YESHIVAT HARA'AYON HAYEHUDI
Jerusalem, Israel, HaRav Yehuda Kreuser SHLIT"A, Rosh Yeshiva
PARSHAT MAS'EI/ROSH CHODESH MENACHEM AV
1 Av 5768/1-2 August 2008
“But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land before you, those of them whom you leave shall be as pins in your eyes and as thorns at your sides, and they will harass you upon the land in which you dwell. And it shall be that what I had meant to do to them, I shall do to you.”
A quick glimpse into Israeli government recently-approved housing permits shows quite a remarkable phenomenon. While no new cities have been planned for some time in Israel, it seems now that the Israeli government has done a turnaround and has been approving quite a few new cities to be built.
Just last week the government approved the formation of a committee to build a new city in the Galilee; this, after many years without any new city planned. A recently abandoned Israeli army base just outside of Gush Ezion - the Shdemah army base - will be left for a new neighborhood to be built on that spot.
And during her latest visit to Israel in July of this year, US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice was told about two new neighborhoods that will be built on the Jerusalem-Binyamin highway, that are to be made up of some 8,000 housing units. In his talks with Madame Secretary, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak put his foot down and told the Secretary of State: This is just the way it is - we are building these new neighborhoods and that’s that!
But there is more. Down south, in the Negev, after a 15-year battle a new community will finally arise. The fight started years ago with the then Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin pledging to build a new community that could house tens of thousands. Finally, it will become a reality! Plans for the community are being prepared by the Israeli Land Administration and will then be examined by the Regional Council for Planning and Building of the Israeli government.
Of course, this entire construction boom is not for the Jews of the Land of Israel, but rather, for the Arabs among us. For the Jews a very strict ban on building has been enforced for some time in Yosh (Yehuda and Shomron) under the pressure of the Bush administration. Just try to build the smallest of additions to your house, and the police will show up the very next morning to destroy it. Caravans are stopped on the road and confiscated. Even if one is able to construct some type of structure, the Israeli electric company, under strict orders from Olmert and Co., will not hook the site up to the electric lines; this goes also for Bezek phones. On the other hand, Arabs build unabated as tens of thousands of “illegal”
structures continue to be built in the Galilee and Negev, and no one bats an eye.
How did all of this come about, that the government of Israel works on stopping the Jewish population from expanding, and actually, with the help of the Israeli tax shekel, helps our enemies to conquer the Land?
The answer, written in our parsha, is as clear as day: And it shall be that what I had meant to do to them I shall do to you.” Instead of the Jewish people coming to conquer and settle the Land, Hashem has given over that right to the Arab enemy. All because we do not do what we must.
The conquest of the Land of Israel is not just a nice thing, or some proud achievement to display to Hadassah women and receive a plaque, but rather, the commandment to settle the Land consists of two parts; the first being the conquest of the Land, and only then, the settling of it. It is not enough to just settle the Land and to leave the enemy within, for in a short time they will raise their ugly head against you. The holy Or-Hachayim writes that not only will you not be able to settle the places where they the enemy are, but even in the places where just you live (like Tel Aviv), you will not be able to survive.
What we fail to understand is that this is not just common sense, but this is Torah law. How many times have we heard from rabbis that the Nation must do Teshuva - to return to Hashem, and that will save the Jewish people They say we must keep the Shabbat laws, eat kosher, observe the laws of family purity, etc. But it must be known that part of doing national Teshuva is to remove the Arab enemy from the Land! This is no less of a commandment than any other! There is no other option, as the Torah tells us - it's either them ruling the Land, or us.
It's time to realize that what is needed is not another “Shas kindergarten”, or another kollel, but a real understanding that the removal of the enemy from Israel is Torah law!
With love of Israel,
The Times of Israel
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