EVERY JEW MUST
From A Talk By The Lubavitcher Rebbe
regardless of where he lives, owns at least one square cubit of the land of
Israel. This has halachic ramifications. For example, a pruzbul may be written
only by someone who owns a piece of land; yet, every Jew is permitted to write a
pruzbul on the grounds that he owns at least a portion of the land of Israel. It
is his eternal inheritance from the Creator of the world. As such, everything
that transpires with the land of Israel involves all the Jewish people and they
are all qualified to express their opinion on anything concerning it,
irregardless of whether that opinion ultimately prevails.
As the rightful possession of every Jew, no one has the right to take Israel away from the Jewish people. Moreover, since the Torah declares that the land is their eternal inheritance, the Jewish people themselves may not relinquish any part of it, and the actions of anyone who does so have no validity whatever.
In light of the above, it might appear that a Jew is qualified to express his opinion only with regard to the square cubit that he owns. This is not so, however, for in certain respects the land is a single, unified entity. The jubilee laws, for example, or the laws concerning the appending of other lands to Israel, apply only when the entire land is in the possession of the Jewish people.
2. Clearly then, there is nothing surprising about a Jew expressing his opinion on how things ought to be in the land of Israel, even if his opinion does not ultimately prevail. Not only is every Jew permitted to express his opinion on these matters, he is obligated to do so; otherwise, he shares in the responsibility of the wrongs committed there.
SUMMARY, ANALYSIS, COMMENTARY:
1. In many respects, the land of Israel is a unified entity belonging to the entire Jewish people. Any person or entity, including a Jew or Jewish group, who takes or gives away any part of the land, commits an act of thievery against the entire Jewish people, and the Torah does not grant the act any validity.
2. Every Jew possesses the right and the obligation to protest the land concessions.
3. In the past, the Israeli government has refused to respond to arguments against land concessions coming from Jews not living in Israel, claiming that such Jews have no mural right to voice their opinion on such matters. But aside for the fact that an argument has to be considered on the basis of its own merits, the fact that every Jew owns a part of Israel, and every part of Israel is intrinsically connected with the rest of it, grants every Jew the moral right to express his opinion with regard to Israel, and the moral obligation to protest against land concessions, and other such evils.
The obligation applies even to the type of person described by the Sages as “one who knows his Master and purposely rebels against Him,” Even an individual who rebels against G-d by denying the Jewish people’s claim to the land of Israel (a claim based on the fact that G-d Himself took it away from the nations of the world and gave it to the Jewish people) is obligated to voice his opposition to land concessions. Lest one entertain the notion that someone who purposely rebels against G-d is not held accountable for the transgressions resulting from his rebellion, which are overshadowed by the rebellion itself, Maimonides teaches us that while King Jeroboam was punished for his rebellious act of placing idols in Beis-El and Dan, he was also punished for the comparatively minor act of neglecting the mitzvah of eiruv tavshilin. Clearly, then, one who rebels against G-d does not escape punishment for the minor transgressions resulting from his major transgression.
The same is true with regard to land concession: in addition to receiving punishment for harming Israel by assisting the PLO, a Jew with connections to the PLO and similar entities, will be held accountable for keeping silent on matters pertaining to Israel’s safety and security.
The obligation to speak out applies even when it is clear that those in charge will pay no attention to what is being said. Indeed, the Torah instructs us, “Admonish shall you admonish your fellow,” the repetition indicating “even a hundred times,” as stated by the Talmud. In other words, if one admonished his fellow ninety-nine times, and it was totally ineffective, he must admonish him yet another time, or be guilty of neglecting the positive commandment to admonish his fellow. Clearly then, the obligation to do one’s part by speaking out applies even where one’s words fall on deaf ears. The Torah does not give one us a choice in the matter if there is any possibility that one’s silence might be interpreted as acquiescence, or the like, he is obligated to speak out, even if he is not used to speaking out on issues and even if it makes him uncomfortable.
SUMMARY, ANALYSIS, COMMENTARY:
One whose entire way of life is contrary to the Torah will nevertheless be held accountable for failing to voice his opposition to land concessions.
The fact that one’s words will fall on deaf ears does not exempt one from the obligation to speak out.
Some people enjoy the spotlight; others make a career of speaking out on issues. But even one who prefers keeping a low profile, or minding his own business, is required by the Torah to protest the wrongs being committed with the land of Israel.
3. While it is true that the Jewish people conquered the land of Israel, it is nevertheless our rightful possession; we have taken what is ours, for G-d gave this land to our forefathers, the Patriarchs. The argument that the land of Israel is ours because it was the homeland of our ancestors over a thousand years ago and enemies came and drove them out is a weak one. According to this argument it would be legitimate for the [American] Indians to chase the President of the United States out of Washington and put an Indian in his place. Indeed, there are Indians who have made this claim! Yet no one gives it arty consideration at all. the difference between our claim and the claim of the Indians is that G-d made the “Covenant of the Parts” with the Jewish forefather Abraham, at which He promised the Holy Land to. the descendants of Abraham’s grandson, Jacob.
By abandoning the Code of Jewish Law and proclaiming that the Land of Israel is not a country that is ruled by Torah, the Israeli leadership relinquishes their claim to the land; indeed, without the Torah, G-d forbid., the Arabs who lived here in previous decades have a more legitimate claim to the land.
Our claim to the land of Israel rests on the fact that G-d gave it us. Since the Israeli leadership does not recognize the Torah’s authority, they truly have no claim to ownership over the land of Israel certainly no more than the Arabs who lived there prior to the founding of the State.
Translated By Alexander Zushe Kohn
Issue Number 500 Pg 45
A Project Of The Crown Heights Committee For Shleimus HaAretz
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