Wednesday, June 08, 2005

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The Answer That's Been Waiting 900 Years! - Part 3

[ Part 1 here -- Part 2 here ]

Rashi (Rabbi Shlomo ben Yitzchak, 1040-1105) is considered the foundational commentator on the Torah. The following is from the comments of The Lubavitcher Rebbe (grand rabbi of the chabad hassidus), Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson about Rashi's commentary on Genesis 1:1...

The claim and complaint of the nations now appears in a new light: When they declared, "You are robbers for you took by conquest the lands of the seven nations," they were very well aware that once Israel had taken possession of the "lands of the seven nations," these territories underwent an intrinsic change and became Eretz Yisrael (the Land of Israel) for eternity, the land can never again belong to the world's peoples — and this provides the force for their complaint. Their claim is thus: Before Israel's conquest, the land was the same as any other, and had the potential of belonging to any nation on earth. The Jews, claim the other nations, had no right to occupy the Holy Land in such a manner as to permanently disenfranchise the other nations of the world from ever taking possession of it; it is an act of theft, of robbery!

To which Israel responds: "The entire earth belongs to the Holy One, Blessed Be He; He created it." The Almighty created the earth; He is the One Who brought into being the very essence and substance of the world. So it is self-understood that when we say "the entire earth belongs to G-d," we mean not only an external legality of ownership but also that the very inherent character of the world is G-d's.

This being the case, G-d has the right to transform the character of any particular land from one which has the potential of being called "a land belonging to the nations" to one which inherently and exclusively must remain Eretz Yisroel (the Land of Israel).

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