(Reposts from the pre-expulsion period.)
4 AUGUST 2005
Bnei Yisrael, the Children of Promise
(Yehoshua 5:1-2, 7-11) "...the Lord said to Yehoshua ben Nun, ...arise cross this Jordan, you and all this nation, to the land which I give the children of Israel.
...be strong and very courageous to observe and do in accordance with all of the Torah that Moshe My servant has commanded you. Do not stray therefrom right or left, in order that you succeed wherever you go.
This book of the Torah shall not leave your mouth; you shall meditate therein day and night, in order that you observe to do all that is written in it, for then will you succeed in all your ways and then will you prosper.
Did I not command you, be strong and have courage, do not fear and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
And Yehoshua commanded the officers of the nation, saying:
Go through the midst of the camp and command the nation saying: Prepare provision for yourselves, for in another three days you will cross this Jordan to come and inherit the land that the Lord your God is giving you to inherit."
Bnei Yisrael! It is time to scrap the Israel Defense Forces and re-create the army of HaShem Tzvakot that engages in milchemet mitzvah.
Just as the Zionism which viewed Eretz Yisrael as a safe haven from anti-semites is dead, so too is the idea of an army which exists solely to defend against aggressors.
Just as the presence of neo-nazis in Israel has proven the fallacy of the first premise, so too has the onslaught of terrorism on our own soil proven the failure of defense to provide security.
"...Do not stray there from right or left, in order that you succeed wherever you go."
'Settling' the Land was only half of the mitzvah...
Devarim 7:1-2, 16-21:
"When the Lord, your God, brings you into the land to to which you are coming to possess it, He will cast away many nations from before you: ...nations more numerous and powerful than you.
And the Lord, your God, will deliver them to you, and you shall smite them. You shall utterly destroy them; neither shall you make a covenant with them, nor be gracious to them.
... And you shall consume all the peoples which the Lord your God gives you; you shall not spare them, nor shall you worship their gods, for that will be a snare for you.
Will you say to yourself, "These nations are more numerous than I; how will I be able to drive them out"?
You shall not fear them. You shall surely remember what the Lord, your God, did to Pharaoh and to all of Egypt:
The great trials that your eyes saw, the signs, the wonders, the mighty hand, and the outstretched arm with which the Lord, your God, brought you out. So will the Lord, Your God, do to all the peoples you fear.
And also the tzir'ah, the Lord, your God, will incite against them, until the survivors and those who hide from you perish.
You shall not be terrified of them, for the Lord, your God, Who is in your midst, is a great and awesome God."
Are we the children of Yehoshua, the inheritors of the promises made to Yaakov? Then we must act like it! We must conquer this Land as if we are the owners and not simply unwelcome guests as over the centuries in galuth.
If we will believe it, then our enemies will begin to believe it as well.
7 AUGUST 2005
Why are we losing Gaza?
Motzaei"sh Rosh Chodesh Av
As God-fearing people we are taught that nothing happens to us that does not first receive permission from Heaven. It stands to reason then that if an evil decree is issued against us, we must have done something to deserve it. And the only way to avert it is to repent of the causative error. Hence, the question we only have ten days to answer for ourselves is...
Why are we losing Gaza?
See, it's not enough to cry out to God and assure him of our general sorrow and aim to repent. We have to confess our specific sin, take every possible action to correct it and resolve not to repeat it. This is the repentance necessary to avert an evil decree like the mass expulsion of 8,000 plus Jews from the Gaza District of Eretz Yisrael.
On one hand the answer is very simple and obvious, but on the other, it is very difficult to accept in this day and at this time in history. The very parshah we all read in the synagogue today tells us...
".. if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the Land from before you, then those whom you leave over will be as spikes in your eyes and thorns in your sides, and they will harass you in the land in which you settle. And it will be that what I had intended to do to them, I will do to you. (Bamidbar 33:55-56)
The Artscroll commentary says:
"God declares that the Jews must rid the Land of the corrosive Canaanite presence, and if they fail to do so, they will suffer the fate God had intended to impress upon the Canaanites, and be driven out. (Rashbam)"
We don't really need to identify today's Palestinians as ancient Canaanites in order to see that since we did not drive them out in 1967, we are today being driven out before them.
In the forty years that Jews have been resettling Gaza, has anyone made any efforts toward fulfilling this Torah commandment? Or did the Jews of Gaza, like the rest of the Jewish people throughout the Land of Israel, repeat the same mistakes of the ancient past by allowing these people to remain and even encouraging them through offers of employment? Some Gazan Jews have commended themselves for their humanity in going so far as to even socialize with Palestinians over the years.
It is for this that teshuva must be done and for the hubris which made us think we knew better than the Lord of the Land---HaShem.
So, why are we losing Gaza with the Northern Shomron to follow? Very simply because two opposing peoples cannot live together in this Land. Either they must go or we will. Either we drive them out or HaShem will drive us out. That is the Torah direct from the mouth of God.
Can thousands of Jews reach this conclusion and wholeheartedly embrace these words in the ten days that are left to us? That is the first step. If HaShem sees we mean business, perhaps He will show mercy and defer the expulsion until we can take the second step---the establishment of a Jewish government which will enact this Torah Law for the benefit of the Jewish people on every inch of soil in the Jewish homeland.
If the very idea is too much for you to wrap your brain around and you would prefer to give up Gaza rather than go to the next level of the redemption process, then there's no real hope to stop it. We are forbidden to depend upon miracles and right now, short of true repentance, that's all we've got.
With great hope until the very end~
2008 UPDATE: Have we learned anything in the last three years? Or must we relive it yet again with Judea and Samaria and Jerusalem?