Sunday, September 17, 2006

So Jacob had a dream! Does this mean that Eretz Israel belongs to the Jewish People?

Someone once came here for a visit and asked me, how do I substantiate my words to the extent that they should be spoken in the UN, that Eretz Israel belongs to the Jewish people? G-d said to our patriarch Yaakov ‘And you should spread forth to the West, and to the East, to the North and to the South’, and ‘To you will I give her [Israel] and to your children’, spoken on his way to Haran, when he was tired and exhausted from the journey. As usual, when one sleeps, one dreams! Therefore, he asked me: ‘Just because Yaakov had a dream, does this mean that the Land of Israel belongs to the Jews?’

I answered him: It is well known, that the power of prophecy is attained specifically during sleep. Maimonides explains [Laws of the fundamentals of Torah Chap.7.2] that all prophets spoke prophetic words either at night whilst sleeping, or by day in a state of loss of consciousness. Only in such a condition were they able to receive prophecy. For in order for the spirit of prophecy to rest on a prophet, he had to be in a state whereby his material shell was put away to sleep. Thus it was with Yaakov: All of the patriarchs were a vehicle – their conscious awareness was immersed into the extra-universal energy which flows into and moves the cosmos [not subjected to the concealment imposed by the curtain of earth’s matter]. His life was a continuum of wakefulness to the flow of G-d’s life force. Therefore, also during times of sleep when dreams occur, he was mindful of this spiritual vitality.

The gentiles already understand that Eretz Israel belongs to the Jewish people. Now, all that remains is to convince Jews of this. Gentiles know that the connection which Arabs have to Israel began only when they came to Israel, just a few hundred years ago, no more. Additionally, even the Arabs who live around Israel, as for example, Egypt, are not the Egyptians of time gone by. These are a different nation from a different root, with no connection to the ancient Egyptians. Substantially different however is the bond of the Jewish people with the land of Israel beginning with the Revelation at Sinai, and before, when G-d, the G-d of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, gave the land to the Jewish People. Even gentiles know this, and that the dream which Jacob had was the factual truth, and that the entire world is a subsidiary to make this dream a reality!

But it is the Jew who argues that he does not believe this! So, one is bound to exclaim: ‘What are you doing in the Land of Israel? Go to Chutz La-aretz [out of Israel]! There from your viewpoint it will be better! [From your mindset] How is the holiness of the land of Israel in any way more of greater value than outside of Israel? Indeed, there are so many Israelis who have left Israel, most of whom did not have this faith in the Land.

[Spoken at the farbrengen Parshas Tzav, 1976]

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