With our incredible, joyful “Simchat Torah” celebration, the Jewish people have just concluded the annual reading of the entire Torah – the Five Books of Moses. We begin reading the Torah from the very beginning – starting with the Book of Bereishis (Genesis).
Our most famous bible commentator is Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki, commonly known as “Rashi”. He lived in France 1000 years ago and was perhaps the premier Torah scholar of all time. We cannot imagine studying the Bible or the Talmud without the universal, insightful comments and explanations of Rashi.
So what does the “First Rashi” in the entire Torah say? And what relevance does it have today? And what does it have to do with ‘United with Israel‘?
Rashi asks a very basic question: Since the Torah is first and foremost a book of laws for the Jewish People, why doesn’t it begin with the first law given to the Nation of Israel (actually found in the Book of Exodus)? Why do we need a history lesson about creation, Noah’s Ark, our forefathers’ lives and all of the other stories that preceded the sections of law?
Rashi’s incredible answer: There will be a time when the nations of the world will claim that Israel “stole the Land of Israel”. It belongs to others, not to the Jewish People (does this sound familiar?) God tells the story of creation first to establish the fact that the ENTIRE WORLD belongs to God. And only He has the right to apportion the Holy Land. We see very clearly, through the stories of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and Moses that the Land of Israel was promised as the exclusive inheritance for the Nation of Israel. Period. It is simply a losing battle to fight against this timeless Divine promise.
So it sounds pretty simple. We stand up in the United Nations and tell the world to read the “First Rashi” in Genesis. And to read all of the stories that clearly show that the Land of Israel was given by God to the Jewish People – only. End of story. After all, most of the civilzed world DOES believe in the Bible. And even if they are not familiar with Rashi, what about the myriads of events, promises and prophesies that connect the Jewish People to the Land of Israel? And what about the history of the Jewish people in the Land of Israel throughout the ages?
This won’t work because the world is not interested in hearing the truth. Not in the truth about the God of Israel, the Nation of Israel, the Land of Israel and the People of Israel. We know that there WILL be a day in the future when the world will listen, but we are not there… yet.
And here’s the secret about how we can get there: We must internalize the First Rashi and believe it ourselves! Rashi knew that his formula wouldn’t work in the UN, until it works within ourselves. Do WE believe it’s our Land? How badly do we want this Land? Jews outside of Israel: Wake Up! Read this Rashi, believe it, internalize it and ACT on it. Come and join your brothers and sisters in the Promised Land! What are you waiting for?
Only then, when the world sees that WE, the Nation of Israel, actually believes that the entire Land of Israel belongs to us and ACTS upon the belief that we are NOT thieves… only then can we share the First Rashi, with authority, in the United Nations. And only then will the nations of the world listen. And yes, they will listen.
Blessings from the beautiful Promised Land of Israel!