The weekly portion [Shelach] tells the story of the spies from which we learn a real message for our times. By way of introduction: The story of the spies took place whilst the Jewish People were not in Israel but in the desert and were not short of anything. They ate manna, a food without any waste; they drank water from the well of Miriam and benefited for the Clouds of Glory which destroyed the snakes and scorpions, straightened their way forward, and un-soiled their clothes. When they stood on the thresh-hold of entering and conquering the Land they sent out spies to investigate. Upon their return the spies recommended that it is better to remain where they were with all the benefits and not endanger themselves by entering the Land. The intention of the spies was to prevent the Jewish people from being endangered. In reality however the very opposite took place. It was the spies who endangered the Jewish People!
The message for our times is simple. In those times the Jewish People were still in the desert where they had all the benefits, therefore the spies argued to remain there. In contrast today, G-d has handed to the Jewish People the Land of Israel [not however ‘independent’ since never has there been such dependence on the gentiles as now. Yet, in a spiritual sense the Jewish People are the masters [with some control in material matter].
Now there arrive some Jews who scream “PEACE NOW!” They are joined by communists and Arabs who demand that Israel must hand over portions of the Land of Israel from the sovereignty of Israel. They do not say be passive, as the spies argued to remain in the desert, but argue to actually give away the land of Israel! The argument of Peace Now, as is the argument of the communists and Arabs is based exactly on the thinking of the spies in their time that the nations inhabiting the land are too powerful for us to overwhelm. Do not conquer or put down roots in the land of Israel! Since there dwell in Jerusalem 60,000 Arabs , they say that they are far more powerful than the Jewish people, quoting the spies– “they are stronger than us”. Therefore Jews must not be allowed to live in the Old City [of Jerusalem]. If Jewish people already live there, they should be evicted by all means available. The Old City must be given away, including the Temple Mount and the spot of the holy of Holies – to the Arabs!
They raise the same argument about Hebron. Since there live there 50,000 Arabs , they are stronger than the Jews who live there. They raise further arguments in favor of the Arabs, that they are descendents of Abraham the patriarch who is buried in the Cave of Machpela in Hebron. Therefore, we must not allow Jews to live there, and those that are there already must be thrown out! They argue further that any lands that Arabs demand must be handed over to them, since they are more powerful than our selves!
The spies argued: “All the peoples whom we saw there are giants who fell from the skies– one is a giant murderer, the second is a giant armed robber, the third is a giant thief, the fourth a great diplomat, one who knows many languages and more. And on top of all these arguments they announce ‘Peace Now!’ In addition to all their arguments they are coming to offer peace, and the peace will be NOW, peace unto Israel! And more! They argue that giving away the lands to the Arabs is human justice! Thereby danger to the Jewish People will be averted since it is a land which devours its inhabitants. If we annoy the Arabs and not give in to their demands – they will eat us alive! And if we do give in to them, giving the land away, there will be peace NOW! Who poses this argument? Jews and Jewish communists!
|The destruction of a Jewish town - Amona|
These people bring down terrible danger onto Jews and onto the Land. These people are the ‘demolishers and destroyers’ from amongst the Jewish people and of the Land of Israel.
Yet they shout “PEACE! ‘The wicked have no peace [to offer!]’. ‘The wicked will have no peace, says G-d’ [Isaiah 49.17]– they offer no peace [agreements]. The intention of the Arabs terrorists are well known, as they ascertained at their recent gathering, that all Jewish People are to leave the Land of Israel. This is no secret– they have said this openly and it has been published everywhere, and this is known to all. This is nothing new; it is now 32 years that they have been announcing this! So it is self understood that any agreement with them will not bring to peace. Even should one agree to give in to their demands on condition that they sign a piece of paper that they are making peace for a while, as is the wish of Peace Now, not only will this not help, but this will bring actual danger onto the Jewish people.
We saw this in actuality at the time of the Six Day War; there were Jews who said that they do not want to conquer the Old City of Jerusalem. Thereafter, when there was no choice but to conquer the Old City and the rest of the territories.
|Beautiful Neve Dekalim before destruction|
|Synagogue of Gush Katif - later destroyed|
The only reason why they did in fact not return these was because gentiles have no real freedom of choice– ‘the heart of kings and princes is in the hands of G-d’, G-d did not permit them to take these!
|Desecration of Jewish Holy books of Gush Katif|
But the Arabs knew that Israel had sent this delegation [to surrender more land] and this gave them the fortitude to continue their acts of terror until this very day, becoming progressively more aggressive, may G-d protect us!
It is not as those who mistakenly think that terror is only a recent phenomenon. This is absolutely untrue. Terror continues month by month from the time of the Six Day War, from when the Arabs were encouraged by becoming aware that the Jews are afraid of them, and are sending emissaries to surrender!
This is how it is spun; whenever Jews conquered some land from the Arabs, they offer the gentiles to surrender that which was conquered, stating that they want peace, justice and integrity. Each of these occasions gives further fortitude and strength to the Arabs, to the point that they killed a Jew, a yeshiva boy, in the center of Hebron. Peace Now brings actual danger onto the Jewish people and onto the Land, and yet, they continue demanding lands be given to the Arabs in return for that piece of paper which states that we are making peace. It is not enough for them that lands with the oil wells were already surrendered, weakening security. They do all this arguing that in return we will receive peace NOW. And since the Jews are a wise nation [??] they argue, they will certainly be able to sort things out without oil and without land security!
This is the greatest delusion – thinking that in return for surrender we will get peace!
Yet, we see openly what Arab intentions are! Even if we were to say [in reality this is not the situation] that in return we will be in receipt of a temporary peace [as Peace Now argue], it is well known that when discussing an ongoing situation one does not focus on the present, but how this will unfold into the future, in which direction this will move. If the present is not good and is moving towards good, one must take that into consideration. Similarly, if the present situation is good but deteriorating, one takes that into consideration. Our situation is the same: we see where surrender to the Arabs is leading.
Even if one were to delude oneself that at present there is peace, it is irrelevant because we see that we are moving forward into a negative situation– since their intention is not one of peace, but to eradicate the Jewish People from the land of Israel.
Public discourse Shabbat Parshat Shelach 1980