Just as I can’t but be outraged, saddened, determined and filled with prayer over the kidnapping of three yeshiva students in Israel just before this Shabbat, I can’t but be struck by the timeliness of the accompanying parsha, Shelach.
Beginning here, absolutely every time we consider ourselves unfit for Eretz Yisrael we become so. It matters not the least whether the Canaanites and others saw us as insignificant “grasshoppers”, just as it matters not the least if the “international community”, the current US administration, the EU, the UN, the Islamic factions see us as colonialists, illegitimate, occupiers and the like. The problem arises when a significant portion of the Jewish people, especially the Jewish political leadership, both in Israel and in the diaspora, see ourselves as illegitimate, as too weak to withstand the many challenges we face, always have faced and always, in Olam HaZeh, this world, will face, we will suffer and suffer greatly. By granting strength and confidence to our sworn enemies, throughout history we have made it so.
Believing in God and believing in ourselves, Yisrael, if for no other reason than that God believes in us, and acting with the confidence of our deep and eternal connection to Eretz Yisrael is the only path available to us that leads to safety, security, prosperity and real peace.