Sunday, July 30, 2006

Not relinquishing the Land is bound up with faith in G-d.

The Holy Land is ‘The land into which the eyes of G-d continuously gaze from the beginning of the year until the end of the year’. Since this is ‘The palace of the King’ it becomes even more important that all vital decisions concerning this land be made strictly in accord with the command of the King [G-d]. This is highly relevant to the territories along the borders of Eretz Israel. It is forbidden to relinquish any parcel of land to a gentile [this being a negative commandment of Torah – Lo Sichonem –do not give it away]. Any compromises on this issue are forbidden.

Material aspects of Eretz Israel are bound up with its spiritual. That is why halachically it’s very earth is pure as is the very air [unlike the lands of the nations], to the extent that our sages [Talmud Tractate Bava Basra 158.2] state that the air of Eretz Israel makes man wise. This negative command of Torah not to relinquish the Land touches faith in G-d, as we see from the proceeding verses. This is because material matters of Israel go hand in hand with the spiritual.

This is especially so when we speak of a city on the border, that it is certainly forbidden to relinquish, as the code of Jewish Law lays down: ‘When gentiles besiege any city of the Jewish people, even if they have not yet arrived but are in the preliminary stages of approach, the law demands us to march forth fully armed, even to desecrate the Sabbath. The severity of this law becomes even more intense with regard to a border city: should a nation states that its approach is for no more than stubble and hay for their animals, the law demands us to march forth fully armed, lest they will conquer the city and from there the land will be easily conquerable before them. Today the situation is such that the entire land mass of Israel is in proximity to her borders. Therefore every single city has the law of ‘a city on the very border’. It is the obligation of each individual Jew to do all within his ability to be armed as is needed. Not in order to exhibit personal strength, but because this is the command of G-d in order to protect very many Jews who are on the borders. This conduct is demanded by the power of Shulchan Aruch.

All of this [living in Israel, and being armed for war] has no connection whatsoever with the beginning of the Redemption. G-d forbid to say this is the beginning of the Redemption! Maimonides states that the end of the Exile will be brought about by our righteous moshiach. The sign will be as follows: ‘There will arise a king from the royal house of King David … he will impel all Israel to walk in the ways of Torah and to strengthen her’. Initially Jews need to study Torah and perform Mitzvos, only then will He put an end to the darkness. Our righteous moshiach [who will be a soul within a body] will fight the wars of G-d and be victorious, ‘build the Temple in her place’ [on the Temple mount in Jerusalem], and only then will he bring about the in gatherings of Israel.

Yet even now in the exile even in a small village of Jews outside of the land of Israel, there is the clear law to go out to war armed, and desecrate the Sabbath if non-Jews besiege the town. It is forbidden to give away any part of the Land of Israel! [From the farbrengen of 10 Teves, 1978]


At 11:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Right. Yes. OK.

At 6:41 AM, Anonymous A modest Jew said...

Your comments are so clear, so clever, so much in harmony with G.D message. How can we explain that some many Jews (including the majority of Israeli electors) are not obeying their basic obligations? It is a nightmare.

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