Lech Lecha- Fulfilling the ENTIRE Brit

17:7– In Hashem’s last communication to Avram in this sedra, He commands our forefather in brit milah. In return, Hashem promises to be a G-d to Avram, his children and all of their descendants (Sforno adds that even descendants who “become lost” from our faith are still included). He also promises Avram’s Eretz Migurim, described in the passuk as “kol Eretz Canaan” as their achuzat olam.

(Q) What can we learn from the emphasis of kol Eretz Cana’an, all of the Land of Cana’an, in these pesukim?

Sforno teaches on these words that the only way that Am Yisrael can possibly serve Hashem and fulfill the brit to its full terms is to live in Eretz Yisrael, where all 613 of the mitzvot that will later be given to Avraham’s descendants, are applicable and able to be fulfilled. While the brit between Hashem and Avraham can certainly be and must be in effect anywhere in the world, our ideal Avodat Hashem takes place in Avraham’s Eretz Migurim, the land which the Torah was tailor-made for, Eretz Yisrael.

For my long-time readers, this theme should not be a surprise- after all, we’ve seen sources both from a positive perspective (mefoarshim in V’zot Habracha emphasizing the strong inherent connection of Torah, Am Yisrael and Eretz Yisrael), and a negative one (the Gemara in Avoda Zara 110b declaring all of those who permanently live outside of Eretz Yisrael de facto Ovdei Avod Zara). Sforno here, in the context of the passuk of kol Eretz Canaan, reminds us that every part of historical Cana’an, whether it’s located in modern-day Israel, modern-day disputed territory (Judea and Samaria), modern-day soon-to-be disputed territory (Jerusalem, the Temple Mount, Giv’at Ze’ev, etc), or even modern-day Jordan (Ever HaYarden/the East Bank of the Jordan River), Lebanon or Syria- all of it is holy and just as Hashem will always believe in the Jewish people even if individuals stop believing in Him, kol Eretz Cana’an will always belong to our people, no matter what the United Nations, US State Department, or even Israeli government might say. Hashem promised our forefathers the Land of Israel, and, in our days, we are seeing the beginning of the fulfillment of His brit. May we all merit to see all of the Jewish People keeping their brit to Hashem and Hashem fulfilling His brit to our people, including the reunion of kol Eretz Cana’an to Jewish control, very, very soon.

– In Hashem’s last communication to Avram in this sedra, He commands our forefather in brit milah. In return, Hashem promises to be a G-d to Avram, his children and all of their descendants (Sforno adds that even descendants who “become lost” from our faith are still included). He also promises Avram’s Eretz Migurim, described in the passuk as “kol Eretz Canaan” as their achuzat olam.

(Q) What can we learn from the emphasis of kol Eretz Cana’an, all of the Land of Cana’an, in these pesukim?

Sforno teaches on these words that the only way that Am Yisrael can possibly serve Hashem and fulfill the brit to its full terms is to live in Eretz Yisrael, where all 613 of the mitzvot that will later be given to Avraham’s descendants, are applicable and able to be fulfilled. While the brit between Hashem and Avraham can certainly be and must be in effect anywhere in the world, our ideal Avodat Hashem takes place in Avraham’s Eretz Migurim, the land which the Torah was tailor-made for, Eretz Yisrael.

For my long-time readers, this theme should not be a surprise- after all, we’ve seen sources both from a positive perspective (mefoarshim in V’zot Habracha emphasizing the strong inherent connection of Torah, Am Yisrael and Eretz Yisrael), and a negative one (the Gemara in Avoda Zara 110b declaring all of those who permanently live outside of Eretz Yisrael de facto Ovdei Avod Zara). Sforno here, in the context of the passuk of kol Eretz Canaan, reminds us that every part of historical Cana’an, whether it’s located in modern-day Israel, modern-day disputed territory (Judea and Samaria), modern-day soon-to-be disputed territory (Jerusalem, the Temple Mount, Giv’at Ze’ev, etc), or even modern-day Jordan (Ever HaYarden/the East Bank of the Jordan River), Lebanon or Syria- all of it is holy and just as Hashem will always believe in the Jewish people even if individuals stop believing in Him, kol Eretz Cana’an will always belong to our people, no matter what the United Nations, US State Department, or even Israeli government might say. Hashem promised our forefathers the Land of Israel, and, in our days, we are seeing the beginning of the fulfillment of His brit. May we all merit to see all of the Jewish People keeping their brit to Hashem and Hashem fulfilling His brit to our people, including the reunion of kol Eretz Cana’an to Jewish control, very, very soon.