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    God’s special interest – Ekev

    The sidra describes the Land of Israel as the land which God watches over constantly (Deut. 11:12).

    In the Sifrei the sages ask, “Doesn’t He watch over all the lands and not just Israel?”

    A good question, and there are many suggested answers. Since the Psalmist (e.g. in Psalm 24) is adamant that the Creator owns all of His creation, it is impossible to think that He doesn’t care what happens in and with every country on earth.

    The Americans can take comfort from the indisputable fact that every inch of their vast territory matters to God. One can be certain also that God is concerned for Britain and Belgium, for Holland and Hungary, for Austria and Australia. He worries about Johannesburg, not just Jerusalem; Sydney and not just Safed; Toronto and not just Tiberias.

    How then can the Torah imagine that Israel is extra special in the eyes of God?

    Perhaps the answer lies not just in what is happening in all the many lands on earth, but about Israel there is an additional dimension – not just what is, but what should be. Israel is holy because of what it was – and because of what it will be in time to come.

    Wherever a person lives they, their land and their national leaders have a duty to pass the careful scrutiny of the Almighty, but if they live in Israel they have the privilege of also helping to make the Holy Land the scene of the messianic redemption.

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