Gaining Strength in Difficult Times

Parshat Breisheet (Breisheet 2:10) describes the geography of the Garden of Eden:

A river went out of Eden to water the Garden, and from there it divides into four headwaters.

Verses 11-12 add:

The name of the first is Pishon which surrounds all the land of Chavilah, where there is gold. The gold of that land is good. Also found there are bdellium and onyx stones.

Where is the land of Chavilah?

According to Breisheet Raba (16:4), the Land of Israel is hinted to as Eretz HaChavilah”. We learn this from Tehillim 42:6:

Why are you miserable, my soul and why are you disturbed on my account? Hope (Hochili) to God! I will yet thank Him for the salvations of His presence.

Rashi explains the word Hochili (hope) to mean wait and look forward to the redemption.

We see a similar theme in Tehilim 31:25:

Be strong, let your hearts take courage, all who wait longingly (hameyachlim) for God.

This teaches us that in difficult situations we should put our trust in God’s salvation and we should not let devastation take control over us.

What is the gold of the land?

Gold is figurative for the Torah. As we see in Tehilim 19:11: The words of the Torah are more desirable than gold, than even much fine gold.” We learn from here that there is no Torah learning like the Torah of Eretz Yisrael and no wisdom like the wisdom of Eretz Yisrael.

What is unique about the Torah of Eretz Yisrael as opposed to the Torah from abroad?

Rav David Avraham Spector brings Rav Avraham Yitzchak HaKohen Kook’s answer from Orot HaTorah 13:3:

The Torah from Chutz La’Aretz (abroad) deals with correcting the individual soul, both in the material and spiritual spheres…The Torah of the Land of Israel on the other hand is totally different as it is always concerned for the entire society, for the soul of the entire nation.

This week, we have seen death and devastation in Israel that has affected every Israeli. Yet we are a nation that does not give up. We do not put our trust in our enemies, we continue to put our trust in God, mobilize our troops and work together to move forward and not let the terrorists win.

May our prayers for the welfare of the State of Israel be answered:

Strengthen the hands of the defenders of our Holy Land; grant them deliverance, our God, and crown them with the crown of victory. Grant peace in the Land and everlasting joy to its inhabitants.