the hour of the Redemption arrives.

With grave concern and with love of Israel,

Binyamin Kahane

On Sunday morning, December 31st 2000, the Kahane family drove to their home in Tapuach from Jerusalem, where they had spent the Shabbat. Binyamin Zeev Kahane, aged 34, drove the car, with his 32-year-old wife Talia at his side. While driving on the road from Ofra to Shilo north of Ramallah, just 500 meters from Ofra, terrorists opened automatic fire on the car. Binyamin was killed.

Talia was wounded and died later at the hospital. The vehicle went off the road and the couple's five daughters were injured. Their son had been dropped off at his school in Beit El minutes earlier.