This week a deal was signed.
A deal that involved intense leader negotiation.
A deal with much at stake.
A deal that aroused powerful emotion on both sides.
A deal where one side's love for Israel was challenged.
A deal where one side needed assurance that the other side would, indeed,
honor the agreement.
A deal in which the entire Jewish nation felt invested.
A deal which required painstaking negotiation, would take years to play out
and could literally fall apart at any turn.
It was a deal signed over 4,000 years ago by Moses and the tribes of Gad
The Jews were camped in the desert, poised to finally enter the Land of
Israel, but first they needed to conquer the mighty nations living there.
Two of the twelve tribes approached Moses, wanting to settle trans-Jordan.
"We would rather receive our inheritance on this side of Jordan, and not
enter Israel, they explained.
Moses could not understand. In fact, he was livid. "Will your brothers go
to war while you simply stand by? Do you not want to enter Israel? Are you
afraid? Do you not love Israel?"
The tribes reassured Moses of their love for Israel and explained that, as
cattle-owners, the trans-Jordan land would be better for them.
So Moses consults with Elazar the priest, the heads of all the tribes, and
Yehoshua—future leader of the Jewish nation. They all negotiate and
ultimately present the two tribes with an offer: Moses will give them the
land they want, but when the rest of the Jews go to conquer Israel, they
will fight alongside them.
The tribes counter offer: "Not only will we fight alongside our brothers
and conquer Israel but we will not leave Israel to settle our land until
the entire Land of Israel has also been divided up amongst our brothers.
Only then will we settle down."
Moses asked for a little, they offered more. This is how real deals are
done—with mutual understanding, common ideals and each other's best
interests at heart.