The Fatal Trap
by Rabbi Dov Begon – Rosh Yeshiva of Machon Meir
G-d promises Israel that Eretz Yisrael will be conquered little by little, as it says, "I will not drive them out in a single year lest the land become depopulated, and the wild animals become too many for you to contend with. I will drive the inhabitants out little by little" (Exodus 23:29-30). This process will continue until the Jewish People increase and fill the Land, as it says, "Until you increase and fully occupy the land" (ibid.).
And what are the borders promised by G-d? " I will set your borders from the Red Sea to the Philistine Sea, from the desert to the river" (ibid., verse 31). Until we increase and occupy the entire land G-d severely prohibits us not to forge a covenant with the peoples dwelling in the land, as it says, "Do not make a treaty with [these nations] or with their gods" (ibid., verse 32). For if we do forge a covenant with them, it will be a "fatal trap" for us (verse 33).
Ramban rendered rulings along these lines in practical terms, writing:
"We were commanded to occupy the Land which G-d gave to our ancestors, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. We must not abandon it to any other nation, or to desolation… In the framework of this mitzvah, G-d gave us the precise details of the Land's borders… and we are not allowed to relinquish the Land to the nations in any generation. We were commanded to come to the Land and to conquer and settle it. This command to us to conquer and settle the Land applies in all generations" (see Ramban, remarks on Rambam's Sefer HaMitzvot, Mitzvah 4).Ramban's ruling is well-known, and it was accepted by all Halachic authorities, early and later sages (see Shulchan Aruch, Even HaEzer, Pit'chei Teshuva).
Today, how fortunate we are that in our generation we are privileged to fulfill the words of the Written Torah and Ramban's ruling. In other words, we can move to Eretz Yisrael, conquer it and settle it. Through us is being fulfilled, "I will drive the inhabitants out little by little."
When the Jewish State was established, the number of its Jews was 600,000, sixty myriad, like the number that left Egypt. The country's size was small. Abba Eban was right when he called Israel's old borders "the Auschwitz borders".
Today, sixty years later, we are privileged to have about 5.5 million Jews living in our country, and each year that number increases by about 200,000, both from internal growth and from continuing Aliyah, sometimes in large streams and sometimes small.
The size of our country is growing as well, and it will continue to do so, so that we will be able to absorb the millions of Jews on the way. Yet until then we mustn't forge any covenant or make any agreement with the Arabs, who are a "fatal trap" [Hebrew "mokesh", which also means "landmine"] that can explode and cause us heavy losses. As G-d commanded us, " Do not make a treaty with them… for it will be a "fatal trap" for us."
The wretched, dangerous Oslo Accords unleashed upon us the intifadas and the recent wars, and we paid a heavy price involving many victims. Likewise, the "Roadmap", whose purpose was to establish for the Arabs a terror state in the very heart of the Land, constitutes an even more fatal trap than Oslo. We must find a way to neutralize these "minefields" and to dismantle them. The way to do this is through a return to Jewishness, to Jewish roots and to our holy Torah. We must foment a cultural, spiritual and religious change in Israeli society. Every Jew should learn and become familiar with the fact that Eretz Yisrael belongs exclusively to the Jewish People. The link between the People, Land and Torah of Israel will bring light and goodness not only to the Jewish People but to the whole world. By such means, all the world's inhabitants will come to realize that Hashem, the G-d of Israel is King, and his sovereignty is over all.
Looking forward to complete salvation.
Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael טובה הארץ מאד מאד