תנ"ך. אילוסטרציה
תנ"ך. אילוסטרציהצילום: ISTOCK

Jerry Lambertis a retired Professor of Engineering, Clemson University and Technion, Zionist, writer, student, farmer, building contractor, husband, grandfather of thirteen.

For you are a people consecrated to the Lord your God: of all the peoples on earth the Lord your God chose you to be His treasured people. (Devarim 14:2)

Through the centuries we have sometimes demonstrated our appreciation and respect for the blessings and promises of our Creator by actively listening to His instructions in Torah. At other times we have ignored His expressed plan for us as a nation, and suffered the consequences: lost battles and exiles for glaring example.

If, then, you obey the commandments that I enjoin upon you this day, loving the Lord your God and serving Him with all your heart and soul, I will grant the rain for your land in season, the early rain and the late. You shall gather in your new grain and wine and oil—I will also provide grass in the fields for your cattle—and thus you shall eat your fill. Take care not to be lured away to serve other gods and bow to them. For the Lord‘s anger will flare up against you, and He will shut up the skies so that there will be no rain and the ground will not yield its produce; and you will soon perish from the good land that the Lord is assigning to you. (Devarim 11:13)

Is Tanach only ink on paper? Or do we believe, truly trust, its eternal truths? Or do we yield to human frailties, fears, lethargy, political correctness, wimpiness, and feet of clay, and forget the lessons of history? What do our actions prove?

Be strong and resolute, for you shall apportion to this people the land that I swore to their fathers to assign to them. But you must be very strong and resolute to observe faithfully all the Teaching that My servant Moses enjoined upon you. Do not deviate from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. (Yehoshua 1:6)

Are we people of the Book? Do we accept it as dogma? Or is that now out of style? Do we in substance edit the Book to our satisfaction, expecting the Creator to change His mind?

Do we now forget and disavow Eretz Yisrael as our eternal inheritance?

The whole land of Canaan, where you are now an alien, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you; and I will be their God. (Bereshit 7:8)

Is Hashem frowning on our behavior of recent years? Is He shaking His head in wonder why we are now treating His gift as unappreciated or as chaff? Especially after our stepping up to the plate in 1948? And our blessed successes in 1967? And 1973? Have we grown soft in a hard world? Is He disappointed? The Land is ours; why do we even entertain the thought of giving away some of it?

The time has come when our backbone needs to be straightened and stiffened. The time has come to stand proud. The time has come to reiterate our acceptance of the Covenant, as written in our Ketubah, Torah. For years the State of Israel has tried to explain to the world who we are, how we are here, why we are here, and our everlasting credentials. We have bent over backward to actively demonstrate our willingness to compromise with the foreign Arabs among us, hoping to gain favor and support. But antisemitism continues to thrive, throughout the world, as it has for millennia.

When Muslim Arabs of Hamas launched a barbaric surprise attack on October 7, slaughtered more Jews than on any day since the Holocaust, infiltrated small communities and cities in southern Israel, captured, murdered, raped and butchered young and old, and filmed their vile deeds for public viewing, many in the world did not and do not justify our war to destroy the enemy.

The time is long overdue to return to our fundamentals. Very few of our government or military officials express and actively demonstrate with resolve our absolute connection to the entire Land, including Judea and Samaria, that stems from the Biblical fact that God bequeathed the Land to our forefathers and to us, and commanded us to settle it.

When have you heard public invocation of the biblical verses where He promised Eretz Yisrael to Am Yisrael? Or reasoning using them as bases? When have you heard quotes from the prophets who prophesied our return to this Land, so as to make it bloom and bring blessing to the world?

Our officials speak of security, which they deem man made or machine made, while abrogating the real security of Divine Providence. No one shall be able to resist you as long as you live. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will not fail you or forsake you. (Yehoshua 1:5) They act as blind men. Listen, you who are deaf; You blind ones, look up and see! (Yeshayahu 42:18)

Behavior of our government leaders reminds of the self-perception of the ten nesi'im in Parshat Shelach who subconsciously considered themselves as grasshoppers, unwilling to act on the demonstrated promises of Hashem. Our current decision makers, from prime minister to MK to government, military and civil administrator, fail to remember history, both ancient and recent, fail to realize the determined hate-to-the-death attitude of internal and surrounding Muslims, and fail to exercise our right to the promised land. Fears of US, UN, ICC, world opinion and leftists lord over the self imagined grasshoppers, who fail to rise to their God given potential.

Despite being a branch of the Israeli Defense Ministry/Israel Defense Forces, the Civil Administration (before Min. Bezalel Smotrich’s appointment) repeatedly demonstrated in many ways favor to the Arab population over Israeli citizens, proving it was more concerned with facilitating the creation of the “State of Palestine” than with ensuring the rights of the Jewish people in its ancestral homeland. Acceptance and encouragement of Arab encroachment in Area C is obvious discrimination against the Israeli residents of Judea and Samaria.

Failure to accept responsibility as People of the Book has caused, until now, the successive governments of Israel to refrain from resolving to apply Israeli sovereignty over Judea and Samaria. As a result, the legal fabric of the area has been damaged, meaning Israeli law is not fully applied and the Jewish residents live under military rule and a patchwork of regulations based on a combination of Ottoman law, British law, international law and Israeli law.

Behavior of leaders of a current grassroots movement reminds of the truth, the backbone, the vim, vigor and vitality of the two spies, Joshua and Caleb, who encouraged the people to possess the land, expressing their faith in God's promise. I speak of Nadia Matar and Yehudit Katsover who lead volunteers, young and old, religious and secular, professor, politician, scholar, student, ordinary citizen, toward actions that follow Biblical and logical principles. Sovereignty with responsibility, sovereignty over Judea, Samaria and Jordan valley is the prime mission of the movement, expressed well at www.ribonut.co.il. I encourage you to visit and support that site.

Even in the Israeli Left, the well-known historical fact, which is also recognized worldwide, is known: the heartland of Israel, Judea and Samaria, belongs to the people of Israel on the basis of a divine promise. Our ancestors walked in the hills of Judea and Samaria, our prophets prophesied, our Tabernacles and Temples were built, and there we battled and dreamed. Why should we as People of the Book not honor our forefathers, ancient and modern, by fully accepting the gift of land that has been given to us, by reaching our hand to take that gift. And to please our Creator by that acceptance.

Many in the world, including the UN, US and many Jews, view our fighting as a conflict between neighbors that can be resolved through compromise. How far they are from reality. The Muslim Arabs are antisemitically fighting against the People of Israel, the great idea of the Torah of Israel, and in truth, against all non-Muslims of the world. Their oft and well stated goal is the annihilation of Jews, world wide.

Paraphrasing Niemöller, if Jews, then who is next? “Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Jew… Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”

That truth—like all truth—is sometimes harsh. As Rabbi Jonathan Sacks wrote, “To fight an enemy is hard, to fight with yourself harder still.” The question is how do we help people realize the need and find the desire, motivation and inner strength to change?

The time has come for self-inspection, to face reality. We, as a nation, are not destined to accept our status quo. We are not required to accede to world opinion, to those who would roll over and die, to nonbelievers, to our attackers, to the missionaries of doom, to jelly fish backbones, or anyone else except our biblical, God ordained fundamentals.

Instead we must listen, intently listen, to that still small voice, that gentle whisper that Elijah heard, and stand tall and straight as we resolve to actively follow God and Torah to victories.

And all the people answered with one voice, saying, “All the things that the Lord has commanded we will do!”

May we do all those commanded things, and exercise our responsibility as People of the Book.

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Jerry Lambert is a retired Professor of Engineering, Clemson University and Technion, Zionist, writer, student, farmer, building contractor, husband, grandfather of thirteen.