Friday, October 09, 2015

“To Give Them the Nations’ Heritage”

By HaRav Dov Begon
Rosh HaYeshiva, Machon Meir

Rashi starts his commentary on the Torah with the most politically relevant question of our day: If the nations of the world say to Israel, “You are thieves, for you have conquered Eretz Yisrael,” what answer are we supposed to give? “He declared to His people the power of His works, that He might give them the heritage of the nations” (Psalm 111:6). 

Seemingly the verse should read, “He declared TO THE NATIONS the power of His works.” Surely they are the ones who come to us with their claim. Why did the verse say, “to His people”? 

This serves to teach us that it is not important what the nations’ claim is against us. Rather, what is important and decisive is what the Jewish people say TO THEMSELVES in their struggle over Eretz Yisrael. 

We have to know “the power of G-d’s works.” We must realize that He is the Creator of the world, and that within that world He lovingly chose the Jewish People, His intimate ones, and gave them Eretz Yisrael, through which they are to spread light and goodness to the whole world, as it says, “For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of G-d from Jerusalem” (Isaiah 2:3). We also have to realize that we are struggling and fighting over this land in order to expose divine light and goodness to the whole world. If we realize all of this, then even the nations’ claim is no claim, for in the end we will bring them light and faith as well. 

Today, when we are struggling over our hold on Eretz Yisrael, we must all unite, not just out of our common survival interest, but also, especially, out of a clear knowledge and recognition of what we are doing here in Eretz Yisrael, what Israel’s destiny is here and what we are fighting for. We have to know and to recognize that the issue here is a war between light and darkness. The Jewish People being in Eretz Yisrael and in Jerusalem means great light for the world, the light of faith and of hope. As the Rabbis said, “Jerusalem is the light of the world.” By contrast, the intention of the Arabs and those nations who support them in their war to take control over Jerusalem and Eretz Yisrael, is to extinguish the light of the world and to place their religion and faith in control, G-d forbid. 

The Muslim world, backed by the Christian world, has not yet resigned itself to the rebirth of the Jewish People in Eretz Yisrael, but “He who sits in the heavens laughs, the Lrd has them in derision” (Psalm 2:4) when He sees how “the kings of the earth join ranks, the rulers take counsel together against the L-rd and against His anointed” (Ibid. v. 2). 

The day is not far off when “G-d will break them with a rod of iron and dash them to pieces like a potter’s vessel” (v. 9), for “the L-rd has said to me, ‘You are My son. This day have I begotten you. Ask of Me and I shall give you nations for your inheritance, the uttermost parts of the earth for your possession’” (v. 7-8). 

Looking forward to salvation, 
Shabbat Shalom.

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