Why is Israel so important to the Jews? Why do we insist that it is ours by right?
But is it? Does Israel belong to the Jews?
In answering that question, this sermon will offer a new approach to Israel – an approach that is thousands of years old, an approach that is radical and completely essential. This new and radical, eternal and essential approach originates in the Torah, in the words of this week’s reading, Parshat Pinchas.
It is less than two weeks since the destruction of three of our Holy Temples – Eyal, Gilad, and Naftali. And in three days from now, is the 17th of Tammuz, a fast day that marks the beginning of the saddest period of the Jewish calendar, when we mourn the destruction of the first and second Holy Temples that stood in Jerusalem.
We rebuild these Temples by embracing our legacy and our inheritance, our inherent connection with the heart and soul of Jewish people which is the Land of Israel. As demonstrated as well by the 12th-13th of Tammuz, when the previous Lubavitcher Rebbe was liberated from prison 87 years ago (1927), celebrating the victory of Judaism and Torah against its oppressors.
This Land wasn’t merely given to the Jewish People. This Land is the Jewish People.
Israel does not belong to the Jews; Israel is the Jews.