The Miraculous Possession of Israel
Our Sages explain that the Torah begins with the creation story to empower the Jewish people with a response to those who challenge their right to the Land of Israel. The reply “God created the world, and He gives it to whomever he desires,” although beautiful, always left me with another question. If the Jewish people can claim that God gave Israel to them, why can’t the nations make the same claim when they conquered the land?
When the nations conquered the land of Israel, they didn’t need to claim that God helped them since they disproportionately outnumber the Jewish people. However, when the tiny nation of Israel conquers the land, it contradicts logic and could only be accomplished with God’s miraculous intervention.
In this week’s Torah portion, Chayei Sarah (Genesis 23:1–25:18), there is another proof that the Land of Israel is the possession of the Jewish people. Abraham acquires land in Israel as a burial plot in Hebron. Abraham would not accept the land as a gift and insisted on purchasing it.
Therefore, the land of Israel belongs to the Jews because God gave it to them and because Abraham legally acquired it.
Furthermore, no other nation has an unbroken claim to the land of Israel. Jews have always dwelled there, even during our exile, and for centuries the Jews while in exile consistently prayed to return to Israel.
May we soon witness the acknowledgment of the nations that Israel is the rightful guardian of the Land of Israel and may peace spread throughout the region and beyond.
Rabbi Bentzion Kravitz
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