"Stiff-necked" is what the Bible calls us. The phrase sounds negative, explains Aviva Zornberg, but it also carries a notion of hyper-loyalty, the paradoxical insusceptibility of becoming unfaithful. This explains why the phrase is used to describe our attachment to the land of Israel: You shall know that not through your merit is the LORD your God giving you this goodly land to take hold of it, for you are a stiff-necked people. The verse is suggesting that very reason we're able to have and hold the land is because we are a stiff-necked.