Thursday, May 26, 2022

freedom of religion is not enough

אַף־אֲנִ֗י אֵלֵ֤ךְ עִמָּם֙ בְּקֶ֔רִי וְהֵבֵאתִ֣י אֹתָ֔ם בְּאֶ֖רֶץ אֹיְבֵיהֶ֑ם אוֹ־אָ֣ז יִכָּנַ֗ע לְבָבָם֙ הֶֽעָרֵ֔ל וְאָ֖ז יִרְצ֥וּ אֶת־עֲוֺנָֽם׃

Where is the אֶ֖רֶץ אֹיְבֵיהֶ֑ם, this "land of our enemies" that the pasuk tells us that Hashem will bring us to, and where we will finally do teshuvah?

An amazing Seforno:

כשחזרו בני הגולה לארץ ישראל במצות כורש מלך פרס היתה הארץ תחת ממשלת האומות, כאמרו ״והארץ אשר נתתה לאבתינו לאכל את פריה ואת טובה, הנה אנחנו עבדים עליה. ותבואתה מרבה למלכים אשר נתתה עלינו בחטאותינו״ (נחמיה ט׳:ל״ו-ל״ז)

The  אֶ֖רֶץ אֹיְבֵיהֶ֑ם is Eretz Yisrael!  He writes that when Koresh allowed the Jews to return to Eretz Yisrael they were not immediately granted independence.  They remained his subjects, slaves to a foreign power.  Klal Yisrael were crestfallen. The very place where they should have exhibited greatness ended up as a place where they were slaves to others.  

Simply being in Eretz Yisrael, even with the allowance to learn Torah and do mitzvos, even with the allowance to build a Mikdash is not enough.  Freedom of religion without political freedom and sovereignty is still called  אֶ֖רֶץ אֹיְבֵיהֶ֑ם and should bother us. 

Ashreinu that we live in a time where our independence and sovereignty have been restored (af al pi that the gvt pays too much heed to Washington), that we can once again celebrate a united Yerushalayim under our own dominion.

No comments:

Post a Comment