Israel Forever

For the week ending 14 June 2008 / 11 Sivan 5768

A Nation or "My Nation"

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll

When we reflect on the situation of the Jewish State the big question Jews in Israel must ask themselves is which sort of a nation they wish to be part of — a nation among nations or a distinct Torah nation.

The difference between the two is subtly communicated in the account given in this week's Torah portion about the unjustified grumbling of the nation that kindled G-d's anger and brought forth a fire from Heaven. In his commentary, Rashi explains that the term "nation" refers to the wicked people, for when Jews behave as they should they are always referred to by G-d as "My nation".

It is painful to see the gradual corrosion of Jewish tradition in secular Israel as evidenced by the proliferation of shopping centers operating on Shabbat and the recent controversy over official permission to sell chametz on Pesach.

Only a return to traditional Jewish values can make us worthy of being regarded as "My nation" by the only One who can truly protect Israel forever.

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