15 Kislev 5781 / Tuesday, December 01, 2020 | Torah Reading: Vayishlach
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Deed to the Promised Land    

Deed to the Promised Land

The danger of our lack of faith in ourselves and in our beloved homeland is terrible, and just as bad as the threat from our enemies on the other side of our borders...


Lately, the Arab world has been in such turmoil that it hasn’t had much of a chance to think about us. Even the Hamas in Gaza, the Hizbulla in Beirut and Assad’s regime in Damascus had their hands full with breaking up demonstrations and dealing with domestic disgruntlement.
The Israelis who decided that they could now relax and sip espresso in a Tel Aviv sidewalk café were soon shaken back to stark reality. The Israeli Navy intercepted the merchant ship “Victoria” which had been loaded to the gills with Iranian weapons destined for Gaza, including state-of-the-art radar guided ground-to-sea missiles with a 35-kilometer range.
No, our enemies have not forgotten about us. The painful blast in Jerusalem this past Wednesday and the Grad and Kassam missile attacks in Beersheva, Ashdod, Ashkelon, Sderot, and the Gaza-area villages are stark reminders.
With all the inconvenience of a constant threat in the background, our enemies don't concern me; after all, they're only sticks in Hashem's hands. But the lack of faith we have in ourselves and the way we kowtow to the nations of the world both scares me and breaks my heart.

We live in the Land of Israel by virtue of the Torah. It’s therefore easy to understand that without Torah, one has no justification or motivation for living in Hashem’s promised land. King David says emphatically (Psalm 105:44-45), “And He gave them the lands of the nations, and they inherited the peoples’ acquisitions; So that they would keep His statutes, and observe His laws.” King David, King of Israel, Hashem’s anointed, and great grandfather of Moshiach is revealing to us that Hashem gave us the Land of Israel for the sole purpose of living by His Torah and observing His commandments. One can easily understand how those among us that don’t live by the Torah can so readily destroy Jewish settlements in the Land of Israel and offer to make concessions to the hostile neighbors that encircle us.

 Simply speaking, one who doesn’t believe in Psalm 105 certainly doesn’t believe in our right to live, build, and flourish on every square centimeter of the land that the Torah defines as Eretz Yisrael, the holy Land of Israel. Psalm 105 is the deed to the Promised Land.
The danger of our own lack of faith in ourselves and in our beloved homeland is terrible, and I don’t know which one is worse, the threat from our enemies or the danger from within.
Hashem did us the greatest loving kindness and compassion during the past hundred years by bringing us home to the Land of Israel. Before World War I, there was literally nothing here. The holy cities of Jerusalem, Tzfat, Tiberias and Hevron were populated by a small number of impoverished Jews struggling under Turkish rule. The rest of the country was sand, desert, and swamps. With miracles that no one even understands, Hashem brought us from the four corners of the Earth home to our promised homeland, and turned the land into a flowering Garden of Eden. That’s only a small portion of the miracles.
Look at The Independence War in 1948. Is it logical that an untrained mass of holocaust survivors from Europe and gentle Torah scholars from North Africa, together with a handful of kibbutznik and moshavnik commanders defeated the entire British-trained Jordanian Legion, the French-trained Syrian and Lebanese armies, and the mighty Egyptian Army? Only a fool would say yes.
What about The Six-Day War of 1967?  Is it logical that a tiny air force of rebuilt hand-me-down aircraft knocked out the entire air forces of Syria, Jordan, and Egypt in 6 hours? That’s just what happened here! Israel – with Hashem at her side - defeated all three armies in six days, while retaking Judah, Samaria, Gaza, and the Golan! Again, only a fool would say that such a victory is natural or logical.
If that’s not enough, think about The Yom Kippur War of 1973. The Israeli Army was destroyed both at the Suez Canal and in the Golan. No one stood between the Syrians and Tiberias. Is it logical that Israel wasn’t totally destroyed? Certainly not – Hashem had mercy on us and pulled us out of the fire.
Back in those days, the Arabs were scared stiff of the Jews. In the early 70’s, my wife was a staff sergeant in the tank corps. She used to ride an Arab bus from East Jerusalem to Bethlehem to visit the grave site of our matriarch Rachel. She’d be the only Jew on the bus. Today, no one would dare do such a thing.
The Arabs were scared stiff to lift a finger against of Jew. Before the first Intifada in 1988, I remember walking freely down the streets of Kalkilia or Shechem. But in the meanwhile, something happened. Like the click of a switch, everything turned around. The Arabs no longer fear us. The opposite; 8 and 9 year-old boys throw rocks at Israeli tanks with no fear. We have to ask ourselves, what happened?
My beloved teacher Rav Shalom Arush told me that the Lubavitcher Rebbe of holy and blessed memory had “ruach Hakodesh”, a 100% holy spirit. Every word he said came true. After Hashem gave us the miraculous victories in 1967 and in 1973, the Lubavitcher Rebbe warned against giving away one millimeter of land that Hashem miraculously gave us. But the politicians of Israel didn’t heed the words of the tzaddik. With a whim of the pen, they signed an agreement with Egypt that surrendered Sinai and the oil fields to the Egyptians.
What Hashem gave us lovingly with tremendous miracles, the politicians gave away while cowering to international pressure. They thought they were making a deal with the “enlightened and moderate” Anwar Sadat. But Sadat was soon assassinated. When you fast-forward to today, Sadat’s protégé Mubarak is no longer in power while the radical Muslem Brotherhood is quickly and quietly rising to power in Egypt. The peace treaty has left us without the beautiful Jewish city of Yamit in Northern Sinai and all the other settlements such as Neviot, Di Zahav, and Ophira. All we have is a piece of paper, which is now in the hands of such radical Jew-haters as Sheik Yusuf al-Qaradawi. The Lubavitcher Rebbe sure had far-reaching vision. Too bad that the Israeli Government doesn’t understand what a true tzaddik is.
Rav Shalom told me that any land that was reclaimed by the sacrifice of Jewish blood possesses an additional holiness. No one had any right to give back then or relinquish today a single grain of sand to our enemies, especially after the land had been sanctified with our blood of our martyrs. The army didn’t capture the territories in 1967, Hashem did.
We’ve seen her in Israel, time and again, the materialization of what the Torah says in Deuteronomy 1:30, “Hashem your G-d walks before you and He will fight for you as He did in Egypt.” Anybody that has eyes in his head doesn’t have to believe in Torah – we’ve seen the truth of Torah over and over with our own two eyes in nearly three decades of military service. People often ask, “Well, why don’t all the combat veterans of Israel’s wars become believers?” The answer is that they are blinded by their own arrogance, and they attribute the victories to themselves.
Hashem despises the doctrine of “My power and the strength of my right hand,” as the Torah mentions in Deuteronomy 8:17. Hashem says to such people, “OK, you think that you can succeed on your own without Me? You think you’re so great? Go! Give it a try on your own!” That’s when the big trouble starts. Instead of Hashem fighting for us, He turns His back on us to show us just how pitifully miserable we are on our own.
The Lubavitcher Rebbe warned Menachem Begin that the minute he gives back one morsel of the land that Hashem miraculously gave us, the land that’s soaked with the blood of Jewish soldiers, everything will turn around for the worst. That’s exactly what happened. Camp David was the turning point. Then other hideous names like Oslo and Wye Plantation made things even more unbearable…
Why are so many Israelis - including many of its politicians and media voices - trying to appease the morally corrupt politicians of the west by talking about surrendering the Golan, Judea, Samaria, and half of Jerusalem? We have to wake up and ask ourselves, “What’s happening?”
Here’s exactly what has happened:
Our lack of belief in ourselves as Jews is what created the so-called Palestinian people. Look what the Torah says (Deuteronomy 32:21): “They have roused Me to jealousy with a non-deity; they have provoked Me with their vanities; and I will rouse them to jealousy with a non entity, a non-nation; I will provoke them with a vile nation.”

“I will provoke them with a non-nation” – there could be no clearer prophecy in the whole Torah, for that’s exactly what the so-called Palestinians are – a “non-nation.”
Choosing material amenities, imitating the nations of the world and chasing the dollar “non-deity” are what created the “non-nation” of stray migrant workers that overnight became the so-called Palestinian people. Conversely, faith in Hashem, in our Torah, and in our holy right to be here will solve the problem and enable us to raise generations of wonderful offspring living lives of Torah here in the Holy Land of Israel, amen.

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