Israel Forever

For the week ending 20 June 2009 / 27 Sivan 5769

Then and Now

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll
The dream of every Jew to have a life of peace and prosperity in Eretz Yisrael was denied to the very generation to whom this land was promised. When the Torah account of the spies sent by Moshe to scout the land is read this Shabbat, there is an opportunity to reflect on what went wrong and how it applies to our own generation.

One of the explanations given for the negative attitude towards Eretz Yisrael that caused our ancestors to accept the slander of the spies is that they were convinced that only people of extraordinary strength could survive in the land which otherwise "devours its inhabitants". They failed to take into account that if G-d promised them this land He would endow them with the ability to prosper in it materially while fulfilling their spiritual potential in the place most suited for such a goal.

The challenges of living in Eretz Yisrael sometimes cause Jews of our own generation to have second thoughts about the viability of survival. But the mistake of that earlier generation must not be repeated. We must believe that if we strive to fulfill our spiritual potential here we will be privileged to enjoy Israel forever.

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