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Who Really Has A Claim To Eretz Yisroel

Written by Anonymous

The first Rashi in Chumash asks why does the Torah start with the fact that Hashem created the world, it should start with the first mitzva. Rashi answers that when the nations of the world say that the Bnei Yisroel stole the land of the Kena’anim, we can answer that Hashem made it and can give it to whomever He wants.

The question raised is, why do the other nations complain, shouldn’t it be the Kena’anim who complain? I saw an answer that goes as follows…

The Maharal Tzintz in Milo HaOmer answers that Alexander the Great posed the question of, “do the Kena’anim have a claim to Eretz Yisroel?”. He ruled that since Noach cursed Kena’an to be slave to his brothers, and whatever a slave acquires belongs to his master, therefore the Kena’anim have no claim.

However the other nations can claim that Kena’an is an Eved to all his brothers and not just Bnei Yisroel. Therefore they have an equal right to Eretz Yisroel, Kena’an’s land. To this the Torah clearly answers that it belongs to neither of them. It belongs to Hashem and He can give it to whomever He wants.

Maybe we see from here that the argument can be made that we do not “own” the rights to Eretz Yisroel. It always belongs to Hashem. If and when during the course of history Hashem chooses to let us dwell in it and inherit it, we will merit to do so. However, Hashem has clearly stated that our dwelling in Eretz Yisroel is Al Tenai (on condition) that we keep the Torah and its mitzvos.

During difficult times it is important to know our “claim” to Eretz Yisroel and what we need to do to earn it. Mostly we need to know who the real landlord and arbitrator is.

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