When are you dear people going to get it into your heads (and your hearts) that the Torah is the Truth, the whole Truth, and nothing but the Truth? Since it is the Truth, we should all want to live by its teachings, right? Of course.
The Torah is incredible! Look at this week’s portion, “Ki-Tavo.” It gives a detailed, play-by-play account of what will be in store for the Jews for the 4000 years to come! It predicts with stunning accuracy all of the terrible curses and oppressions that befell the Jewish People during our long and bitter exile. “And the L-rd shall scatter thee amongst all the gentiles, from one end of the earth to the other….” Everything written has come to pass. For people who need proof that the Torah is Divine, surely this otherwise unexplainable forecast of our history and future, with its pinpoint predictions, should make them realize that no author of flesh and bones could have penned this crystal-ball account.
How blessed we are, out of all of the peoples of the world, to have been given the Torah of Truth. How grateful we should feel and be joyous to observe all of its commandments! The gratitude and joy which we should feel toward the Torah also applies to the gratitude and joy we should feel towards Eretz Yisrael, as the Torah teaches at the opening of our portion:
“And it shall be, when you come in to the Land which the L-rd your G-d gives for an inheritance, and possess it, and dwell therein: that you shall take of the first of all the fruit of the earth, which you shall bring of your Land, that the L-rd your G-d gives you, and shall put it in a basket and go to the place which the L-rd G-d shall chose to place His Name there (Devarim, 26:1).
In other words – gratitude. We should harbor a feeling of gratitude that G-d gave us Eretz Yisrael.
Also note the language of the verse. It doesn’t say “If you come in to the Land….” It says: “When you come in to the Land….” We are expected and commanded to come into the Land – it isn’t up to us. G-d gave it to us and we are to live there. And we are to embrace the gift of the Land with gratitude and love, a Land “flowing with milk and honey.” Yes, there were frightening enemies in the Land, savages, and rampant idol worship, but we are to see the Land in a positive light, a Land flowing with milk and honey. “And you shall rejoice in every good thing that the L-rd your G-d has given you” (Devarim, 26:11). Gratitude and joy – that is to be our orientation toward the Land that G-d has given us.
If not – you can read for yourselves all of the frightening curses of exile with which we were punished. Why? “Because you would not serve the L-rd your G-d with joyfulness, and with gladness of heart, for the abundance of all things…” (Devarim, 28:47).
Gratitude and joy for having been given the Torah of Truth. Gratitude and joy for haven been given our wonderful Land.
Hope to see you all soon.