6.5. Possessing the Land
Rabbinic sources of Torah proof about possessing the Promised Land
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Jewish Rabbinic Sources of confirmation underlying the Torah stand on ownership and possession of the Land of Israel, according to Divine Mandate, and as highlighted by the events pre-empted by the Shuttle disaster and Ilan Ramon’s Torah based confirmation to Ariel Sharon:
For a review of the intriguing background to the Columbia Space shuttle disaster in 2003 and the Message from the Bible contained therein for mankind, you should use the Link provided at the end of this article.
The following are excerpts from www.jajz-ed.org.il
“We have been commanded in the Torah to take possession of the land which the Lord, Blessed be He, granted to our forefathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and not to leave it in the hands of others or allow it to remain desolate, as it is stated, ‘Thou shalt possess the land and dwell therein, for to you have I given the land and you shall inherit the land which I swore to your fathers’. The exact boundaries of the territory covered by this religious obligation are delineated for us in the Torah (Deuteronomy 1, 7). A proof that this is a special mizvah (Command) can be adduced from the Almighty’s order to the spies, ‘Go up and possess it, as the Lord hath spoken to you, fear not and be not dismayed’ (Ibid. 1, 21)…And when they refused to go up, it is written, ‘And you rebelled against the word of the Lord…’ This indicates that we are dealing with a specific precept and not merely a promise.”
Rashi utilizes in his celebrated first comment to the Pentateuch, states:
“Should the nations of the world say: Ye are robbers in occupying the land belonging to the seven nations, Israel replies: The whole world belongs to the holy One Blessed be He; He created it and gave it to whomsoever he desired. In accordance with His will He gave it to them (the seven nations), originally, and in accordance with His will He took it from them and gave it to us”.
It is the Almighty who determines the boundaries of nations. He allotted Israel its place in the world just the same as He did for other peoples:
What then is the difference between Israel’s relationship to its homeland and that of other nations to theirs? The difference is just this. Israel is aware that this land was granted it by the Almighty. This is not just a matter of history but involves for Israel a moral obligation, the responsibility to observe a particular way of life in that land. According to Nahmanides, the Israelites were specifically commanded to take possession of Eretz Israel and live there to fulfil their religious mission.
There can be no complete observance, in all spheres of life, of the precepts of the Torah, except in Eretz Israel. That is why King David is held to have implied that his expulsion from the Holy Land by Saul was tantamount to telling him to go and worship idols:
“For they have driven me out this day from abiding in the inheritance of the Lord (i.e. in Eretz Israel, from where he fled from the anger of Saul), saying go, serve other gods” (1 Samuel 26, 19).
In other words, the Torah cannot be observed in its entirety except in a society wholly governed by its precepts and not in an alien framework ruled by other ideals. Admittedly there are personal religious obligations that can be observed anywhere, even by a Jewish Robinson Crusoe on his desert isle, but the Torah, as a whole, implies a complete social order, a judiciary, national economic and political life. That can only be achieved in the Holy Land and not outside it.
The precept enjoining us to occupy Eretz Israel and make it our permanent home: “Ye shall possess the land and dwell therein”
“Return unto the land of thy fathers, and to thy kindred; and I will be with thee” Genesis 31, 3
The following excerpts from www.torahcc.org
Although the Torah places great value on the pursuit of peace, it does not advocate pacifism. Diplomacy and peace should be pursued to the fullest, but the military option must be utilized when our survival is threatened, or when we are confronted by a nation that flatly refuses our overtures of peace.
“And you shall drive out the inhabitants of the land and dwell therein, for unto you have I given the land to possess it…. But if you will not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you, then shall those that you let remain be as thorns in your eyes, and as sticks in your side, and they shall harass you in the land wherein you dwell. And it will come to pass that as I thought to do unto them, I will do unto you.”
(Bamidbar / Numbers 31:53-56)
info: Source: www.yeshiva.org.il
Settling the Land of Israel
Rabbi Zalman Melamed
Written by the rabbi
Mukdash Le’Ilui Nishmat
R. Avraham Ben David
Jewish law teaches that in a case where a Jew is physically coerced to transgress one of the mitzvoth (precepts) of the Torah, to the point where his life is endangered, his duty is to transgress the mitzvah rather than allow himself to be killed. This is the rule with regards to all of the mitzvoth except for three: idol worship, incest, and murder.
The above is true concerning a case where a Jew is threatened in private, yet if one is forced to transgress publicly, it is forbidden to breach any mitzvah whatsoever – even a seemingly insignificant one, or an accepted Jewish custom; rather, one is obligated to give his life before transgressing. If, though, the intention of the one threatening is to simply derive self benefit – i.e. it is not the Jews’ transgression of a mitzvah which interests him – Jewish law permits transgression rather than the giving of one’s life.
One who believes that the Arab-Israeli conflict over Eretz Yisrael is not one of principles, and that what motivates the Arabs is mere self-benefit – for they’ve got nothing personal against the Jewish People or our aspirations in the Land of Israel – might well conclude that the obligation to protect one’s life outweighs the mitzvah to settle the Land of Israel. Yet, it’s clear that today’s conflict runs much deeper than this. The Arabs’ real intention is to prevent us from fulfilling the mitzvah of settling the Land of Israel, with all of it’s spiritual implications, and the rule, therefore, is that one must give his life before transgressing the mitzvah.
Some thirty-two years ago, our teacher, Rabbi Tzvi Yehudah HaCohen Kook, z”tl, wrote: “There is absolutely no way, and will never be a way, to permit the indisputable and absolute prohibition against relinquishing any portion of the Land to the authority of another people, heaven forbid. Therefore, every Jew and every great Torah scholar, every Knesset member and every military personage, is obligated to prevent and hinder [such an act] with all of his courage and might, and the heavens will assist him in his efforts.” Eight years later, he wrote again: “Every Jew faithful to [the Land of] Israel, must stand with complete and undivided self-sacrifice against the absurd injustice of this senseless abhorrent and confused… betrayal. [What I’m referring to is]…the abandonment – if even of the smallest amount – of the Land of our life, [for the purpose of] …placing it in the hands of a people [whose only desire is] to persecute us, heaven forbid! As in all cases of physical coercion, whether by non-Jews or by Jews, which, according to Torah law, obligate one [to give his life before transgressing] … how much more so with [regards to the mitzvah of settling the Land of Israel which our sages have said] is equal to all of the mitzvoth in the Torah together.”
Concerning the claim that it’s merely their own personal benefit which motivates the Arabs, Rabbi Tzvi Yehudah said: “Let me enlighten and inform you that this claim is completely null and void, and that such talk does not change in the slightest our obvious obligation [to risk our lives for the sake of settling the Land]. Their “benefit” is that they themselves rule here in this land, and not us, and concerning this we have been commanded, for all generations, by the Lord our God, King of the universe – in accordance with the Ramban (Nahmanides) – that not they be ruling here in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, the Golan, and Jericho, but rather that we be ruling here in our Land, a Land which belongs to the many thousands of assemblies of our people, the House of Israel.” The Rabbi added: “The… claim of “self benefit” is meaningless in our eyes. Self benefit implies their ruling here, and this, the Ramban has taught us, is equivalent to the nullification of a Torah mitzvah, namely, that the land should be under our rule and not the rule others.
The words of the Rabbi Tzvi Yehudah HaCohen Kook are clear: there is an obligation, based on the mitzvah of settling the Land, not to evacuate Jewish settlements in the Land of Israel. We hope, God willing that this issue never becomes an actual topic of debate, “For God will not abandon his people, and will not leave His inheritance.”(Psalms 94:14)
9 June, 2002
MOBILIZING CHRISTIAN SUPPORT FOR ISRAEL
A new campaign called “Stand for Israel” aims to mobilize 100,000 American churches and one million Christians to express solidarity with Israel. The campaign will be run by Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, founder and president of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, and Ralph Reed, former executive director of the Christian Coalition.
Rabbi Eckstein, whose Fellowship last year presented a $1 million check to the Jewish Agency for use in immigrant absorption, says, “Jews are only now beginning to understand the depth of support they have among conservative Christians. Once the potential of this immense reservoir of good will is fully
comprehended by the Jewish people…, you will see support for Israel in the United States swell dramatically.” Reed said, “America has always cherished its friendship with Israel, and religious conservatives and evangelical Christians are among its strongest supporters.” The Stand For Israel campaign will include a web site, fax alerts, a media campaign and a briefing for Christian leaders with Israeli representatives.
Related literature on this topic
The Columbia Space Shuttle Disaster and the many intriguing events surrounding it, may hold a vital Message from the Bible at this time when Israel is faced with the risk of an Iranian nuclear attack “to wipe it off the face of the earth”. Click here for full review of the amazing anomalies
Links to authentic Jewish Web Sites providing: Jewish Wisdom for Success; Jewish Bible Calendars; Live Camera on the Wall; Sources for Bible Studies; Israeli News Sources and more.