By Rabbi Eliezer Waldman
Rosh Yeshiva, Yeshivat Nir, Kiryat Arba

May 26, 2003 24 Iyar 5763

This coming Friday, the 28th of Iyar, we will celebrate, G-d willing, Yom Yerushalayim, which commemorates the divine miracles leading to the unification of the city of Yerushalayim and Eretz Yisrael in the Six Day War in 1967.

Before the war, the Jewish State consisted of only the periphery of Eretz Yisrael; the Galilee in the North, the Negev Desert in the South, and a narrow strip of coastal plain in the middle. The heartland of Eretz Yisrael, comprising the hills of Judea and Samaria and the Jordan Valley, were out of bounds of the Jewish State. The holy towns and cities of Jerusalem, Hebron, Beit Lechem, Shechem, Shilo, and Beit El were ruled by our enemies who endlessly sent hordes of terrorists to attack men, women and children on the western side of the former green line. When threatened with being thrown into the sea by Egypt, Syria and Jordan in May of 1967, the People of Israel mobilized with a determination to defend their lives in order to continue building and nurturing our fledgling Jewish State. We were then blessed by divine miracles that not only helped us overcome our enemies but united us again with the heartland of Israel. Thousands of people filled with the enthusiasm of Jewish faith, returned to our liberated towns in the hills of Judea and Samaria, so that the song of redemption could be heard again in these hills after 2000 years of desolation. Thus we established the significant reality of 250,000 Jews living a normal Jewish life of faith and joy in Yesha today. More than all the distorted plans and roadmaps drawn up by foreigners, we are sure that this reality will determine the future life of Israel and its redemption process.

We have our own biblical roadmap that has been guiding the Jewish people from its very inception by the divine plan revealed to our father Abraham. The Almighty calls upon Abraham (Genesis 12 :1) and tells him "Get thee out of your country...unto a land that I will show you. " These words created the roadmap along which the Almighty led the People of Israel. "For all the land which you see, I will give you and to your children forever" (Genesis 13:15) These words of G-d bound together the eternal destiny of the people of Israel with the Land of Israel.

Many years later, the visionary words of the prophet Ezekiel aptly describe the Zionist awakening and ingathering of the exiles of our generation. "I will sanctify my great name... I will take you from among the nations... and will bring you to your land." (Ezekiel 36:23, 24) The prophet continues "When I purify you from all your sins, I will resettle the cities and rebuild the ruins" (Ezekiel 36:33) The authentic roadmap is one that sanctifies the Almighty's name and purifies the Jewish people in this process of returning to the Land of Israel, resettling its towns, and rebuilding its ruins. Each of these steps is another milestone on the Jewish roadmap to redemption. All of us traveling on this road of redemption, are witness to the spiritual elevation experienced in the last thirty six years of courageous Jewish life in Yesha.

I would like to direct some very serious words of advice to our friend President Bush. We just read in this week's Portion of the Bible: "I will make the land desolate and your enemies who live there shall be barren" (Leviticus 26: 32) Our sages explain that there is a blessing within this curse. G-d is telling the Jewish people that when they will be in exile, the land of Israel will remain desolate, it will not bear its fruit for anyone else. No foreigners will ever succeed in bringing life to the soil of Israel. Our enemies can only bring terror and destruction to the land as they have done all these years. Only the Jewish People can bring the land back to life as has been proven by 55 years of Jewish independence in Israel.

Mr. Bush, this is a G-dly decree which actually happened. During 2000 years of Jewish exile, the land remained desolate until G-d brought us back home to Israel within the last century. At first, the road was paved to only small parts of our homeland. The establishment of Jewish independence broadened the roadmap to include larger parts of Eretz Yisrael. Finally, the Six Day War brought us back to the hills of Judea and Samaria where, with the help of the Almighty, we will continue to flourish and thrive. This is the essence of the Zionist road map.

In contrast, a roadmap which endangers our very existence by planting a terrorist state within our borders cannot be acceptable to the Jewish People. Mr. Bush, your roadmap does not only reward Palestinian terror, but is an offense to the divine roadmap presented to our father Abraham and implemented by his children in our generation. True, the road to redemption is paved with Jewish blood and pain, but there is no other road open to us. We will not be detoured by the hatred and cruelty of our enemies nor by the foolish promises and dangerously booby trapped road plans of our "friends".

One last word to our Prime Minister, Mr. Sharon: There is always a possibility of returning to the main road of Zionist faith and courage. This is the only way for you to ensure your position of honor in Jewish history so richly deserved by someone whose life has been one of devotion to defending and building the State of Israel.

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