The Temple Institute: Temple Talk: Tammuz 28, 5766/July 24, 2006

"But you shall soon cross the Jordan and live in the land that G-d your Lord is allotting you. When He has granted you safety from all your enemies around you, and you live in security, there will be a site that G-d will choose as the place for His name to rest there."
Deuteronomy 12:10 - 11

Still surrounded by enemies, Israel today is waging war on two fronts. Broken promises and empty threats and Israel's northern (Lebanon) border and southern (Gaza) border have erupted. Israel seems to have awakened to the acute existential threat posed by these two enemies, (Hamas and Hezbollah), each of them proxies for the fascist Islamic government of Iran. But has Israel's secular leadership awakened to the existential threat posed by their estrangement from the land of Israel, the Torah of Israel, and the G-d of Israel? Will forcing her enemies back and buying time prove anything but a dangerous illusion if the decision makers in Israel don't return to the Torah values that have protected and propelled this people forward for more than three thousand years? Of what value is "security" if Israel isn't determined to be "the place for His name to rest there." Can this nation be secure if we don't make room for G-d to dwell amongst us?

This past week's double Torah reading of parashot Matot and Ma'asei, which close out the book of Bemidbar - Numbers: what motivated the tribes of Reuven, Gad and half of Menashe to request to graze their livestock and raise their children in the land and cities east of the Jordan River? Why did Moses grow angry at their proposal? What can we learn today from the book of Numbers, known also as "the book of mistakes" in reference to the many errors committed by the Israelites during their desert sojourn?

Listen to this week's TEMPLE TALK as Rabbi Chaim Richman and Yitzchak Reuven discuss the situation in Israel today, in light of the life lessons the Torah bequeaths us, and the promise the Torah holds out for us:

"Oh that My people would hearken unto Me, that Israel would walk in My ways!
I would soon subdue their enemies, and turn My hand against their adversaries.
The haters of HaShem should dwindle away before Him; and their punishment should endure for ever.
They should also be fed with the fat of wheat; and with honey out of the rock would I satisfy thee.'"

(Psalms 81:14 - 17)

Click to hear:

Part 1
Part 2