Weekly Story: The Jewish Claim to the Land of Israel

In the Torah portion of Massei the details of the borders of Eretz Yisroel are clearly defined. We share a letter in which the Rebbe discusses the events in the Holy Land and the Jewish claim to the land which is derived from the Torah. The Rebbe emphasizes what needs to be done in order for the nations of the world to recognize this fact. This letter is from volume 5 of The Letter and The Spirit.

Mrs. ________ 5734
Detroit, Michigan
Blessing and Greeting:

I am in receipt of your letter.

It is surely unnecessary to point out to you that events in the Holy Land, and those concerning the Holy Land, are moving with such swiftness and mutability that it makes it difficult to express an opinion on the situation in reply to a letter which was written a few days earlier, and which will reach its destination a few days later. For, even in the course of a week, there are certain to be changes in the situation–possibly important changes.

One observation may be made, however, on a matter not subject to change, and it is surprising and regrettable that it does not receive the emphasis that it merits. I refer to the fact that the Jewish claim to, and connection with, the land which is universally recognized as the Holy Land–the holiness of which is derived from the Torah–is based on the Torah and dates back to the Covenant which G-d made with our Father Abraham in which He promised “Unto your children I have given this land.”1 It follows immediately that, for this claim to be recognized by the nations of the world, it is necessary that the Jews themselves live up to that Covenant by showing that they are truly a holy people.

Furthermore, in the present situation, when the whole world has involved itself in the future of the Holy Land, when every nation has its own ideas about it and external pressures are mounting daily, it is well to bear in mind that in the area referred to, namely, in fulfilling the Covenant with G-d, the Jewish people are completely independent and not subject to outside pressures and the good will of the nations, nor subject to international consultations and negotiations.

In the present situation, the plain words of the Torah: “If you walk in My statutes…you will dwell in your land safely, and I will give peace in the land…and none shall make you afraid…and I will be your G-d, and you shall be My people,”2 become even more crucial. The sooner and more fully Jews will live up to this condition, the sooner G-d’s promise will be fulfilled.

It is indeed remarkable that precisely many of our young people now defending the frontiers of the Land of Israel, who have not been brought up in the true Jewish tradition, yet, after seeing the miracles which G-d wrought on all fronts, began to put on tefillin and openly declared themselves to be dati, believing in G-d, the Creator of the world, Who alone determines the outcome of events. One can only hope and pray that those who are behind the lines, as well as our brethren in the Diaspora, will not put to shame the tremendous spiritual revival and inspiration of these young people. For, unfortunately, too many seek refuge in the excuse that living among the nations of the world and under economic pressures, etc., makes it difficult to retain full Jewish identity and independence, or to observe the mitzvot in the fullest measure in the daily life. It obviously militates against common sense to say that G-d, Who created the whole universe, including the Jewish people, has placed Jews in a position where they cannot fulfill His precepts. Even your typical manager of a small business or industry would not expect his employees to accomplish something that is beyond their capacity. Certainly G-d does not act so capriciously, or despotically, as to expect Jews to do the impossible.3

Needless to say, the above is not meant to imply that Jews should not do everything in their power in the natural order of things to cope with the present situation. However, it should be understood that in order to make the proper decisions, and in order to have hatzlacha in these efforts which concern the Holy Land and the holy people, there must be a definitive and substantial change pointing in the direction of faith and trust in G-d and His Torah–a change that should immediately be evident in the daily life which is conducted in accordance with the will of G-d, as embodied in the Torah and clearly set forth and codified in the Shulchan Aruch.

With blessing,


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