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To The Outpost Settlers: "Thank You"

Today's settlers have infused the entire nation with strength. They are the great victors in the present battle against terrorism. The Jewish people ought to express gratitude to these people and say, "Thank you."
Dedicated to the memory of
Ben Tziyon Ben Zehava
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The current wave of Palestinian terror, a wave that has dragged on now for the past two years, has a very clear goal - to weaken the security of the nation, and to shatter the morale of the state. In this manner it hopes to obtain large land concession, and, finally, to replace the State of Israel with a Palestinian state - a state that would extend from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River, Heaven forbid!
These Arabs do not entertain thoughts of actually "conquering" parts of the Land of Israel, yet they do hope to break the spirit of the Jewish people. In other words, they have declared war on the nation's morale. Yet, we have frustrated their plans! We have, thank God, emerged victorious in this struggle. The nation stands as determined as ever; it has not given in and has not conceded.

And just who were the leaders in this struggle? Is it possible to point to a particular segment of the Israeli public that stood constantly and unswervingly at the forefront of this battle, serving as an example and lighting the way for the rest of the nation?
Yes. There is a portion of the people that stood bravely in the front line of the battle, a segment that, rather than fleeing or giving in, moved constantly forward. Not only was their spirit never broken, but it became all the more strengthened and unshakable. Indeed, its behavior contributed to the inner strengthening of the entire nation.

I am referring to the settlers of Judeah, Samaria, and Gaza. Though these brave souls suffered heavy losses, they refused to give in. IDF soldiers stood amazed at the courage of the settlers. Men, women, and children continued to travel daily in non-bulletproof vehicles on dangerous roads, carrying on with life as usual. IDF officers who participated in funeral processions and visited the homes of mourners were moved by the words of faith and confidence that came from the mouths of widows and orphans. They witnessed for themselves a sincere determination to hold on to the Land, and came away inspired having absorbed the settlers' healthy, Torah-grounded love for the Land of Israel. The settlers infused the entire nation with strength.

Who was it, though, among the settlers themselves, that led the way? The answer is the settlers of the outposts. In the midst of terrorism and lack of security, individual families took to isolated hilltops, surmounted all obstacles, overcame fears and hardships, and clung to the precious, rocky soil of Eretz Yisrael. Following their example, more and more families appear and the flow of settlement grows ever greater. The settlers of these hilltops are true heroes. They faithfully follow in the footsteps of the pioneer settlers of the Land of Israel more than one hundred years ago - settlers of the Galilee, the Negev, the Valley of Jezreel, and the Coastal Plain. Today's settlers are the great victors in the present battle against terrorism. The Jewish people ought to express gratitude to these people and say, "Thank you."

We send our blessing to all of the outposts. May the Almighty protect and strengthen you.

Rabbi Zalman Baruch Melamed
Rosh Yeshiva of the Bet El Yeshiva, was the head of the Yesha rabbis board and rabbi of Bet-El, founder and head of Arutz 7.
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