KI TAVO – HARAV DOV BEGON

We belong to a generation whose job in the chain of history is to build the existential and material infrastructure of our state. It is natural that a generation caught up with mundane, material matters does not see the divine goodness and kindness stored away within the whole enormous and remarkable undertaking of the rebirth of the Jewish People in their land. Yet the day is coming...

Message for Today

by HaRav Dov Begon, Head of Machon Meir.

“Rejoice in all the good that the L-rd your G-d has granted you.”

“When you come to the land that the L-rd your G-d is giving you as a heritage, occupying and settling it, you shall take the first of every fruit of the ground produced by the land…” (Deuteronomy 26:1-2).

Rashi explains: “This teaches that Israel did not become obligated to bring first fruits until they had conquered the Land and apportioned it.” The purpose of our bringing the first fruits is for us to proclaim before heaven and earth that we recognize G-d’s kindness and goodness and that we are not ungrateful. The precondition for us to fulfill this mitzvah is our occupying and settling the Land. Only by means of the Jewish People ruling over the Land of Israel is G-d’s name greatly sanctified throughout the world and His glory and goodness revealed for all to see. We therefore wait until we conquer Eretz Yisrael and settle it before we bring the first fruits. Then we are full of gratitude for G-d’s kindness.

Today we are living in a generation that has merited to go up to the land and to fight for it, conquer it and settle it. Even so, we have not yet completed the work. We are still in the midst of political struggles and real wars concerning our sovereignty over the Land of Israel.

We belong to a generation whose job in the chain of history is to build the existential and material infrastructure of our state. It is natural that a generation caught up with mundane, material matters does not see the divine goodness and kindness stored away within the whole enormous and remarkable undertaking of the rebirth of the Jewish People in their land.

Yet the day is not far off when our eyes will be opened — eyes of the spirit and the soul — and we will all recognize G-d’s kindness and goodness. We will see the good land, a land flowing with milk and honey. We will then go to the site that G-d chose as the place associated with His name, and we will make our declaration in a loud voice before the L-rd our G-d (see Rashi on Deuteronomy 26:5). We will then all rejoice together over all the goodness that G-d has given us. By such means we will see with our own eyes the fulfillment of  “A new light shall shine over Zion, and we shall all merit speedily to its light” (Morning Prayers).

 

War and Its Significance

“When a great war takes place in the world, Messianic forces are involved… The larger the war in quality and quantity, the greater our anticipation of advances in the Messianic process” (Orot 3, Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook).

There is a connection between redemption and wars, as our sages said, “In the seventh year will come wars. In the eighth year, the son of David will come” (Megillah 17b). “The Master of wars… causes salvation to spring forth” (blessings preceding the morning Shema). The prophets are full of descriptions of the War of Gog and Magog — that terrible war in which the enemies of Israel suffer resounding defeat in their attempt to conquer Jerusalem, and out of which G-d’s name shall be magnified and sanctified in the world. Indeed, when we recite the Kaddish, we open with, “Magnified and sanctified be G-d’s great name.” And when will His great name be magnified and sanctified? When the enemies of Israel suffer a resounding defeat. G-d’s glory will then be magnified and sanctified in the world, when Israel’s glory is magnified in the world.

Today we are in a war which began before the State’s establishment, with the first Aliyot to Israel. The symbol of heroism of those days was Joseph Trumpeldor, who sacrificed his life for our hold on the Galilee. Our enemies today make use of the same ploys they used back then. When they were repulsed by Trumpeldor and his comrades, they tried treachery, approaching Trumpeldor with their hands outstretched as if in friendship. Yet once they had penetrated the fortified courtyard of Tel Hai, they murdered Trumpeldor and his comrades.

Now, as well, our enemies are attempting, by means of terror, to weaken and subjugate us, with the goal of driving us out of our land. When they see that they are not succeeding, they make use of the weapon of “peace,” with the aim of taking bites out of our land while planning for the next stage of the war. We can console ourselves and have faith that we will be victorious in battle. In order to be victorious, we need not just tanks and jets, but faith and spirit, as well as knowledge of what we are fighting for, and why. We have to realize that we are fighting in order to sanctify G-d’s name publicly.

Israel’s hold on Eretz Yisrael and its capital Jerusalem brings light to the world, through G-d’s kingdom being revealed on earth, and through the divine bounty produced. As Isaiah said, “For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of G-d from Jerusalem” (Isaiah 2:3).

Our enemies are attempting to extinguish the light,  but the children of light shall defeat the children of darkness.

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