17 July 2020

Fufilling Moshe Rabbeinu's Heart's Desire

25 Tammuz 5780
Erev Shabbat Kodesh
Parashat Matot-Mas'ei/Mevarchim

This week's contribution comes courtesy of the 1379 edition of Torah Tidbits...

Chamishi - 5th Aliya - Bamidbar 33:50-34:15

G-d speaks to Moshe in Arvot Moav and commands the People to enter, conquer, acquire, and settle the Land, according to the “Divine Lottery”.  This is one of the 613 mitzvot according to Ramban - the mitzva of YISHUV ERETZ YISRAEL, the mitzva to live in Israel.  Ramban says that this mitzva applies in all times, including our own.

Part of the mitzva, explains Ramban, is that the people of Israel may not shun G-d’s gift and promise, and go conquer and settle elsewhere.  Jews who live anywhere in the world outside of Israel should always remember their “stranger in a strange land” status. Adopting someplace else as your own and removing Israel from your personal agenda, contravene the spirit (and maybe the letter) of this mitzva.
The boundaries of the Land are detailed.  These boundaries are now for the 9½ tribes, since Reuven, Gad and half of Menashe have claimed their allotments on the East Bank.
Read the description of the boundaries of the land that is being given by G-d to the Jewish People.  To the Jewish People.  To the Jewish People.  To us.  Unlike the identity of many of the encampments, we know where these boundaries are.  Eretz Yisrael for the Jewish People goes at least (see next paragraph) from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River.  The Torah does not seem to indicate that parts of the Promised Land should become a foreign state - regular or demilitarized - or be given to enemies of the State of Israel or the Jewish People.
(Perhaps - no, no perhaps - it's a definite!)  Do you believe that G-d created the world? Do you believe that G-d commanded us to keep the Shabbat?  Do you believe that G-d gave Eretz Yisrael to the Jewish People, in perpetuity?  Do you believe that it is His Will that we, His People, live in Eretz Yisrael?  These questions are not 'pick and choose' for us.  They are The Package Deal that G-d made with us and the reason He took us out of Egypt and made us a nation - His nation.
In G-d's original promise to Avraham Avinu, the land to be given to his descendants was to be "from the Egyptian River until the great river, P'rat".  The boundaries described in this week's sedra contain a territory significantly smaller than that which was promised. Our Sages tell us that the original promise includes territory to be added to Eretz Yisrael in the future, in the times of the Moshiach.

1 comment:

  1. May it become greater and greater, as promised. It is so great a mitzvah that the Sages (Chazal) disputed amongst themselves that even the evil king Achav might have a portion in the world to come, since he was constantly enhancing the size of Israel; that's how great a mitzvah it is to settle the Land and make it greater and greater. Amen.