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Friday, August 24, 2007
As per recent coversation with Rav Shmuel Kamenetsky of Chofetz Chaim Heritage
Ach Tov Vechesed Yirdifuni (Only Good and Kindness will chase after me...)... Perhaps the fact that we are pursuing Rav Kamenetsky shlita spiritual mentor of the Chofetz Chaim Heritage Foundation is a good thing.
I recently spoke to Rav Kamenetsky on the telephone. Shmuel Koenig is working with me to reach out to Rabbanim and Gedoilei Hador, to lobby and influence them to make a public statement that Eretz Yisroel is our Biblical Inheritance. Although Rav Kamenetsky was extremely patient and understanding and kind with Shmuel, we did not achieve our desired goal. It seemed that Rav Kamenetsky was not willing to take the necessary action that we feel is crucial for the survival of Am Yisroel in Eretz Yisroel, especially now in the month of Elul, the month of Teshuva. This action was to admit publicly that the Gedoilim have made a mistake for not speaking out for Eretz Yisroel and stating that Eretz Yisroel is our Biblical Inheritance. When I understood that Shmuel did not achieve the desired result, I myself then called Rav Kamenetsky. My understanding from our conversation was that the Gedoilim fault the Religious Zionists (Mizrahi) for making Eretz Yisroel the entire Torah and are now learning their lesson by being expelled from the settlements etc.
I can not understand this conclusion.
The entire Sefer Devarim is Moshe's final speech to Am Yisroel. Moshe knows he is unable to enter Eretz Yisroel. So he provides Am Yisroel and their future generations with the tools necessary to survive w/o him in Eretz Yisroel and not in the Midbar. These tools are the Mitvoth that are mentioned in Sefer Devarim and are dependant on the Land. All of Sefer Devarim which is also called Mishneh Torah is instruction on how to keep the Mitzvoth in Eretz Yisroel. But not only Sefer Devarim is focused on Eretz Yisroel. Almost every Parsha has some reference to Eretz Yisroel as being Eretz Shehinchalta Laavoseinu Lates Lanu LeAchuzas Olam (The Land of Israel is the Promised Land given to our forefathers Abraham Isaac and Jacob and is given to us, their seed, as an EVERLASTING Inheritance) The first Rashi in Breishis tells us that the nations of the world will tell us, Listim Atem, you are occupiers, and our answer is that the entire universe was created by the Ribbono Shel Olam, the Creator of the World, who decides who is the rightful inheritors and occupiers of the Land. Hashem has chosen the Land of Israel to be the Chosen Land for the people of Israel as is repeated countless times in Sefer Breishis (please refer to the Covenant with Abraham, the Covenant with Isaac and the Covenant with Jacob) and in subsequent Parshios in Chumash. In fact the Canaanite Nations were descendants of Cham who was cursed to be the slaves of Shem. We know that the property of the slave belongs to the owner. So even when the Canaanite Nations lived on the Land legitimately, it still was the rightful inheritance of the People of Israel.
What was the purpose of Yetzias Mitzraim (Being redeemed from Egypt)? It was not simply a physical redemption. It was for the ultimate purpose of receiving the Torah to be observed in ERETZ YISROEL. In fact Yaakov Avinu was allowed to have 2 wives in Chuz Laaretz but in Eretz Yisroel it was not allowed. We learn that observance of Mitzvoth in Chuz Laaretz is practice for the real thing.
My question to Rav Kamenetsky and the Gedoilim is not how come the Religious Zionists make Eretz Yisroel such an integral part of keeping Torah and Mitzvoth but rather how can the Gedoilim disengage themselves from Eretz Yisroel and thereby act as if the Torah can be complete WITHOUT Eretz Yisroel. How can the Gedoilim truly observe Torah w/o Eretz Yisroel?????? Two Thousand Years of Galus is exactly that! GALUS. It is not what we yearn for. Yet we pray each and every day for the real thing and when we finally get it we don't realize that we actually do have it. We are not connecting the dots. We are passive when President Bush speaks of the Roadmap.
How can the Gedoilim not recognize the unbelievable miracle of the 6 day war and the continuous miracles that are happening each day in Sederot and that happened each day in Gush Katif? Yet they seem to delude themselves that because the State of Israel was successful to expel the religious zionists from Gush Katif that is proof that Hashem was unhappy with the settlers' choice of settling that part of Eretz Yisroel. My answer is exactly the opposite. Hashem performed miracles for us. Yet too large of a cross section of Am Yisroel, in Eretz Yisroel and in the Diaspora, the secular and yes even the chareidim choose to ignore the miracles. The majority of Am Yisroel showed in their own way that they did not want Eretz Yisroel. They reject Eretz Yisroel. They decide that it is not necessary L'avda u'Leshamra. It is not necessary to plant and to harvest in the Land of Israel in order to keep Torah. It is better perhaps to learn in Lakewood. A small section of righteous Jews albeit imperfect Jews, show their love for Eretz Yisroel. They plant and they harvest. Yet there is a concept of Areivus, the Bris Chadash (New Covenanat) that was added to the former Covenant of Sinai to Am Yisroel before they entered Eretz Yisroel. That is the concept of Areivus (mutual responsibility). If one member of Am Yisroel is guilty then we as a Nation is guilty and is accountable. My conclusion is as follows: Because the majority of Am Yisroel rejected Eretz Yisroel, we as a Nation were unworthy of Eretz Yisroel. Gush Katif is by no means dead. How do we know? Because the grief and pain is the same as it was the day it was destroyed 2 years ago. When someone dies, the grief and pain minimizes over time. This has not been the case. Gush Katif still must be very alive. However, when we unite as a Nation and show a desire and longing to keep the precious gift Hashem miraculously returned to us after 2000 years of exile, than once again, Hashem will bestow blessings of peace and security. Gush Katif and the other settlements will once again bloom.
The evil actions of the gov't of Israel would have never succeeded in the disengagement if the majority of Am Yisroel would have protested and joined the people of Gush Katif in mind and spirit and in public declarations of support. It was the failure of the Nation, in Eretz Yisroel and in the Diaspora, to speak out for Eretz Yisroel that caused the expulsion. I would not put the blame of the righteous people of Gush Katif. No one is perfect. They are the creme de la creme. I put the failure of Gush Katif on all of us that were unsuccessful to reach out and influence and be Mashpia on those that were Silent and stood by passively not claiming our joint precious gift of Eretz Yisroel. It is a mistake to think that we do not need each and every Jew wherever we may be. When will we as a Nation prove worthy of Eretz Yisroel? When each and every member of Am Yisroel truly desires Eretz Yisroel and expresses love for Eretz Yisroel and CLAIMS the precious gift Hashem is holding so patiently for us and then takes that precious gift and elevates it as his/her own object of holiness thereby elevating this very special Land to it's ultimate purpose of being Eretz Hakodesh and we Am Yisroel will be the Mamlechet Kohanim VeGoy Kadosh ( A Kingdom of Priests and A Holy Nation).
The very first step is not to be afraid or ashamed to state publicly to one another "THIS LAND IS MADE FOR YOU AND ME".
Please read Rabbi Nachman's Kahana's post that addresses these very points in Manhigut Yehudit's blog.
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