Love of the Land

For the week ending 25 June 2005 / 18 Sivan 5765

Self-Interest vs. National Interest

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
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The main subject of the weeks Torah portion deals with the scouts which Moshe sent to spy out Eretz Yisrael. They did their utmost to discourage our ancestors from inheriting the "Land flowing with milk and honey" which G-d had promised the Patriarchs.

Among the explanations given for their motivation in doing so is the one which points out that these high ranking representatives of their respective tribes were concerned that there would be a reshuffling of appointments upon entering the Land and that they would lose their positions.

This should serve as a powerful reminder that behind the patriotic declarations of a politician that he is only doing what is best for the people, there may be lurking a personal interest. Such self-interest brought upon our ancestors the tragedy of being denied entry into the Land for an entire generation. Who knows what impact the self-interest of people in important positions today can have on the future of Eretz Yisrael.

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