Rabbi Yerachmiel Roness
Dedicated to the memory of Asher Ben Haim
The first Rashi on Chumash has a most important message to impart. The Torah should have begun with the first mitzvah (“Hachodesh hazah lachem”); why then does it start with “Bereishit”? The answer: G-d “has declared to his people the power of his works, that he may give them the inheritance of the nations” (Psalms 111:6). The nations of the world accuse Israel: “You are robbers; you have taken the land of the Seven Nations”! But Israel responds: “The entire land belongs to the Almighty; He created it and gave it to whom He saw fit”.
Rabbi Charlap in his “Mei Marom” notes that this happens whenever the Jews return to the Holy Land, the nations say we are robbers (or in modern parlance they say that this is “occupied territory”), and that this is their land and not ours.
It is only when we appreciate the fact that this land is our land, received from Hashem, that the claims of the nations are silenced. Only when the Jew realizes and knows that, He “has declared to his people the power of his works, that he may give them the inheritance of the Nations.” Indeed the verse from Psalms does not read “He has declared to the nations” as we might expect; rather, “He has declared to His people (amo)”! If we do not behave as if this land is ours, how can we expect others to respect our claim?
Aloh Na’aleh has been founded with the mission of helping Jews realize that Eretz Yisrael is G-d’s gift to us, and it becomes ours when we actually possess it and dwell in it. Join us to make this dream come true!