Israel is the “land the Lord, your God, looks upon. The eyes of the Lord your G‑d are always upon it, from the beginning of the year to the end of the year.” This is God’s promise to us. We have to stay strong and we have to fight back.
This week’s Torah portion is Eikev, and in it we read of the preparation to enter the Land of Israel. In Moses’ words:
“Hear, O Israel: Today, you are crossing the Jordan to go in and possess nations greater and stronger than you . . . A great and tall people…You shall know this day, that it is the Lord your God…, who passes over before you as a consuming fire. He will destroy them, and He will subdue them before you; and you shall drive out them and destroy them quickly, as the Lord spoke to you.”
Let’s face it, this is not one of the more reassuring passages about the Land of Israel! Moses does not aim to be fuzzy and warm with the Jewish people here. He is saying it as it is. The Jewish people did not just walk into the Land of Israel, and presto, all was perfect. Not at all. This first ‘War of Independence’ led by Joshua – the conquering of the Land of Israel – was a seven-year battle. Nevertheless, although it would not be easy, Moses reassured them that God would be there with them, leading them to victory.
As they say, history repeats itself, and the lesson of faith in God when fighting for our independence and existence is as true today as it was then. Yes, Israel is literally fighting a war for its existence on all fronts. The modern-day War of Independence is not yet over. Whether it’s Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad or even BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) and other anti-Israel, anti-Jewish movements – we are fighting for our existence. Iran is successfully fooling the world into allowing it to build a nuclear bomb. Things do not look so good right now.
But remember, the State of Israel has not lost a war yet. We simply cannot afford to lose. It is only due to our extraordinary military power combined with “He will destroy them, and He will subdue them before you; and you shall drive out them and destroy them quickly, as the Lord spoke to you” that we continue to be victorious.
We are told in this week’s Torah reading that Israel is the “land the Lord, your God, looks upon. The eyes of the Lord your G‑d are always upon it, from the beginning of the year to the end of the year.” This is God’s promise to us. We have to stay strong. And whether it’s in Congress, on Facebook, online petition, and more, we have to fight back. And we need you! Together, we will be victorious – the Torah tells us so.
For more insights by Rabbi Ari Enkin on this week’s Torah reading, click on the links below: