Israel Forever

For the week ending 18 September 2004 / 3 Tishri 5765

Right of Return

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll

Is it only the Palestinians who claim the Right of Return?

This Shabbat, when there echoes in every synagogue the call of the Prophet Hoshea Return, Israel, to your G-d, we are reminded of another Right of Return which has special significance for Jews at this time of the year.

The Arab world refuses to relinquish its claim for the so-called Palestinian refugees to return to the homes they evacuated during the War of Liberation in 1948. It is absurd that so much of the world, with the proud exception of President Bush, gives any credence to this claim since the Palestinians in question were never evicted from their homes but left them at the urging of their leaders who wished them to be evacuated in the wake of what they expected to be a rout of the Israeli defenders.

Perhaps the only way to understand this is to view it as part of a Divine plan to wake Israeli Jews up to their own Right of Return. Since there is little hope for radical fundamentalist Islam to return to its senses and halt its war of terror against the rest of the world, our only hope for peace and security for the year which has just begun is to exercise our own Right of Return to our G-d Who will protect Israel forever.

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