As of Now
HaRav Dov Begon – Head of Machon Meir
The Lord will not cast off His people, nor will He forsake His inheritance.
“If you do not drive out the land’s inhabitants before you, those who remain shall be barbs in your eyes and thorns in your sides, causing you troubles in the land that you settle” (Numbers 33:55).
Rashi explains that those nations will be like “pins which prick out your eyes,” forcing Israel to hide behind fences such that can no one can leave or enter, and our enemies will torment us.
What is the idea behind metaphors in which the eyes are threatened? It is known that the eyes symbolize wisdom and understanding. Therefore, the leaders and wise men of the people are called “the eyes of the people” (see Numbers 15:24).
From here we learn that if we leave a foreign people in our land, our leaders’ eyes will be “pricked out,” i.e., they will lose their wisdom and understanding…
Ohr HaChaim adds, “Not only will your enemies take hold of part of the Land, but even in the part that you have settled, ‘your enemies will cause you trouble,’ saying, ‘Get up and leave the Land!’”
The Crystal clear words of our holy Torah and the unequivocal explanations of Rashi and Ohr HaChaim regarding the harsh results of a foreign people ruling over part of our land require us to wake up and to open the eyes of our leaders and of the Jewish masses. We must rise as one man with one heart against the counsel of our enemies who wish to banish us from our land, and from Jerusalem the nation’s heart. Then we will be living fulfillment of Numbers 34:2: “This land shall fall to you as your inheritance, the Land of Canaan to its borders.” Rashi explains, “G-d cast down from heaven the angelic princes of the seven nations of Canaan and placed them in fetters before Moses.
G-d said to Moses, ‘See, there is no more strength in them.’” We shall see with our own eyes how “there are many devices in a man’s heart, but it is G-d’s counsel that shall endure” (Proverbs 19:21), for “the L-rd has chosen Zion, He desired it for His habitation” (Psalm 132:13). Moreover, “The L-rd will not cast off His people, nor will He forsake His inheritance” (Psalm 94:14).
Since the State’s establishment, our leaders have all agreed that the Land must remain partitioned between ourselves and a foreign nation. This approach stemmed from lack of knowledge and understanding of the meaning of the return and rebirth of the Jewish People throughout the length and breadth of our land, as was promised to us by G-d, by means of His prophets, from time immemorial. Only in this manner will we be able to fulfill our historic role of being a light unto the nations. Only out of Zion and Jerusalem shall the Torah and its light go forth to the whole world. It is this lack of knowledge and understanding which has led us to withdraw silently from the Biblical boundaries of the Land of Israel. That is how we got to where we are.
G-d issued to us a promise and a command: “Clear out the land and live in it, since it is to you that I am giving the Land to occupy” (Numbers 33:53). We must constantly learn and acknowledge and remember that these words remain in force throughout the generations, as wrote Ramban, father of Israel. This is especially so in our own generation, the generation of rebirth. We must proclaim in a loud voice, to ourselves and to the entire world, especially to our enemies who rise up to destroy us, that all of Eretz Yisrael is ours for the purpose of our benefiting all of mankind. And we must believe it. When a person and a nation believe in themselves, it gives them the strength and the ability to confront their enemies, such that those enemies ultimately make peace with them as well.
Only through G-d’s “giving His people ‘strength’” (Psalm 29:11), which the Rabbis said connotes Torah, will they be “blessed with peace” (Ibid.). Only if we go back and drink from our deep roots will we be able to believe in ourselves. Then we will be able to face our attackers, and we will continue to flourish and to produce our sweet fruits for the whole world, from the midst of our land, and Jerusalem our capital and holy city.