“I have created this people for Myself; they shall relate My praise” (Isaiah 43:20).

Each and every Jew, man, woman, or child, in every generation, by virtue of his very existence, expresses the praise of G‑d. Not only is every Jew’s soul an “actual part of G‑d,” so to speak, but also, each Jew as he exists in this world, body and soul, is a unique Divine creation and a member of “G‑d’s nation.”

This applies to every single member of the Jewish people without distinction. We are “one nation,” sharing a fundamental equality regardless of our different spiritual levels. This applies even to those Jews who — at present — do not observe the will of G‑d as expressed in the Torah. For, as our Sages teach, “A Jew even though he sins remains Jewish.”

Furthermore, the innate desire of every Jew (even one who is not observant), because he was born of a Jewish mother or converted according to the Halachah, is to serve G‑d through Torah and its commandments, the mitzvos. Maimonides writes that every Jew, even one who protests to the contrary, desires to be part of the Jewish people, to fulfill mitzvos, and to separate himself from sin. If he does not do so, it is only because his evil inclination forces him to act otherwise.

Throughout the centuries, this essential desire has been revealed by the many Jews — even those who were not observant — who actually sacrificed their lives to sanctify G‑d’s name.

Surely, efforts must be made to reach out to all the members of our people and develop this innate potential. Nevertheless, even before those efforts are completed, the very existence of the Jewish people expresses the praise of G‑d. Though they have long been “one lamb among seventy wolves,” the Jewish nation has endured throughout the course of history, while nations greater and more powerful have vanished. This is not a result of any socio-political factors, but is rather an open expression of Divine power.

In particular this applies today, only a generation after the awesome Holocaust which threatened to utterly annihilate our people. The fact that our people (regardless of their spiritual level) continue to exist at present reveals G‑d’s presence within our world.

The above concepts should affect the manner in which we approach our fellow Jews. Criticizing or speaking unfavorably about them is no less than making such statements against G‑d Himself. Zachariah (2:12) the prophet warns that a person who strikes a Jew is like one who strikes G‑d in the eye, so to speak. Since “a king cannot exist without a people,” the appreciation of G‑d as king of the world is dependent on His people, the Jews, and an attack against them, heaven forbid, is an attack against Him.

When such statements are made, particularly when they are made in public, (and publicized even to the extent that they are relayed in the non-Jewish press,) they have to be corrected. We find that when Isaiah criticized the Jews — even though they were deserving of such criticism — he was punished. The Bible relates this incident in order to “open the way to repentance,” so that anyone who makes such statements should appreciate the need to correct his behavior.

Surely the above applies when a person questions the Jewishness of certain of our brothers and sisters whom the Torah itself defines as Jews. The Jewish people are compared to a Torah scroll. A blemish in a single letter of a Torah scroll disqualifies the entire scroll, including even the Ten Commandments. Similarly, disqualifying a single member of our people affects the people as a whole.

The essential nature of any entity always seeks to express itself. Thus, the appreciation of a Jew’s essential nature should motivate efforts to have that nature realized — through the fulfillment of the Torah and its commandments.

This will bring the Jewish people not only spiritual benefits, but will also strengthen their position in the world, particularly in the Land of Israel.

Just as the Jews are G‑d’s chosen people, the Land of Israel is G‑d’s chosen land. It is a holy land given as an eternal inheritance to the entire Jewish people, those living in the land at present, and those presently living in the diaspora. Hence, no one is entitled to surrender any portion of Eretz Yisrael to gentiles.

Maintaining possession of this land is the only path to peace.

Succumbing to the pressure to surrender any part of it will only invite additional pressure, weakening the security of the Jewish people and exposing them to danger. The government in Eretz Yisrael must follow the path of peace, but also must realize that the path to peace depends on maintaining possession of every portion of the land which G‑d has granted us.

May the above hasten the coming of Mashiach who will lead our entire people to Eretz Yisrael. Our Sages declared, “In the month of Nisan our people were redeemed from Egypt, and in Nisan they will be redeemed by the Messiah.”

The name Nisan is also related to the Hebrew word Nes, meaning “miracle,” which is of particular relevance in the present year, תש"נ, a “year of miracles.” May we merit the most essential miracle, the coming of Mashiach, and may this take place in the immediate future.