Underlying the Territorial School is the concept that the Land of Israel is intrinsically holy. “The eyes of the Lord thy God are always upon it from the beginning of the year to the end of the year.” The holiness of the Land is not dependant on the observance of the mitzvot. Rabbi Abba kissed the stones of Acco and Rabbi Chia Bar Gamda adorned himself with its dust.

Like the Kibbutz Galuyot School, the Territorial School sees the historical juxtaposition of the Holocaust and the state of Israel as no coincidence. Both these schools of thought view the Holocaust as the amputation from the Diaspora.

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The fact that mainly secular, non-observant Jews govern the state of Israel does not bother the Territorial School at all. God chooses his agents of Return without our approval. Indeed, the prophet Isaiah refers to Koresh, the gentile king responsible for returning the exiled Jews to Zion, as the Messiah. Besides, the mitzvah of settling the Land is equal to the observance of all the other mitzvot.

Every war in Israel is a stage in the redemption of Israel (Megillah 17b). The Redemption occurs in stages, war after war.

 

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Raphael Grunfeld received semicha in Yoreh Yoreh from Mesivtha Tifereth Jerusalem of America and in Yadin Yadin from Rav Dovid Feinstein. A partner at the Wall Street law firm of Carter Ledyard & Milburn LLP, Rabbi Grunfeld is the author of “Ner Eyal: A Guide to Seder Nashim, Nezikin, Kodashim, Taharot and Zerayim” and “Ner Eyal: A Guide to the Laws of Shabbat and Festivals in Seder Moed.” Questions for the author can be sent to rafegrunfeld@gmail.com.

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