Dedicated to the elevation of the neshamot in the next world of all the soldiers that have died to allow us to have a Jewish homeland during this war and the many injured soldiers to be healed very soon!

This weeks parsha begins the fifth and final book of the Torah, Devarim. In the beginning of the parsha, Moshe begins a five week speech where he reviews with the Jewish people all of the laws which the Torah discusses beforehand. Moshe gives this speech immediately prior to both his death and Bnei Yisrael entering the land of Eretz Yisrael.

Before Moshe begins his speech however, the Torah details a list of several places (see Devarim 1:1-2). According to both Rashi and Onkelos the reason why these places are listed is a form of subtle rebuke of Bnei Yisrael for the sins they committed in these locations. However, even though the rebuke was subtle why does the Torah begin Moshe’s speech with criticism of Bnei Yisrael at all?

According to the Slonimer Rebbe, in his work on the parsha the Netivot Shalom, the reason why the Torah preludes Moshe’s speech with this form of subtle rebuke is to humble Bnei Yisrael before they enter Eretz Yisrael because one can only Eretz Yisrael if they have humility and realize that one is human, has faults, and what to work on to improve.

I feel our people’s meriting the land of Eretz Yisrael due to humility is just as true today as it was then. However, the humility that the Jewish people seems to possess now seems to more focused on a humility of selflessness.  That Am Yisrael has understanding that it’s not just all about me but other people matter too. Despite pressure from the other nations of the world the Israeli government and the IDF have acted selflessly to defend and protect the people of Eretz Yisrael not just for their own glory but solely to protect our people and our homeland.

So people do not have to run to bomb shelters and be bombarded by rockets on a daily basis the IDF has been fighting with all their force to defend other people’s lives even if it may risk costing them their own!

Not only is this humility motivated by selflessness present in the IDF and Israeli government but in all the civilian citizens of Eretz Yisrael and Jews around the globe. Countless people have taken time out of their schedules to pray and give Tzeddakah to the soldiers and their families. Many have still continued to make trips to Eretz Yisrael despite the current war (thank GOD most of the major summer programs have still gone on as scheduled including birth right trips). People have even opted to move to the land of Eretz Yisrael during this time (the recent Nefesh Bnefesh Aliya flight had 230 people on it thank GOD!). Many have also dedicated their time to arrange rallies and protest against the Anti-Semitism and media bias against Eretz Yisrael.

Additionally this coming week we are about to mark Tishabav the saddest day in the Jewish calendar marking the destruction of both Batei Mikdashot (Holy Temples) and a plethora of other Jewish histories which have occurred on this date throughout our history.

It is brought down in the Talmud that the second Beit Hamikdash was destroyed due to baseless hatred that Jews had towards one another and it is brought down that only through baseless love can the third Beit Hamikdash can be built along with the coming of the Moschiach. This humility of selflessness during the current war has created so much to create love and unity between Jews across the spectrum united in support of our holy land of Eretz Yisrael.

May we continue to have humility both of one that allows us to realize our flaws and what we need to work on which we learn about in the beginning of this week’s parsha as what allows to merit the land of Eretz Yisrael as well as the humility of selflessness which might be why we merit to have Eretz Yisrael to this day. May doing this allow for this Tishabav to be the last Tishabav and may we all be united very soon in the holy city of Jerusalem with the coming of the Moschiach may he come speedily in our days!

Good Shabbos, Shabbat Shalom, Gut Shabbes-Gidon Herschander