Dear Mr Lapid, you are most correct!! A few days ago, you lamented the fact the key to our security, health, education and standard of living, is “buried somewhere between Yitzhar and Itamar.”
These last few days of the Presidential Race proved how correct you are.
Between Yitzhar, on the west, and Itamar, on the east, is exactly one hill. And that one hill, according to archaelogical and historical findings, is the Biblical Har Gerizim, shared site (along with Har Eival to the north) of the acceptance of our national contsitution.
But – as you say – this treasure, this national resource, is buried.
In the book of Devarim , in the weekly reading entitled “Ki Tavo” (as it begins with “when you will arrive in the Land which Gd, your Lrd, has given you , and you inherit it and settle it…”), we are told of the Jewish constitution. Upon our arrival into Eretz Yisreal, before we can set our national budget, every citizen has to commit to living by the standard which Gd set for us. We were not taken out of the slavery in ancient Egypt, nor were we miraculously reborn from the ashes of the European Jewish holocaust, simply in order to live Our life upon this land is contingent upon our morals. And those morals were repeated and confirmed by every citizen as early as possible in our national history – as soon as we were able to settle the land, even before there was complete peace. Because complete peace is dependent upon this covenant with Gd.
On Har Gerizim, between YItzhar and Itamar, we were told: Blessed is the person who does not worship abomination, and the entire nation answered Amen. Blessed is the person who does not trespass or overtake his neighbour’s property; who does not fool an unseeing person; who does not pervert justice; who does not share a woman with his father; who does not hit his parent; who does not hit another person. And to each of these blessings, every Israelite must agree. (see note below)
Unfortunately, in the 47 years since Gd returned us to this land, after we won a war when the only other option was complete annihilation, we “buried” Har Gerizim. We forgot to renew our vows to live, as individuals and as a nation, according to Gd’s moral code.
This week’s presidential elections, like so many recent news stories, showed how far we have strayed. Bribery and illicit relationships are practically the accepted norm among our politicians and celebrated citizens.
Mr Lapid, you hit the nail on the head. Our national standards for behaviour are BURIED between Yitzhar and Itamar. And, as long as these standards are buried, we are not deserving of the peace and prosperity that we crave.
Now is time for you, as Finance Minister, along with your your partner, Education Minister Rav Shai Piron, to invest in that hill “somewhere between Yitzhar and Itamar.” Dig through the dust of generations of Survival-mode Judaism, and uncover the Living Judaism that is our only true claim to The Land.
Develop this hill into an educational-tourist site, so that every Israeli student and interested adult will have the opportunity to visit and renew our vows with Gd. It is high time we uncover the true meaning of the Jewish Nation, as set forth between Yitzhar and Itamar.
(Note: Rashi quotes Hazal’s description, that the blessings on Har Gerizim correspond exactly to the curses on Har Eival, which are spelt out in the Parasha)