The Torah calls upon the Jewish People to defend His Great Name by taking revenge against enemies who seek to trample and disgrace His Chosen People. We are called upon to be proud and healthy Jews who aren’t afraid to teach the enemy a crushing lesson.


by Tzvi Fishman

Our Sages teach us that when revenge is enacted, the Name of Hashem is sanctified. When Israel carries out revenge against its enemies, it is carrying out the judgment of G-d and making the world a better place to live. Simon and Levi acted to uphold the honor of Israel and the honor of Hashem by taking revenge against the inhabitants of the wicked city of Shechem. One of our greatest heroes, Samson, carried out Hashem’s wrath against the Philistines. His acts of revenge weren’t personal guerrilla attacks against the foe, but as Judge of Israel, he was the government of his time. Clearly, in our day and age, the mitzvah of revenge falls on the Government of Israel and its leaders as the representatives of the people. It is not the task of the individual to set out on a Rambo-like spree, slaughtering every Arab he encounters or burning down his fields. The obligation and mitzvah is the duty of the Government of Israel and the security forces under its command. Clearly, granting concessions every week to an enemy bent on our destruction is an invitation for them to carry out more and more terror. In our past, leaders with proud Jewish hearts knew how to take vengeance and instill fear into those who live by the sword, not only in Biblical days but in our time as well in the struggle leading up to the establishment of the State.

King David teaches in his Psalms:

“Praise the L-rd. Sing unto the L-rd a new song and his praise in the congregation of Hasidim… Let the high praises of G-d be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand; to execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments upon the people; To bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron. To execute upon them the written judgment: This is the glory of his Hasidim. Praise the L-rd” (Tehillim 149).

Out of their fear of the Gentiles, liberal Jews have negated the concept of revenge as being uncivilized and erased it from the Jewish vocabulary. Nevertheless, revenge is a foundation of Torah.

“If only you, G-d, would slay the wicked! Keep away from me, you who are bloodthirsty! They speak of you with evil intent; your adversaries misuse your Name. Do I not hate those who hate you, L-rd, and abhor those who are in rebellion against you? I have nothing but hatred for them; I count them my enemies” (Psalm 139).

In the Psalm of the day, on the fourth day of the week, we say: “G-d of revenge, L-rd G-d of revenge, appear! Arise, You judge of the earth, render to the arrogant what they deserve. How long shall the wicked, O L-rd, how long shall the wicked exalt?” (Psalm 94).

“The righteous man shall rejoice when he sees the vengeance. He shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked. Men shall say, ‘Truly there is reward for the righteous. Truly there is a G-d who judges on earth’” (Psalm 58).

In his book, “The Jewish Idea,” Rabbi Meir Kahane explains:

“It is a great mitzvah to take the revenge of the righteous and humble from the evildoer. Whoever forgoes or rejects such an opportunity is cruel, and he denies belief in G-d. This is the secret of the greatness and holiness of revenge. It explains why it is a mitzvah and why the righteous are joyous when they see it carried out. When injustice is done on earth, when the kingdom of evil takes control and stifles the righteous and the innocent, it is only natural for a person to ask G-d, “Where are You?” In a period of Divine concealment, doubt and heresy burgeon forth, as it says (Deut. 31:17), “I will hide My face from them, and they shall be devoured. Many evils and troubles shall come upon them, so that they will say on that day, ‘Are not these evils come upon us because our G-d is not among us?’

“The evildoer’s victory is the very worst profanation of G-d’s name, because it implies the defeat or impotence of G-d. Of this King David said (Ps. 44:23-25):

‘Nay, but for Your sake are we killed all the day. We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Awake! Why do You sleep, O L-rd? Arouse Yourself, cast us not off forever. Wherefore do You hide Your face…?’

“Thus, when G-d stops hiding His face and actually ‘awakens… like a mighty man recovering from wine, and smites His enemies’ (Ps. 78:65-66), when He takes the revenge of His people and of Himself, which are one, He thereby sanctifies His name, proving to the world that Israel indeed has a G-d and that He lives and endures. The victory of injustice and wickedness is ostensible proof of G-d’s absence from the world, and there is no greater profanation of G-d’s name. By contrast, G-d’s victory and revenge over His enemies, the evildoers, prove to the world that ‘verily there is a G-d Who judges on earth!’ (Ps. 58:12. See “The Jewish Idea” Ch. On Revenge by Rabbi Meir Kahane, may Hashem revenge his murder).

The Torah calls upon the Jewish People to defend His Great Name by taking revenge against enemies who seek to trample and disgrace His Chosen People. We are called upon to be proud and healthy Jews who aren’t afraid to teach the enemy a crushing lesson. Let government leaders, Tzahal commanders and soldiers review the sacred ways of revenge from the Torah and memorize the words of King David. Let them avenge the disgrace of the Jewish People when heathens murder Jews on the streets of our G-d given Homeland. And let them act with swift revenge to uphold the honor due to our G-d.




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