32 I will make the land desolate, so that your enemies who settle in it shall be appalled by it.
va-ha-shi-mo-TEE a-NEE et ha-A-retz v’-sha-ma-MU a-LE-ha o-y’-vay-KHEM ha-yo-sh’-VEEM bah
לב וַהֲשִׁמֹּתִי אֲנִי אֶת־הָאָרֶץ וְשָׁמְמוּ עָלֶיהָ אֹיְבֵיכֶם הַיֹּשְׁבִים בָּהּ׃
26:32 I will make the land desolate
Though this verse is frightening, Nachmanides explains that it is actually a blessing in disguise. “I will make the land desolate; so that your enemies who settle in it will be appalled by it” implies that throughout the ages, no matter how many foreign empires occupy Israel, the land will not cooperate to bring forth its bounty. Indeed, in his book Innocents Abroad, Mark Twain wrote about his visit to Palestine in the 1860’s: “A desolation is here that not even imagination can grace with the pomp of life and action…. Palestine is desolate and unlovely.” Only when the Jewish People return to the Land of Israel does it give forth its blessing and return to its former glory. Today, thanks to the return of its indigenous Jewish population, Eretz Yisrael is once again thriving and prosperous.