Thursday, February 2, 2012

Fantastic Quote Friday: From the Knesset Edition

Reason #3122 for making aliyah:

While addressing the Knesset plenum, MK Gilad Erdan, Israel’s Minister of Environmental Protection, directed his remarks to one of the Arab MKs and quoted the beautiful and well-known first Rashi on the Torah:

Hat tip: Rafi G.

Here’s the full text and a translation* of this amazing Rashi:

בראשית‘ – אמר רבי יצחק: לא היה צריך להתחיל את התורה אלא (שמות יב:ב) מהחודש הזה לכם‘ - שהיא מצוה ראשונה שנצטוו בה ישראל. ומה טעם פתח בבראשית? משום (תהלים קיא:ו) כח מעשיו הגיד לעמו לתת להם נחלת גוים.‘ שאם יאמרו אומות העולם לישראל: לסטים אתם, שכבשתם ארצות שבעה גוים, הם אומרים להם: כל הארץ של הקב"ה היא. הוא בראה ונתנה לאשר ישר בעיניו. ברצונו נתנה להם וברצונו נטלה מהם ונתנה לנו.

“‘In the beginning’ – R’ Yitzchak said: It was not necessary to begin the Torah but from, ‘This month shall be for you,’ (Shmot 12:2) which is the first commandment which Israel were commanded. And what is the reason it opened with, ‘In the beginning?’ Because, ‘The strength of His deeds He related to His people; to give them the inheritance of the nations.’ (Tehilim 111:6)

“For if the nations of the world will say to Israel, ‘You are robbers, for you conquered the lands of the seven nations,’ they will say to them, ‘The entire earth belongs to the Holy One, Blessed be He. He created it and gave it to whomever He deemed proper. By His will, He gave it to them, and by His will, He took it from them and gave it to us.’” (Rashi – Breishit 1:1)

!שבת שלום ומבורך


*The above translation is courtesy of the Official Our Shiputzim Hebrew-English translator. Please note that she’s available for translation work. For more information, contact me at OurShiputzim at gmail dot com, and I’ll gladly forward all serious inquiries to her.


  1. I have always loved that Rashi. It should be engraved on the walls of the Knesset and the Prime Minister's office, to remind them they don't have the right to give away any part of the Land of Israel.


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