Parshas Devarim – HaShem Your G-d Fights for You

By Rabbi Amiram Markel

Amongst other matters, this week’s Parshah deals with the wars and conquests of Israel on the east bank of the Jordan River before they entered the land of Israel proper. This marked the beginning of the blessings that HaShem gave to Yaakov through Yitzchak and which will ultimately be fulfilled in the true and complete redemption through our righteous Moshiach,[1] “Peoples will serve you and nations will bow down to you. You will be master over your brothers and your mother’s children will prostrate to you. All who curse you are cursed and all who bless you are blessed”, and as it states in our Parshah,[2] “Today I will begin to put the dread and fear of you on the nations under all the heavens, so that they will hear of your fame and tremble and shake before you.”

When the Jewish People came out of Egypt with tremendous signs and miracles, all the surrounding countries heard about it and were terrified, as it states,[3] “The Peoples heard and trembled, the inhabitants of Philistia were seized with terror. The leaders of Edom panicked, quaking seized the mighty ones of Moav, all the residents of Canaan melted away. Terror and trepidation fell upon them. By Your powerful arm they are silenced as a stone. Until Your People pass through HaShem, until this People You have acquired pass through. You will bring them and implant them on the mount of Your inheritance HaShem. You have brought about the foundation for Your habitation, Your hands establish the sanctuary of the L-rd.”

In other words, these nations knew that HaShem had taken Israel as His People and that He was with them. Therefore, by not permitting Israel to peacefully pass through their lands on their way to the Promised Land, they were openly and directly rebelling against HaShem, the “Possessor of heaven and earth”,[4] and lost possession of their lands.

Yaakov’s blessing still stands today; “All who curse you are cursed and all who bless you are blessed.” All those who oppose Jewish dominion over the land of Israel are accursed of G-d, because they are rebelling against HaShem Himself and all those who war against Israel are literally warring against HaShem Himself and they will meet a terrible end.

With the above in mind, we see how appropriate the second Psalm of Tehillim is to our times. It states,[5] “Why do the nations gather and governments speak emptiness? The kings of the earth take a stand and rulers conspire against HaShem and against His anointed, saying, “Let us sever their shackles and cast their ropes from us.” He who dwells in the heavens will laugh; the L-rd will make a mockery of them. Then will He speak to them in His anger and frighten them in His wrath, saying, “But as for Me, I have anointed My king over Zion, My Holy Mountain.” I shall tell of HaShem’s statute; He said to me, “You are My son. Today I have given birth to you. Ask of me and I will give nations as your inheritance and your possessions to the ends of the earth. You shall smash them with an iron scepter and shatter them like a potter’s vessel.” And now kings, wisen up; serve HaShem with fear and rejoice with trembling. Acknowledge the pure, lest He be angered and your path will be doomed, for in a moment His wrath will be inflamed; happy are all who find refuge in Him.

We, the Jewish People must trust in HaShem, the Protector of Israel Who neither sleeps nor slumbers,[6] and as the concluding verse of the Parshah states,[7] “Do not fear them, for HaShem your G-d fights on your behalf!”


[1] Genesis 27:29

[2] Deuteronomy 2:25

[3] Exodus 15:14-17

[4] Genesis 14:22

[5] Psalms 2:1-12

[6] Psalms 121:4

[7] Deuteronomy 3:22

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