Spiritual Ownership

Dena Weiss

Yom HaZikaron - Yom Ha’Atzma'ut

We are accustomed to approaching the question of ownership of land through the lens of title and tenancy: Who lives on the land?  Who benefits from the produce produced by its fields?  Who can enter and leave the property freely? However, spiritual ownership and claim over the land is of a different kind.  It invites us to ask: Who feels responsible for the growth and productivity of the land?  Who loves the land?  And who takes pride and joy from it? This type of ownership can be cultivated and experienced independent of the legal question of who is the physical owner of the land. The emotional connection to the land of Israel is a type of ownership that is not exclusive, but rather inclusive.  Anyone who walks the land can forge a bond with it that is enduring, significant and real. (5780)