Once upon a kingdom, a king set off on the back of his fine steed, accompanied by three burly bodyguards. They toured the countryside, riding up hills and racing down valleys. Further and further they went, delighting in the fresh country air. The warm sunshine enchanted them, and the kingdom's breathtaking scenery set smiles in their hearts. Every now and again they gave their steeds a rest, to refresh themselves in a stream and graze on thick wild grasses.

The king was not hungry. He was still sated from his elaborate breakfast. And the guards? They were used to long, arduous, trips between meals. So all was bright and all were content as they basked in the freedom of the open landscape. Thus they continued for many miles.

As the hours rolled by, the king eventually grew weary. And hungry. It was very well for the horses; they could eat grass. Yet the king and his men required a meal to replenish their strength for their journey back to the capital. Gazing in all directions, they realized they had strayed very far from the cities and even the villages. There was no habitation in sight. Moreover, their predicament was strengthened by the once bright sun, now reluctant to remain above eye-level. As if frightened by the sound of hoof beats, the sun dropped further as the steeds galloped forwards.

What could a family that had eaten its last crust and drunk the day's last drop of milk offer to the hungry king and his men? Just as the sun had sighed its last rays, the king and his guards sighted a small bright cottage, whose light bravely defied the dusk of an already darkened valley. Guided by this glow, the king arrived ravenous at the solid oak door. Whilst two guards roped the horses securely by a tree, the third rapped on the door with its rusty knocker.

A startled face appeared in the doorway, and was immediately surrounded by additional surprised faces. A family dressed in rags gasped in undisguised astonishment as three splendid soldiers explained their arrival, and ushered in the most unexpected visitor the family could ever have imagined: the king!

Now, what could a family that had eaten its last crust and drunk the day's last drop of milk offer to the hungry king and his men? Without hesitation, the father of the household strode over to their only sheep, the last remaining asset save his clothes and his home, and declared:

"O' Glorious King! I have neither horse nor goose, neither cow nor hen. Aside for my rooster to wake me, I have but one solitary sheep. Her wool provides clothes and her milk provides sustenance, for myself, my wife, and my five growing sons! Yet it is my extreme privilege and honor to slaughter this sheep and prepare her meat as a meal for my king and his loyal men. I do so with joy! I only wish that I had some wine to serve Your Majesty, along with the meat..."

The man and his wife immediately set about preparing the meat, whilst their sons set the table and chairs for their royal guests. And as the king and his men were enjoying the most loyal lamb in the kingdom, the impoverished family lay straw for their guests to retire upon until the night itself would tire and leave their valley in the morning.

The royal party slept through the sound of the rooster, which awakened their hosts at dawn. As the sun laid claim to the treetops, the father and his five sons gathered acorns and pears, then drew fresh water from a never tiring stream. Meanwhile, the lady of the house began roasting the remainder of their sheep, creating an enchanting aroma that roused their royal guests and informed them of their pending breakfast.

By the time the king was ready to mount his rested steed, the sun had reclaimed its throne and winked the way back to the capital. The king turned to his hosts and proclaimed:

"You have treated us with great hospitality and devotion. You have proven your loyalty with your only sheep. Today I shall return to the palace, and today I shall grant your reward! Within a week you shall have a prize flock of sheep from my royal farms. They will remain my property and bear my seal on collars about their necks, thus enhancing their worth. You may raise them and graze them in this glorious valley, sell their wool and milk for vast profits in the markets of my kingdom, and grow more wealthy than you could ever have dreamt. It was lucky for me to have come across your cottage last night. Yet it was luckier still for you and your family that we arrived hungry at your door! Should you encounter any difficulties, do not hesitate to send word to the capital. Have a good day and much success!"

With a prod of their spurs, the king and his men whirled and bounced their way back across the hills they had traversed the previous day. They left behind them a doorway full of faces, more astonished by the dramatic departure than by the previous evening's startling appearance.

Three days later, the valley echoed with the unfamiliar sounds of loud voices and hoof beats, accompanied by the shuffling and bleating of sheep. The gift of the king had arrived, along with royal servants who would train the family in the art of sheep rearing, grazing and shearing. By the time they departed, the father and his five sons practically knew each sheep individually.

They rejoiced at their good fortune, and treated the flock with care. They sold delicious milk and cheese in the nearest markets, and made great annual profits from the royal wool. Their cottage grew into a mansion and their fame spread throughout the kingdom.

Wealth breeds jealousy... Generations passed. The children and grandchildren of the original family carried on their acclaimed role as guardians of the king's gift, and their fame and fortune grew and grew.

Wealth breeds jealousy. And so it was that farmers and shepherds of neighboring valleys and hillsides developed a jealous resentment towards the ever-increasing wealth that this family attracted. They began harassing the royal sheep-keepers, to the point of threatening them and their sheep with grievous harm.

Greatly alarmed, the family sent word to the capital: "O' Mighty King! The gift you have graciously bestowed upon your servants has attracted mortal danger upon us from our jealous neighbors!"

An answer was not long in coming. It took the form of a company of armed soldiers bearing the king's arms on their uniforms and armor. They had come in the name of the king, to protect the family and the royal gift. Their instructions were clear: to obey the commands of the family.

With such a presence in their valley, fear of the family was instilled into their jealous neighbors, who now hated them all the more. Yet the daggers they held in their hearts were kept at bay by the glinting swords that the king's men wore at their sides.

Affluent fame surrounded by jealous hills, a royal infantry at one's beck and call —all this adversely affected the mind of the current leader of the clan. He began to worry and dream about losing everything to resentful neighbors, returning to a raggedy cottage, eating acorns and pears... He longed to appease his neighbors, and began sending them gifts along with apologetic messages.

After a while, the neighbors realized that his thinking had turned and plotted to take advantage of it. They grew bold. At first they merely accepted the gifts. Then they began demanding more and more. They made the paranoid man feel guilty about matters as far from his control as was the weather.

One gloomy night, the soldiers caught a neighboring farmer attempting to steal a royal sheep. They had their swords drawn and were prepared to avenge this act of treason when the cringing thief cried out the name of the chief shepherd. He came running and was dismayed at the scene. Before the soldiers could utter a word, the sly thief began to wail:

"Look what your men are doing to me! Before you received your royal sheep, we sold our ordinary wool in the neighboring valley. Because of you, I was forced to lower my prices, until I had to sell the sheep themselves! You did this to me! Now your men wish to kill me... who will feed my starving children?"

This was all quite untrue. In fact, the fame that the gift of the king had brought to the valley had actually drawn numerous merchants and much affluence to the entire area. But the cunning neighbor knew how to play on the man's unsteady state of mind.

The soldiers were ordered to release the fellow and to help transport two royal sheep over the hillside to the neighbor's homestead, in the hope that allowing him to benefit from the king's gift would possibly alleviate some of the man's constant worrying.

The guards were incensed: "But this is royal property! The sheep bear the king's seal on their collars!"

"Silence!" retorted the man, "You were commanded to obey me! If you do not comply, I shall complain to the king himself!" This argument silenced the guards, who were forced to help the thief transport his ill begotten gains to his home.

The family members learned of the incident the next morning, and they, too, were furious. Yet none of their arguments managed to penetrate their leader's head. He proclaimed that it was they who were speaking foolish words and being wholly unpractical.

Other neighbors heard of the occurrence and were greatly emboldened. Night after night, alone or in gangs, they sneaked into the family's property. They stole a bag of wool, a pair of shears, a milk churner, and the like. They had no fear of being caught by the heavily armed guards, for their swords were always blunted by the command of their victim.

At first they merely accepted the gifts. Then they began demanding more and more. They made the man feel guilty about matters as far from his control as was the weather. One fateful week, they gathered as a delegation and demanded that the manager of the flock meet with them. This he did, with concern written all over his brow. What did they want from him? He must have wronged them in some way! He would do anything to appease them, thus securing his estate amongst theirs. Or so he anxiously thought.

They informed him that they had reached a decision: Should he hand over one quarter of the royal flock to their jurisdiction, they would reciprocate with a declaration of friendship carved on polished wood. The man had little need for such a declaration, but in his nervous state he agreed. He ordered the king's men to hand over a quarter of the king's sheep! The soldiers protested in vain and gnashed their teeth, whilst the neighbors exchanged winks. Many of the family members rushed with rage to attack their audacious neighbors, but the soldiers were ordered to restrain them.

So the loyal shepherds sent a messenger to appeal to the king, describing their situation and requesting his intervention. They stressed that they did not want their leader punished, for he was the victim and was to be pitied. Rather they requested that the king make clear to him that he held no authority to damage, give away, or sell the king's property without permission from the palace; that the king make clear to the soldiers that they were to prevent robbery and pursue violators; that the king make clear to all inhabitants of the valley that they would suffer serious consequences from harming the family or the royal property. Yet, although the messenger was informed that the petition had been accepted, the shepherds heard nothing further from the capital.

The neighbors subsequently demanded that the father supply them with arms so they need not feel intimidated by the king's armed men, nor threatened by the angry shepherds. To this impudent demand too, the leader complied, sadly oblivious that he was hurtling himself towards to the very end he was so desperately attempting to avoid.

The next week saw a return of the delegation, demanding a further quarter of the flock, and threatening armed violence. Again, the unhappy man gave in to them.

By the third week, however, the soldiers had suffered enough of this treason, and the royal shepherds had witnessed enough of this madness. Mutiny was in the air; rebellion was imminent. The situation became tense. Extremely tense. The entire valley, trees and birds alike, seemed to stiffen and stare in horror at the looming crisis. Time seemed to stagger and stall into a stuffy solidified stillness.

The neighbors faced the soldiers. The soldiers faced the leader. The leader faced the family. Daggers were drawn in the eyes of the neighbors. Confusion clouded the leader's vision. Furious indignation sparkled in the eyes of the soldiers. Angry tears stung the family's faces. And anxious stares filled the eyes of the sheep. The distant hills seemed to draw themselves closer, the sun shone uncomfortably on the trembling grass, and the very wind seemed to hold its breath...

And on a not-too-distant hilltop, a monarch on horseback surrounded by helmets, horses, and gleaming lances, stealthily advanced. Bestower of the royal gift, the king had personally kept himself apprised of the developments and was on his way to settle the matter once and for all. Who knows what he would discover by the time it took for the royal party to arrive...

And this is the situation in which the Promised Land, promised to the Chosen Nation, chosen by the King of Kings Himself, Creator of all peoples and lands, currently finds itself.

The cunning neighbor knew how to play on the man's unsteady state of mind... At a time when the universe was but a valley darkened by idolatry and pagan cruelty, a small lonely house shone bright. It was the House of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—the House of Israel. Time and again, they were prepared to give their lives and their livelihoods for the sake of the King of Kings. Abraham began it all with his willingness to sacrifice his only sheep, Isaac. In return, the King promised an eternal nation with an eternal law. And an eternal land, whose cities and hillsides are bound together to form one regal flock.

Then there are the sons of the Land—the nation of Israel. The defenders of the Land—the soldiers of Israel. An assumed 'leader' of the Land—the government in Israel. And jealous neighbors who, like sharks encircling a wounded swimmer, desire not only our land, but our lives...

If you were a wise and just king, what would you do?

Let us take a look at words written by a true leader of Israel, who once ruled Israel in its land, whose words rule the hearts and prayers of Israel wherever they may find themselves, and whose descendant will once again rule Israel in their Land, in the near future.

King David speaking of the victim's plea and trust:

Deliver me, O' G‑d...
More numerous than the hairs on my head are those who hate me without reason
Mighty are those who would cut me off, those who hate me without cause
What I have not stolen, I will then have to return?
...Do not hide Your face from Your servant, for I am in distress —hurry to answer me...!

For G‑d will deliver Zion and build the cities of Judah, and they will settle there and possess it. And the seed of His servants will inherit it, and those who love His Name will dwell in it...

David speaking of the savior, the King of Kings:

Why are the nations in an uproar, and peoples speak futility?
The kings of the earth rise up, and rulers conspire together, against G‑d and against His anointed...
He who sits in heaven laughs; my Master mocks them
Then He speaks to them in His anger, and terrifies them in His wrath;
"It is I Who have anointed My king upon Zion, My holy mountain...!"
Now be wise, you kings! Be disciplined, you rulers of the earth!

...Fortunate are all who put their trust in Him!

The King will surely hear our plea and champion our cause, for we are not merely the decendents of a loyal subject —though that we are as well. We are royalty ourselves. In the words of the King, "You are children to G‑d your G‑d" (Deuteronomy 14:1); and again, "My son, My firstborn, Israel!" (Exodus 4:22).

Nor is our land merely a gift. It is a Promised Land. The land promised to all Jews, regardless of age, commitment, location, or period in history. In order to give it away, one need not only consult all Jews of all generations, past, present, and future. One must first obtain permission from the King. And the King has already decreed it forbidden, in His Torah (Code of Jewish Law, Orach Chaim 329:6, and commentaries).

Let all who cannot bear to see the Land of Israel, the Gift of the King, being given away to those who would despoil the nation of Israel, not only protest to the heavy-handed and unstable governmental 'leader,' but appeal to the Bestower of royal gifts, the King Himself. And what better way to do so than through the words of royalty, the Psalms of David.