This is a summation of Rabbi Abraham's Sermon about Iran that he shared on this past Shabbatmorning.
In anticipation of the upcoming entrance into the Land of Israel, the tribes of Reuben and Gad make a request to Moses that their inheritance be on the eastern side of the Jordan River rather than in what we now know as Israel. Their position was that the eastern bank would be more suitable for their large herds. Moses finally accedes to their request but only after they agree to aid the rest of the nascent nation in conquering the entire land before settling on the east bank. Sounds like a smooth, easy deal.
Moses responds clearly and firmly: As long as their proposition posed a danger to the nation, he could not succumb to their request. Modern scholar, Rabbi Yaakov Filber notes, "When Moses revealed signs of capitulation to the point of defeatism, behavior which could harm national morale, he could not ignore [this danger] and express forgiveness and understanding." As much as he might have wanted to respond positively, conditions demanded that he respond with a firm "no."
The tribes return with a better offer in verses 16-18, "We will build sheepfolds here for our cattle, and cities for our little ones; but we ourselves will be armed and ready to go before the children of Israel, until we have brought them to their place...We will not return unto our houses, until the children of Israel have inherited every man his inheritance." Moses accepted their offer.
Moses' "no," rather than causing a rift among the people, served instead as sufficient incentive for a better offer. In certain circumstances, "no" really is the best answer to a bad offer.
Like Moses, we must evaluate. As the United States entered into negotiations with Iran, it was clear that any agreement would need to address the issues outlined by Congress to block any path to an Iranian nuclear weapons capability: inspections and verifications, long duration of the agreement, dismantlement, and potentially resuming sanctions in case of violations.
After much consideration, my conclusion is that the "agreement" with Iran does not achieve the minimum requirements necessary for an acceptable deal.
Saying "no" is not about scuttling a deal-far from it! When Moses said no to the tribes' first request, it was about setting the stage for a better deal. Now it should be about a deal that truly dismantles Iran's nuclear program and includes "anytime, anywhere" inspections. The deal as currently structured will embolden Iran, enhance its ability to sponsor global terror and threaten Israel and our allies in the region.
This is not a partisan issue nor is it about the president... it is a very bad deal.
When the tribes of Reuben and Gad made their counter-offer, they made it clear that they were prepared to fight on behalf of the children of Israel. It is now our turn to fight for America and Israel's security. We must reach out to our members of Congress and, like Moses, demand a deal that accomplishes the objective: in this case, a nuclear weapons-free Iran. Even for our Senators and Representatives who have spoken out against the deal, need to hear from us that we support them. And for the others, even more so! Click Here to e-mail your representatives. If you have time, call or send them a handwritten letter as well. I am asking for each of us to use our voices now so that we can speak up, just like Moses, for what I believe is the just and right thing to do.