Parshat Devarim - Seeing Is Believing

Of Begin and Biluim: The value of true sight, as revealed by the Torah.

Dr. Joseph Frager,

Rachael Cerrotti - Flash 90

"See! I have given the Land before you; come and possess the Land that Hashem swore to your Forefathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them and their children after them."(1:8)

Parshat Devarim and the Sefer of Devarim is the story of Zionism throughout the ages. In 1882 a small group of Jews from Russia calling themselves the "Biluim" led by Israel Belkind made Aliyah to Eretz Yisrael to establish an agricultural settlement.

They called themselves "Biluim" for the acronym, BILU, based upon the Posuk from Isaiah (2:5) "Beit Yaakov Lekhu Veneilkha" ("House of Jacob let us go up"). They were "seers" and visionaries but they did not see the whole picture. They left out the end of the Posuk from Isaiah. They left out the words, "Beor Hashem" (With the Light of G-d). The letters of "Beor Hashem" spell out the Hebrew word "to see" "Roeh". The Biluim were clearly ahead of their time but did not see the entire and complete vision. They left out G-d from their mission. G-d is essential.

It is all from G-d. It is because G-d swore to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob that the Land of Israel belongs to the Jewish People. The Biluim were the original Zionists but they did not bring G-d into the equation. Zionism only lasts and endures if G-d is included. The Prime Ministers of Israel must remember to include G-d when they address the world as they do every year at the United Nations.

The greatness of Menachem Begin was that he made it a point to include G-d in his speeches and his whole being. He was the first Prime Minister to insist upon Kosher food at the White House. R' Tzadok HaKohen comments that only a few see the truth and essence of Eretz Yisrael. The truth can only be realized on understanding the past-The Avot (our Forefathers) Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and their Covenant with Hashem. Menachem Begin made sure to make reference to this fact at all times. R' Lapian says it is in the nature of a Jew to be able to SEE and KNOW the Covenant with our Forefathers. They are only blinded by their corrupt ideas and ways.

The Haftorah for Parshat Devarim says, "An ox knows his owner, and a donkey his master's trough:Israel does not know. My People do not perceive."(Isaiah 1:3) The Jew in his or her natural state knows G-d, Almighty but is corrupted by social pressures, ideologies, and opposing cultures. I have mentioned it before and I am sure I will mention it again.

Bernie Sanders is one modern example of a Jew who has vision but does not see. He has been blinded by too many competing ideologies. We must All see with truthful and focused eyes, G-d's Eternal gift to the Jewish People-the Land of Israel promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as stated clearly by Moshe Rabeinu in Parshat Devarim. Only then will "seeing" be synonymous with believing. Shabbat Shalom