20 July 2006

Scriptural Confirmation-- the Yhoshua Generation

To dive into a little geula talk for a moment, I'd like to comment on popular talk among Modern Orthodox/Biblical Zionist circles regarding the Spies with the bad report.

Of course, we're all familiar with the Torah history of the 12 spies who were sent out by Moshe to reconnoiter the land of Israel. They came back carrying one massive bunch of grapes and bragged about how wonderful the land was before a minyan of them declared in fear that there was no way we, the Israelites, could take on the tribes living in our G-d given territory. Yhoshua and Kalev remained faithful to the vision G-d had given the people of Israel, but the majority prevailed, therefore the two tore their shirts in mourning for Zion. Because of their unfaithfulness, that generation died in the desert. Forty years later, Yhoshua and Kalev, the two faithful to HaShem, led a new generation of Israelites in to conquer the land.

The modern analogy is this: The conquers of 1967 were the spies with the bad report, in that they were able, through the power of HaShem, to gain so much territory and claim victory over a huge collection of Arab forces in a matter of days, only to hand the victory back to their enemies out of fear.

It is almost forty years later and a new generation of Israelis are again facing seemingly insurmountable odds. Will this generation learn from the mistakes of their fathers and face these challenges with full faith in HaShem and trust in the promises of His Word? Baruch haShem, may it be so.

In light of increasing ground battles and landed invasions into Southern Lebanon, these are the verses that echo in my prayers for our Zahal, our people, and our land at this hour. I include them here that they may be a source of strength in our community.
Yhoshua 23:5-10:

ADONAI your God will thrust them out ahead of you and drive them out of your sight, so that you will possess their land, as ADONAI your God told you. "Therefore be very firm about keeping and doing everything written in the book of the Torah of Moshe and not turning aside from it either to the right or to the left. Then you won't become like those nations remaining among you. Don't even mention the name of their gods, let alone have people swear by them, serve them or worship them; but cling to ADONAI your God, as you have done to this day. This is why ADONAI has driven out great, strong nations ahead of you; and it explains why no one has prevailed against you to this day, why one man of you has chased a thousand - it is because ADONAI your God has fought on your behalf, as he said to you.
HaShem, G-d of Avraham, Yitzach, and Yakkov, in Your Infinite Mercy, Your Love for Israel, and for the sake of Your Good Name, send your Heavenly Armies out before your people, to conquer our enemies and drive them out of our sight, that we may give the glory to You for the miracles you have performed in our midst.


Over at This Normal Life, Israeli blogger Brian Blum writes:
Religious pundits have already begun to speak of this being eventually labeled the "War of the Three Weeks." The war in the north opened on the fast of the 17th of Tammuz, the beginning of the three-week period of mourning leading up to Tisha b'Av — the ninth day of the Hebrew month of Av. That day has been traditionally one for remembering great destructions in Jewish history — from the first and second temples to the Holocaust — and is commemorated through fasting and prayer.

If this war were to end — successfully — in a matter of weeks, Tisha B'Av could be transformed from a day of sadness to one of jubilation. The converse — another Jewish tragedy to add to an already long list — is unthinkable.

No fear, Israel. Keep looking to HaShem for our salvation!


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