Ten years ago, during a flare-up of Palestinian hostilities ("the more things change…"), a media outlet arranged to interview a student at a local Jewish day school about the situation.

This 8th grader is a friend of mine and he asked me for my advice. Specifically he wanted guidance as to what he should respond if asked for his opinion on what should be done to bring peace to the troubled region. I suggested that he reply: "I'm a 14 year-old kid in a Chicago suburb—how should I know?"

We pray not only for a return to the land, but to our landWhich leads me to the obvious question: How about rabbis, why do they expound on Israel's military strategy? Would we heed a dentist's opinion on engineering?

Herein lies the crux of the perplexing nature of the "Mideast conflict." This is not a standard battle for sovereignty, nor even an ideological dispute.

The Jews' relationship with the Land of Israel is unlike any other citizenry and their land. In the course of human affairs a nation and its state are absolutely linked. If a kingdom falls, its culture de facto falls too. Its language, dress and customs step aside as obvious losers and make way for the practices and traditions of the new sheriff in town; simply put: you lost, ergo your ways are inferior.

The Jews and their land don't play by those rules, and that's what confounds and often angers the rest of the world. Even though we lost the dominion over our land we did not abandon our traditions, though our government was conquered we did not capitulate to a new king.

And here is the real kicker: though we were exiled, we maintain that the land is still ours. We pray not only for a return to the land, but to our land. We defy international law and refused to recognize that to the victor go the spoils. We maintain that despite the absence of sovereignty, it is our land, it is a holy land, not just a place we once lived and hope to live again.

That's why rabbis, spiritual leaders, speak out about Israel; it is their field because the Jew's link to the Land is spiritual, not just ancestral.

And this also explains why so many people have such strong opinions about a region so far away; a place they may have never visited nor have any serious consideration of ever living? I wonder, do Brazilians discuss Finland with such fervor?

Jews everywhere care so deeply about the Land of Israel because it is part of their soul.

When G‑d created the world He entrusted lands to whom He choseThe classic biblical commentator Rashi makes this point in his opening comment on Genesis. He explains that when G‑d created the world He entrusted lands to whom He chose—and He assigned the Land of Israel to the Jews. That's why it is our land; not because of the Balfour Declaration or the good graces of the UN, not even because of the might of the IDF—may G‑d bless and protect them.

We need to constantly remind ourselves of this. We may be like my 14 year-old friend, ill equipped to speculate on troop deployment—we should leave that (exclusively) to the military experts, whose sole objective is the protection of their citizenry. Instead we should focus on our super-rational bond to the Land.

At any rate, I wonder if we really win when we "win" the debate about the virtue of Israeli democracy or military procedure. I think we may lose more than we gain by agreeing to the debate, by entertaining the thought that we are (only) justified to live in Israel by virtue of socio-political argument, instead of Divine directive

We are obsessed with the daily activities in a land faraway because that land is part of our very identity in a way far more significant than a mere hometown, and more than we could ever explain to CNN.

Eretz Yisrael, the land of Israel, is one with Am Yisroel, the People of Israel.