Thursday, August 28, 2008

How far to go?

We're technically already finished with parshas eikev as halfway through the week we switch our mindsets to the next parsha. That makes us solidly sitting in Re'eh territory right now. However, I wanted to share something that I spoke about at seudat shlishit last week in Chevron. You'll have to forgive me for being "so last week."

The activists who were talking to us were describing the obstacles they face while trying to redeem Jewish land. At one point someone told us that they had taken over a block of apartments for a couple weeks when 3000 yasmnikim came in to throw them out.
Yasamnikim are special police who are about as brutal as one can be. When they get taken out for a day of fun, they go to a settler beating instead of tubing on the Jordan river.

Anyways, he said that he and his son barricaded themselves in the apartment and gave them a really hard time before they were dragged out.

As I read through parshas eikev, I felt that the parsha was talking directly to us. It is easily understood in mostly modern hebrew as a musar shmooze from Moshe to us. He writes "Don't think that you are getting this land because you are so good and they are so bad. You are only getting the land because they are so bad. And you are a stiff necked people."
He also uses the famous line. "It was the strength of my army that won the battle." (כחי ועצם ידי עשה את החיל הזה) As it was in Egypt and in all the Jewish battles throughout history it is God who runs the battles and decides who wins and who loses.

Now I am pro fighting for our land. I think that we have to put in the proper effort to get it. I just don't know how far we have to go before it becomes a lack of faith in God to fight our battles. This seems to me to be the question that the Hagana, Irgun and Lehi faced (though they may not have known it).

I think that we have to fight the battle on many fronts, but at some point we have to take a step back and look at the forest. As it says in the parsha, we only deserve the land if we do Torah and mitzvos. If the people do not deserve the land, the actions of a handful of people will not change that fact.

I think that if some of the money that goes towards enhancing settlements went instead towards teaching non-religious people here about the importance of the Land of Israel and in keeping mitzvos then we wouldn't need to spend all that money on enhancing the settlements, it would come by itself.

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