Navonim - The Ramblings of Garnel Ironheart

Navonim - The Ramblings of Garnel Ironheart

Thursday, 23 October 2008

What Matters It What They Think

Rabbi Yitzchak said: It was not necessary begin the Torah (from the creation of the world) but from "This month shall be unto you the beginning of months"(Shmos 12:2) since this is the first commandment that Israel was commanded. And what is the reason it begins with the Creation? Because of: "The power of His works He has declared to His people in giving them the heritage of nations."(Tehillim 111:6) For if the nations of the world should say to Israel: "You are robbers because you have seized by foce the land of the seven nations" they could say to them, "The entire world belongs to the Holy One, Blessed be He. He created it and gave it to whomever it was right in his eyes. Of His own wil He gave it to them and of His own will He took it from them and gave it to us." Rashi to Bereshis 1:1
The first comment of Rashi in the Chumash certainly seems to have strong political overtones. What makes this comment even more remarkable is that it was made at a time when our people did not have sovereignty over our Land. Yet Rashi did not shy away from what he saw as the implications of the first statement in Chumash: God gave us the land of Israel and it matters not that others said they had a prior claim to it.
But looking deeper at the comment, what is missing is as important as what is stated. And what's missing is the response of the nations of the world to Israel's defiant retort: God gave us the Land!
This matters greatly because, in the last sixty years since we have re-established a semblance of Jewish sovereignty in our Land (may the Final Redemption finish its first flowering and grow into full bloom real soon!) we have heard the response to Rabbi Yitzchak's challenge: No, God didn't give it to you. He gave it to us!
Chazal made a number of statements pertaining to the importance of the land of Israel. They suggested that every king in the world maintained a palace/embassy in Israel. They called it the most desired land in the world, one any ruler would want to possess as his crown jewel. We see the truth of their statements in our day and age. For two thousand years, the Church has claimed to be the real Israel and along with it has claimed that our Land should be under their custody. For 1400 years Islam has claimed that their so-called prophet gave them the sole right to speak in God's name and that His land really belongs to them.
Despite it all, we have managed to maintain our hold in the land but like no time since 1948 that hold has become so tenuous. What is the reason for this? Has historical evidence surfaced to show that our claim to the land is a forgery? Have our enemies managed to prove without doubt that their claim to the land is superior?
If one discounts all the statements based on lies, falsehoods and viscious historical revisionism, then the answer is "no". But if that's so, why do we feel that our Land is threatened so much?
This clue to the answer is what is missing from Rashi's comment, that is, the answer of the nations of the world. The reason Rabbi Yitzchak didn't include it in his statement is simply because it does not matter.
It does not matter that a fictional nation created by the Arab League as a propaganda tool claims to be the rightful owner of our Land.
It does not matter that a former Hitler youth employee, raised to the highest rank in Catholicism and an obsessive supporter of the Pope who betrayed our people during the Holocaust, believes that his religion are the best custodians of our Holy City.
It does not matter than a United Nations dominated by countries ruled by petty dictators questions our legitimate rights in the land God gave us.
It does not matter because, as Rabbi Yitzchak said, if we are in possession of our Land, it is because God decided it was time for that to once again happen. That is why the response to our defiance is not record. It does not matter.
What does matter is not that they believe in God's power and defining role in history, even in this day and age. What does matter is that we believe in that. And it is because our collective belief in that fundamental truth has become so weak that our hold on our Land has become so shaky.
On the left, we are told by the post-Zionist secular left that we are, in fact, robbers in the land of the so-called Palestinians and that our every triumph is really a sin against them. On the right, we are told by the Neturei Karta the exact same thing and even their Chareidi brethren only seem to support the State to the extent that they can extract money out of it. Those in the middle, who support the State because it is an expression of God`s power and might are small in number. Our voice is growing dimmer every day, drowned out by the cacophony of those who will onl appreciate what they`ve lost when it is, chas v`shalom.
We who believe that the State of Israel, imperfect as it is, is the first flowering of our Final Redemption, must raise our voices. We must remind our people that God has declared to us the power of His works. We must state unceasingly that the only way we can move history forward to its divine conclusion is to keep in our minds and our hearts that it is our belief that gives us the right to remain in our Land. It is for God to reveal Himself and destroy the doubts of our enemies Himself but perhaps He can only do so when the people He comes to restore believe it themselves.

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