This week’s סדרה opens up with Sarah’s death and a lengthy description of Avraham’s acquiring of מערת המכפלה as a burial ground for her and future generations of Jews. In continuing with פרשת חיי שרה’s theme of life cycle events, Avraham sends his trusted servant Eliezer to find a wife for his son Yitzchak, in order to ensure a fulfillment of G-d’s promise that his descendants would be numerous like the sand and stars.
Avraham gives Eliezer a lot of latitude with the assignment, only asking, truly begging, his servant:
אֲשֶׁר לֹא-תִקַּח אִשָּׁה, לִבְנִי, מִבְּנוֹת הַכְּנַעֲנִי, אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי יוֹשֵׁב בְּקִרְבּוֹ.
So that you shall not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell. (בראשית כד:ג)
Avraham then advises Eliezer to go to Haran to find a wife from the children of his brother Nachor, but the main and only condition that our first patriarch puts on finding the next matriarch is that she should not be a Canaanite.
Reading this, we can’t help but wonder why Avraham was so against his son marrying a Canaanite girl. It couldn’t be because they were idol worshippers- after all, Avraham’s own family were also עובדי עבודה זרה. What about the כנענים made them so unfit that Avraham immediately rejects the idea of marrying his family into theirs?
Chizkuni answers that Avraham was afraid that, if his nation was married into the Canaanite nation, then at that time, things may become more peaceful between himself and his neighbors. But, in several generations, when his descendants return to conquer the heritage that Avraham himself was promised by G-d, they will not be able to properly control the land, because the כנענים would rightfully claim that they are “part of the clan,” and should be able to stay. In order to protect the Jewish legitimacy to control the Land of Israel, Avraham decided to avoid making any relationship, especially through marriage, with the Canaanite people.
In our times, there are many Jews who try to delegitimize our sacred connection to ארץ ישראל. These are mostly left-wing Jewish activists in Europe and America (BDS, J-Street, etc), as well as many left-wing and secular politicians and activists here in Israel, who ally themselves with the terrorists who have initiated over a hundred attacks against Jews this month, rather than controversially helping us control our own country.
While this is always painful, those of us still fighting for Jewish independence have unfortunately grown used to this status quo of our “more enlightened” brothers resisting the truth- since Jews began returning home en masse and Arabs, in response, began returning back to the largely abandoned Palestine in the late Nineteenth Century, this has regretfully become the norm. Nonetheless, at a time when many Israelis fear leaving their houses at risk of being attacked by our formerly absentee landlords, the pain of this back stabbing (if you’ll pardon the pun) is particularly difficult to cope with.
We live in an age when the “red line” of what is politically acceptable has gone so far beyond reasonable that most of our politicians cannot even consider passing a law calling Israel a “Jewish Democratic” state, for fear of violent feedback from our cousins and the international community. The current status quo both in the entire Israel and specifically on Har Habayit is borderline intolerable for any Jew who believes in Torah, and, in an effort to avoid war with our Muslim citizens, we are being pushed into making more concessions. These could leave us in the foreseeable future accepting the Palestinian version of history and granting them a state, conceding to our enemies after we’ve beaten them seven times in the last 67 years. Countries around the world, even ones who call themselves our allies, have taken up this false narrative, even as our enemies continue to make it up on the spot. The United Nations, never a friendly place for a Jew, has recently recognized full Muslim religious control over Kever Rachel and Ma’arat Hamachpela, two sites which have no significance to Islam even by their account. Even the so-called “pro-Israel” Jewish organizations in the US are denying our biblical right and connection to Eretz Yisrael, buying into our enemies lies hook, line, and sinker, and giving them even more fodder in their constant war against us.
At this time, it is important to re-embrace Avraham Avinu’s message of “אשר לא תקח אשה מבנות הכנעני” and remember that the longer that we go along with this farce of international justice, we give more legitimacy to our cousins’ unholy war over our heritage. We must be public, explicit and strong in our fundamental religious beliefs- that Israel is ours to keep, that we do have religious rights to all of the holy sites in Israel, including… dare I say it… the Temple Mount (how else can we pray to Hashem multiple times every day for Him to rebuild the Bet Hamikdash… do we expect Him to “drop it from the sky” onto the Kiriyah in Tel Aviv?? If He did, then you could be sure that would be the next Muslim heritage site on debate at UNESCO).
Only once we firm up our beliefs and find strength in our exclusive biblical connection to Eretz Yisrael, insist on, and fight for a new, more reasonable status quo in the Holy Land, can we ever hope for peace. Until then, the status quo will continue… and more Jews and Palestinians will die for nothing.
With Hashem’s help, we will merit the building of the בית השלישי and the coming of the גואלה, a time without terror attacks and unfortunate and unnecessary losses, so that the right of Jews to live in Eretz Yisrael and inherit her will no longer be morally questionable or a gray area. Shabbat Shalom.