Israel Forever

For the week ending 5 October 2002 / 29 Tishri 5763

The Expulsion Principle - Then and Now

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
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When Israel decided to expel to Gaza relatives of terrorists suspected of some degree of complicity with the murderous acts of their kin, there was an outcry from the lily-livered liberals in both the local and international community.

When the president of the United States declares that the Iraqi dictator who threatens the world with weapons of mass destruction must be expelled from his position of power he becomes the target of criticism from his own congress and from those nations he invites to join his anti-terror coalition.

There is a valuable historical lesson which all those bleeding hearts should learn from the portion of the Torah which Jews throughout the world will read in their synagogues this week.

"Why," asks Rabbi Yitzchak in the Midrash quoted by Rashi at the very beginning of his commentary on the Torah, "does the Torah begin with an account of creation rather than with the first commandment given to the Jewish People as befits a Divine Book of Instruction?"

The answer he gives is that the Creator thus took preemptive action against the nations of the world who will challenge the right of the Jewish People to Eretz Israel and accusing them of aggressively removing from it the nations who occupied it. "He created it," concludes the Midrash, "and gave it to whom He wished. It was His will to give it to them and it was His will to take it from them and to give it to us."

Ramban extends this central idea of this Midrash into a lesson regarding expulsion. The first two chapters of Chumash Bereishis recount three cases of expulsion because of sin the expulsion of Adam from the Garden of Eden for eating the forbidden fruit, the destruction of all of mankind except Noachs family from the world via the Deluge because of moral corruption, and the dispersal of the nations from their center because of their rebellion against Heaven in the building of the Tower of Babel.

The common denominator is that when a nation or a universe proves unworthy of possessing its land it is expelled. The corruption of the Palestinian Authority in misruling its own people and its suicidal terrorism against Israel disqualify any claim this fictitious nation may have to a land of its own here in the land the Creator granted to His chosen people. For the very same reason Israel stands solidly behind the American determination to expel Sadam Hussein from the position in which he threatens us and the world.

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