Many Orthodox rabbis teach during this present period of mourning the destruction of the Holy Temples, Israelis must rectify the Sin of the Spies in the Torah, “the root of all calamities,” they say. This week’s Torah portion, D’varim (Deuteronomy), repeats the story of the 12 spies sent by Moses. Of the 12, only two (Joshua and Caleb) returned with a good report. The following article by Rabbi Melamed is abridged from the ‘Besheva’ newspaper. We present the rabbi’s comments from the lengthy article that refer to the present war in Gaza:
Had we been worthy – we would have engaged in the mitzvah [commandment] of yishuv ha’aretz, building and expanding Gush Katif. We would not have sinned in the Oslo Accords, and not have granted the Arabs any collective rights in the Land of Israel. Indeed, we would have to deal with international pressure and threats from the Arab enemy, but handling such pressure would have been relatively easy. It could even have been a constructive and reinforcing struggle.
The Only Way to Win is Settling the Land
And thus, we will have to go from one military operation to the next, to bend, twist, and confront international pressures – because the Arabs will always have demands, and there will always be more terrorists to violate the peace.
If the enemy knew that as a result of the war the government would decide to build tens of thousands of homes in the settlements of Judea and Samaria, they would realize they have lost.
If they heard that the Israeli government intends to occupy Gaza, to rebuild the destroyed communities, to encourage the emigration of refugees and enemies of Israel, their dream of victory over Israel would fade, international pressure would gradually diminish, and the swamp of terror would eventually dry up.
Of course, those standing guard over the communities on the Golan Heights and the Negev, the Galilee and the Arava, should remain where they are. This call is directed to the residents of central Israel, who, without losing their jobs, can fulfill the great mitzvah of saving our nation from the existential danger of the establishment of a terrorist state in Judea and Samaria.
11 “In that day I will restore David’s fallen shelter—
I will repair its broken walls
and restore its ruins—
and will rebuild it as it used to be,
12 so that they may possess the remnant of Edom
and all the nations that bear my name,”
declares the Lord, who will do these things.
13 “The days are coming,” declares the Lord,
“when the reaper will be overtaken by the plowman
and the planter by the one treading grapes.
New wine will drip from the mountains
and flow from all the hills,
14 and I will bring my people Israel back from exile.
“They will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them.
They will plant vineyards and drink their wine;
they will make gardens and eat their fruit.
15 I will plant Israel in their own land,
never again to be uprooted
from the land I have given them,” says the Lord your God.