Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Not relinquishing the Land is bound up with faith in G-d

  The Holy Land is ‘The land into which the eyes of G-d continuously gaze from the beginning of the year until the end of the year’. Since this is ‘The palace of the King’ it becomes even more important that all vital decisions concerning this land be made strictly in accord with the command of the King [G-d].

The Third Temple on the Temple Mount, Jerusalem[Please click on the picture]
This is highly relevant to the territories along the borders of Eretz Israel. It is forbidden to relinquish any parcel of land to a gentile [this being a negative commandment of Torah– “Lo Sichonem”– do not give the Land away]. Any compromises on this issue are forbidden.

Material aspects of the Land of Israel are bound up with its spirituality. That is why legally, its very earth is pure as is the very air, to the extent that our sages [Talmud, Tractate Bava Basra 158.2] state that the air of the Land of Israel makes mankind wise. This negative command of Torah not to relinquish the Land touches one’s faith in G-d. This is because material matters of Israel go hand in hand with the spiritual. 

This is especially so when we speak of a city on the border which is certainly forbidden to be relinquished, as the code of Jewish Law lays down: ‘When gentiles besiege any city of the Jewish people, even if they have not yet arrived but are in the preliminary stages of approach, the law demands us to march forth fully armed, even to desecrate the Shabbos’. The severity of this law is greater with regard to a border city: should a nation that approaches for no other reason than to acquire stubble and hay for their animals, the law demands of us to march forth fully armed, lest they conquer the city, and from there the land will be easily conquered. 

Today the entire [miniscule] land mass of Israel is in proximity to her borders. Every single city has the law of ‘a city on the border’. It is the obligation of each individual Jew to do all within his ability to be armed as needed. Not in order to exhibit personal strength, but because this is the command of G-d, in order to protect very many Jews on the borders. This conduct is demanded by Jewish law. 

All of this [living in Israel, and being armed for war] has no connection whatsoever with the beginning of the Redemption. G-d forbid to say this is the beginning of the Redemption! Maimonides states that the end of the Exile will be brought about by our righteous Moshiach. The sign will be as follows: ‘There will arise a king from the Royal House of King David ... he will compel all of Israel to walk in the ways of Torah and to strengthen her’. Initially Jews need to study Torah and perform Mitzvos, only then will He put an end to the darkness. Our righteous Moshiach [who will be a soul within a body] will fight the wars of G-d and be victorious, ‘build the Temple in her place’ [on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem], and only then will he bring about the ingathering’s of Israel. Yet even now in the exile, even a small village of Jews outside of Israel, has the law to go out to war armed, and desecrate the Shabbos if non-Jews besiege the town. It is forbidden to give away any part of the Land of Israel! 
                                                                                                                          10th Teves 1978