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    Settling & dwelling – Vayyeshev

    Vayeshev Ya’akov (Gen. 37:1) means “Jacob dwelt”.

    Pir’kei d’Rabbi Eliezer understands this as “Jacob dwelt in security and ease in the land of his birth, the land of his ancestors’ sojourns”.

    Bereshit Rabbah 84 explains why life in Israel gave him ease and security: “Jacob had no satisfaction from any dwelling place until he settled in the land where his father Isaac sojourned”.

    Midrash HaGadol says, “Living outside the Land of Israel is not called ‘dwelling’. The term only applies to living in the Land of Israel”.

    Before 1948 the Jewish community in the Holy Land was “The Yishuv – the Settlement”.

    These days “settlement” has a pejorative political connotation but it really isn’t the post-1967 Settlement Movement that is the problem (if there is one).

    The so-called settlements occupy no more than about 2% of Judea and Samaria and most will remain Israeli if and when the peace process achieves results. Any problem existed before 1967.

    It was the Yishuv as a whole, the reality that the Children of Jacob have come home to the ancestral land with a feeling of ease, security and fulfilment.

    A high percentage of Israelis tell the statisticians that they feel happy with their lives. Can the peoples of other lands, including the Arab nations, say a similar thing?

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