Israel Forever

For the week ending 26 November 2005 / 24 Heshvan 5766

Negotiating For Our Own

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
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One of the most frustrating experiences in life is the need to bargain with another party for something which is really yours.

Whether we accept the pessimistic position of Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz that no agreement can be reached by Israel with the current generation of Palestinians or the optimistic view of Prime Minister Sharon that it is possible, there is a consensus that the negotiations are nerve-rackingly tough. This recalls the posthumous tribute paid by G-d to Avraham Avinu (the Patriarch Avraham) for maintaining his faith despite the fact that he had to negotiate with the Hittite residents of Hebron for a burial site for his wife Sarah in the land which was given to him by the Creator.

Our Sages teach us that everything experienced by the Patriarchs was a preview of what would be experienced by their descendants. While there seems to be no alternative to continuing such frustrating negotiations with an impossible "partner", it is crucial for us, like our Forefather, to maintain our faith in the Divine promise that Israel is ours and will remain so forever.

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