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The Jews and the land of Israel as God’s promise to Abraham


Rabbi Ari Shvat

Elul 13, 5773
The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob has promised to give the land as according to the scriptures: ",Now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, into the land that I am giving to them, to the people of Israel. 3 Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given to you, just as I promised to Moses. 4 From the wilderness and this Lebanon as far as the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites to the Great Sea toward the going down of the sun shall be your territory." Joshua 1:2-4 (ESV) 1. Have the modern day Jews inhabited, dominated and controlled the entire land God has promised them in obedience according to the qouted scripture above? 2. Dont you think the palestinian occupation of western Jerusalem and their illegal settlement in other parts of Isreal should be tackled religiously instead of using political means, since God already swore to Abraham that he will give the land to his descendants? 3. In those days, God spoke to his people the Jews, through the high priests and the prophets. How does God speak to them today? 4. Since the destruction of the temple, how do Jews commune with God through burnt offerings and sacrifices? Thank you.
Hello David, The modern day Israel inhabits, dominates and controls a large part of the Promised Land, but not up to the Euphrates in the northeast. There are two opinions regarding the southwest border, whether the “river of Egypt” (Joshua 15, 4) is referring to the Nile, or to what’s called Wadi El Arish. In the Six Day War (’67), Israel liberated the entire Sinai which includes the latter opinion, and most of the former opinion, but either way, unfortunately, after the Camp David treaty (’89-‘92), Israel retreated from that biblical border. In the south, Eilat is even more south than the border of the Promised Land. 2. According to the Bible it’s clear that Israel is both a religion and nation, there’s no difference between the two. Yes, we should be striving to approach the issue simultaneously through political and religious means. Unfortunately, for reasons of anti-Semitism, most of the world isn’t that happy with the presence of Israel in the Holy Land, which makes things difficult no matter which approach we take. If the Arab League would bring up to a vote in the U.N. that the world is flat, it would pass, without too many people thinking objectively, so there’s not much objectivity there. 3. Today, when we have no prophets or High Priest, God speaks to the People of Israel and mankind in general, through the history of Israel. If you think about it, the modern fulfillment (!) of prophecies is even more incredible and credible than when they were given 2;700 years ago. The War of Independence, the Six Day War; the revival of the Hebrew Language, the sheckel coin and Jerusalem the capital; the ingathering of the exiles (6,000,000 Jews now live in Israel, coming from 103 different countries and speaking 82 different languages, as promised in Deut. 30, Jer. 31, Amos 9, Ezek. 33-37, and in many places in Isaiah, speak for themselves for anyone who believes in the Bible. The Chosen People of Israel and her God, the God of Israel, are once again alive and well and living in Israel! 4. Since the destruction of the Temple 1,943 years ago, we Jews commune with God through prayer (3 times a day) and speak directly to Him in daily life as much as we like, through praise, requests, and thanks. Together with our prayers for the welfare of the State of Israel and the entire universe, we also pray that the Third Temple shall be rebuilt in Jerusalem, speedily in our days! With Love of Israel, Rabbi Ari Shvat
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