This week’s Torah portion, Pinchas, details the manner in which the land of Israel was to be apportioned between the twelve tribes.
The Torah states: “According to the mouth of the lot shall the inheritance of each be divided.”
Our Sages explain that the words “mouth of the lot” are to be taken literally, commenting that “the lot itself would cry out and announce, ‘Such and such borders are designated for this particular tribe.’ “
Axiomatic in Judaism is the principle that G-d never performs even the tiniest miracle without reason. Why then was it necessary for the natural order of the world to be abrogated and for the lot to speak? Why wasn’t a “regular,” non-talking lot sufficient to divide the land?
Although the lot may seem to be only a technicality in the decision-making process, the fact that it is emphasized so frequently in the Torah indicates that, in actuality, it has far greater significance.
When the Torah states that “nevertheless, through the lot shall the land be divided,” its intent is that solely through the means of the lot shall it be divided, and not in any other manner.
In order to make this point absolutely clear to all, a miracle was necessary.
And yet, this explanation is not completely satisfactory, as the directive to apportion the land by lot was not issued as a specific mitzva of the Torah. The lot was, after all, only the method by which the land was divided.
However, it must be understood that every aspect of Torah has a Divine purpose. Thus, even one’s preparations to perform a mitzva take on added significance.
Because the Torah states many times that the land was to be divided by lot, the lot itself had to be perfect in all details, including the choosing process itself — the epitome of which occurred when the lot spoke up and announced the results!
“Conquering the land” is an eternal concept applying in every age and place.
A Jew is obligated to “conquer” the physicality of Creation and transform it into “the land of Israel” — a vessel for holiness.
This service must be complete in two respects: all of the land must be conquered, i.e., no aspect of the physical world is to be left outside the realm of holiness, and the conquest itself must involve all of a person’s capabilities, i.e., his thought, speech and deed.
Furthermore, the Torah teaches that the Jew must make no distinction between this service and the preparations that are made for it. Even the tiniest detail of our service of G-d contains a higher significance, and must be performed with the utmost care and in the most perfect manner.
“Conquering the land” in this manner serves as preparation for the ultimate settlement of the entire land of Israel, with the full and final Redemption with Moshiach NOW!!!