The debate in Israel over the question of sovereignty is raging. What is the proper course of action? Let us return to the desert, thousands of years ago. It was the eve of the new month of Tamuz at the Israelite encampment. Moses sends twelve spies to tour and inspect the Promised Land. Forty days later, on the eve of Tisha B’Av, they return with their report: It is true. The Land flows with milk and honey. It is magnetizing and magnificent…but it is not for us. Its residents are giants and strong. Their cities are fortified and established. They have international support. We, on the other hand, are like grasshoppers as compared to them.
This is what the majority said. Only two determined spies stood up against the majority and said, “We will surely go up and inherit it…”
The end is well known. The window of opportunity closed and an entire generation remained in the desert. But when did the sin begin? Not on Tisha B’Av, when the spies returned with their report, but at the beginning of Tamuz. All forty days of their journey were part of the sin and thus were exchanged for forty years of wandering in the desert. The spies had overstepped the bounds of their mandate and their mission. They were supposed to report back about the Land and how to conquer it – not to give their opinion on whether or not to conquer it or if the Israelites should look for a different land.
Those who believe in God know that Israel is the land of the Jewish Nation and that ultimately, we will inherit it. There is no question about that. Those who do not believe, however, become frightened and frighten others. They will always have excuses about the timing…
Why was it necessary to send spies at all?
In order to come to the Land, we need ratzon (will). In fact, the Hebrew word for ‘land’, eretz, shares a two-letter subroot with ratzon. The role of the spies was to awaken the will of the Nation to inherit the Promised Land. ‘Perhaps we are comfortable here in the desert,’ they were supposed to say, with the Clouds of Glory and manna straight from heaven. But let us arise and enter the Land, for it is waiting for us to discover its hidden treasures.’
This is like the soul, which descends from heaven to meet the physical body, and lives a full life of Torah observance inside it.
The Nation of Israel is the groom and the Land of Israel is the bride. And when they are together, God’s Immanent Presence, the Shechinah, resides between them. Yes, there are bachelors who fear marriage, preferring to remain free, with no commitments or children, always available for a good adventure. This is why the spies were sent to see the bride and to report back that there is nothing like her in the world. They were supposed to encourage the Israelites to marry as soon as possible. And who would dare obstruct their path? Everyone would clear the way for the perfect couple – whose escort would be none other than the Holy One, Blessed Be He, in all His glory.
Declaration of Love
Fifty-three years ago, after the Six-Day War, Israel was put to a test. The newly conquered land was waiting for us. What were we supposed to do with it? Do we want it? Or maybe we don’t? Once again, the fearmongering and weeping took center stage. Sometimes, it even seems like the majority believe that we cannot enter the Land because “they are stronger than us.” “Perhaps it is not even ours at all???”
Precious time has already passed, but we can still rectify the situation. We need brave Jewish leadership with faith and confidence in God. We need leadership that will make the simplest statement without fear or embarrassment: The Land of Israel is the Land of the Jewish Nation. Yes, all the Land that is in our control since the Six-Day War belongs to us – as is written in the Torah.
The bride has been waiting for us for a very long time. Now, God is bringing us to the wedding once again. Of course, we want to marry.
Let us make our plans: First of all, a declaration of love – a declaration of sovereignty over all the Land in our hands. One Land for one Nation. One bride for one groom. This will not be a declaration devoid of content, but actualization, settlement on the ground. There are more details to be discussed – but this is the goal.
Is this politics? Not at all. The greatest problem of today’s politics is that it is almost completely tainted with presumptions from the spies: ‘It is impossible, it is not ours…’
We need a new approach: Worthy leadership for the Nation of Israel, which will clearly tell the truth, drawing everyone after it, with God’s help.