18 Tishrei 5782 / Friday, September 24, 2021 | Torah Reading: Sukkot
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Ekev: Thanks to the Land of Israel    

Ekev: Thanks to the Land of Israel

Material abundance comes to the world totally by virtue of spiritual abundance, Although this may sound complicated...


Thanks to the Land of Israel, the Entire World Eats
"A land that Hashem, your God, seeks out; the eyes of Hashem, your Go-d, are always upon it" (Devorim 11:12).
Rashi interprets the above passage by telling us that Hashem's principal attention is focused on the Land of Israel; only afterwards, does He feed the rest of the world.
The Ramban goes a step further: He says emphatically that all the nations of the world eat by virtue of the Land of Israel, for Hashem personally seeks her only; but, when Hashem seeks her out, the other nations receive their subsistence as well.
Rebbe Nachman of Breslev explains (Likutei Moharan II:71), "There is an intellectuality of the Land of Israel and an intellectuality of the other nations. The intellectuality of the other nations feeds from the intellectuality of the Land of Israel, for the main wisdom and intellect are in the Land of Israel."
The principal abundance that Hashem bestows on the world is spiritual abundance. Material abundance comes to the world totally by virtue of spiritual abundance. Although this may sound complicated, it's really a very simple concept. The material vessel called the body receives its abundance by virtue of the soul, its spiritual lifespark. Once the soul departs from the body, the body no longer receives abundance and withers into dust.
Rebbe Nachman's concept of the entire world feeding off the intellectuality of the Land of Israel explains the Ramban's interpretation that all the nations of the world eat by virtue of the Land of Israel. The laws of the spiritual world are the root laws of the material world.
With Hashem's loving help, we can clarify this concept with the help of the following parable:
A great and magnificent King lived in a vast and beautiful palace with the princess, his only daughter – the apple of his eye and the love of his heart. The princess, lovely from inside and out, was blessed with intelligence, kindness, and compassion. Not only was she beautiful, but she had a razor-sharp intellect, a thirst for learning, and a phenomenal grasp of everything she learned.
There wasn't a wise man or minister in the entire kingdom that the King could entrust with the education of his exceptional daughter. He therefore educated her himself to assure that her intellectuality would be a direct continuation of his own intellectuality. The princess therefore learned exclusively from texts that her father the King had himself composed.
The princess delighted in every tiny utterance from her cherished father's mouth. She was dainty and of slight proportions, for her main sustenance was intellectual; her father's teachings satisfied most of her hunger and thirst. During learning, not even a drop of water or a morsel of food would touch her lips. Yet, after learning for five straight hours with her father, her delicate body would cry out too, and ask for its minimal needs.
A firm palace statute that no one dared violate stated that until the King ordered food and drink for the princess, all the palace servants would have to make due with the previous day's leftovers.
Once the King ordered food for the princess, spontaneous cries of joy would be heard throughout the palace. The servants knew that when the princess ate, they would eat too. The royal butchers would slaughter an entire 1000-pound baby bull just to feed the princess a few grams of her favorite delicacy, roast tongue in mustard sauce. Then, the entire staff would eat the rest of meat, feasting on juicy steaks, prime rib, and chateau-briand until they could no longer eat.
When the princess requested a small drink to quench her thirst, the King would order the royal winemaster to open the palace's best keg of Sauvignon Blanc or Merlot. The princess would barely sip half a goblet full, and the rest of the keg was sent to the gleeful servants who would drink in merriment.
The King loved to surprise his beloved daughter. For her dessert, he commanded the royal baker to bake a ten-layer, four-foot high chocolate cake filled with almond and pistachio nougat. The princess would eat a mere spoonful, roll her eyes in delight, and then profusely bless and thank her cherished father the King. The cake would then be removed from the princess's chambers to the goggle-eyed servants waiting to pounce on it. And so forth – whenever the King ordered food for the princess, the servants would have a feast.
The King in our parable is none other than Hashem; His beloved daughter the princess is Eretz Yisroel, the Land of Israel. The servants are the nations of the world. They eat by virtue of the princess; in like manner, thanks to the Land of Israel, the nations of the world eat too.
Torah learning and mitzvah observance of Israel are the vitality of Eretz Yisroel, for without them the land becomes a barren desert, as history has proven. Consequently, one cannot fathom how dear the People of Israel are to Hashem. Hashem is willing to sustain the entire nations of Brazil and Colombia just so a Torah scholar in Jerusalem will have a cup of coffee with his Gemorra. Hashem is also happy to sustain a billion Chinamen so that a family in Bnai Brak will have rice and tea with their Shabbat meal. The entire computer high-tech industry was really designed so that Torah books could be printed faster and cheaper, and so on with all the world's nations and all the world's industries. They eat and exist thanks to Israel.
When Moshiach comes, quickly and in our days, the nations of the world will suffer excruciating embarrassment when they become aware that their attempts to harm Israel were in effect severing their own abundance. May Hashem help that His truth be known among all peoples everywhere in the nearest future, amen.

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