08 September 2011

The sins are piling up - Where is the teshuva?

9 Elul 5771

Efrat Mayor: Separation from Arabs Won't Work

[Efrat mayor Oded] Ravivi told Arutz Sheva that his presence as a Jewish resident of Judea and Samaria at a conference aimed at finding ways to cooperate with Arabs is not at all out of the ordinary.

Basically, the whole settlement movement, the whole establishment of Jews living in Judea and Samaria was based on relations with the neighbors, he said. “If it wasn’t for outsiders who try to come and interfere we could have stayed living there one next to the other peacefully.”

...The Palestinians can’t maintain themselves without commercial and financial connections with the State of Israel and there needs to be some mechanism where we can live one next to the other peacefully.”


Quoting from Chapter 20 of Or Hara'ayon - "The Non-Jew in Eretz Yisrael"

Eretz Yisrael is called that because it is the Land of Yisrael, the People of Israel. Whoever is not of the holy, chosen people of Israel has no portion in Eretz Yisrael. There is a substantive difference between G-d's thoughts and those of the alien culture as far as land and nationality. In the latter view, land has become the chief definer of nationhood. That is, a people's definition is to be determined by the land. Whoever lives in a particular land becomes part of the people of that land and among its masters. Accordingly, the population that dwells in a land is not a unique nation that settled there in order to live its life and develop an exclusive culture, the land being a mere vessel to house them. Rather, following the alien culture's doctrines of equality and democracy, since there is no reason for a nation to be considered unique or superior, whoever is in a land or who arrives there with intent to live there, regardless of nationality or creed, becomes part of the nation inhabiting the land, such that the land defines the nation.

G-d's thoughts are different, however. The G-d of Israel established and defined the Jewish People as a holy, chosen and unique people and gave them a land in which they would be able to create a Divine society and state in accordance with the Torah. The Land is only a vessel belonging to G-d and His special nation. The Land does not define the nation, because, after all, the nation is already defined and the Land belongs only to them. Eretz Yisrael belongs to the People of Israel, and the People of Israel are plainly and precisely defined. Anyone not of the People of Israel cannot become part of this nation just because he lives in the Land. Such persons must join Israel in accordance with the nation's laws, not any law of the land. Eretz Yisrael belongs exclusively to the Jewish People whose definition has been established and set by G-d. No foreigner or alien has any share in the Land, which, itself, is nothing but a vessel to serve Israel.

Eretz Yisrael was given by G-d as a vessel to house Israel so they could be separated from the abominations of the nations and from their alien culture, and so they would establish there a holy, pure and complete society and state according to G-d's mitzvot and under His Heavenly yoke. It is not the Land which defines the nation in it, but the nation which defines the Land. Not every person who lives in the Land is defined as its owner. Rather, the Land is defined by the People of Israel as the Land of Israel, and whoever is not of Israel has no portion in this ownership.

...Bamidbar Rabbah 23:7---G-d said to Moses, "Indeed, the Land is dear to Me, as it says (Deut. 11:12), 'It is a land constantly under the L-rd your G-d's scrutiny.' Israel are dear to Me as well, as it says, 'It was because of the L-rd's love for you (Deut. 7:8).' G-d said, 'I shall bring Israel, who are dear to Me, into the Land which is dear to Me.'"

It is clear that there is an absolute prohibition on giving a non-Jew mastery over Eretz Yisrael, and that a non-Jew, whoever he may be, has an entirely different status from that of Israel, who are the owners of the Land, Eretz Yisrael. The non-Jew is nothing but an alien, a stranger, a temporary occupant, and not an owner. Only within well-defined principles and laws is it permissible for him to dwell in Eretz Yisrael, even as an alien and occupant.

Moreover, it is clear to G-d that the nations who were the owners of the Land before Israel arrived to conquer it, and indeed, any non-Jew who views the Land as belonging to him, pose a danger to the existence of Eretz Yisrael as the land of the People of Israel....

"Be very careful with regard to what I am instructing you today. I will drive out the Amorites, Canaanites, Hivites, Perrizites, Hitties and Jebusites before you. Be most careful not to make a treaty with the people who live in the Land where you are coming, since they can be a fatal trap for you. (Ex. 34:11-12)

Abarbanel comments:

Verses 11-12 inform us that since G-d is driving out the Amorites and the other nations, it is improper for Israel to forge a covenant with them. If a nobleman helps someone by fighting his battles and banishing his enemies, it is morally inappropriate for that person to make peace with them without that nobleman's permission. So, too, with G-d driving out Israel's enemies, it is inappropriate for Israel to forge a covenant with them, for that would profane G-d's glory.

This is especially so considering that this friendship and this covenant will not succeed. With Israel having taken their land, there is no doubt that they will constantly seek Israel's downfall. This is why it is said, "[the land] where you are coming." Since Israel came to that land and took it from its inhabitants, and they feel that is has been stolen from them, how will they make a covenant of friendship with you? Rather, the opposite will occur. "They will be a fatal trap for you." When war strikes you, they will join your enemies and fight you."