Returning to the Land of Israel
By Ariella Bracha Waldinger
Israel has always been the Land of our dreams. The intense love between the Jews and our homeland has permeated our prayers, our Torah, and our hearts for thousands of years.
Love for the Land of Our Dreams
Rabbi Bradley Artson in his dynamic article “Love for the land of Israel” quoting from our sages, states,
“Jews do not have the right to sever their connection to the Land of Israel. That claim — our inextricable link to the Land of Israel — is at the very core of biblical and Rabbinic religion. The Land is referred to as an “ahuzzah,” a holding — given to the Jewish People as God’s part of our brit, our covenantal relationship.”
“That relationship was given form in the detailed legislation of the Torah and the Talmud as a way of shaping and cultivating the reciprocal obligations between God and the Jews. And the one place in the world where the Jewish People could act on every part of our ‘brit’ was within the Land of Israel. Only there could all the laws and practices of Judaism receive their full articulation.”
“God instructs the Jewish People, “You must provide for the ge’ulah (redemption) of the land.” What does it mean? According to most biblical commentators, this verse is understood as mandating and establishing a loving Jewish presence in the Land of Israel, where the Jew could most directly encounter God and sanctity.”
“Our generation is uniquely blessed. While Jews have prayed facing Jerusalem for thousands of years, we have seen the establishment of a Jewish state–a thriving democracy and a world center for Jews and Jewish expression–in our own time.”
Does it Really Make Sense to Make Aliyah?
Currently, many Jews are thinking about making Aliyah. Their questions include a variety of topics and concerns relating to many factors but a recent query of a spiritual seeker included the following questions:
- Does it really make sense to make Aliyah?
- Doesn’t the whole world belong to G-d and isn’t G-d everywhere?
- And if so why go to Israel?
- I need to be convinced to make Aliyah.
All questions are valid and thankfully Torah sources give us the answers.
“There is no happiness in the world but only when Israel is settled in the Holy Land”…. Zohar Ha Kaddosh Devarim 26:1
Eretz Israel is Intrinsic to the Nation
The whole world belongs to G-d and G-d is everywhere. However, the Jewish People, chosen to be a” Light unto the Nations,” is only capable of fully manifesting their divine potential and mission in the Chosen Land.
Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Ha Cohen Kook OBM writes in his book, “Lights on Orot”
Our connection to the land of Israel is “a deep spiritual bond like the connection of the soul to the body and it transcends rational explanations.
Eretz Yisrael is an intrinsic and inseparable part of the nation: a deep inner root of the nation’s existence and not merely a branch. Therefore, only in the Holy Land can the national life of the Chosen People be uplifted to G-d.”
In the book “Land Of Our Heritage” by Dovid Rosoff, he asks the question
“What made the Shelah HaKodesh, Rabbi Isaiah Horowitz leave the place of his birth, his children and his position in 1622, and jeopardize his life to live in the Holy Land? The answer is “Holiness”.
that in the same way that gravity operates according to certain laws which, though invisible to the naked eye, can, with proper instruments be detected; so it is with holiness. Holiness is an actual, measurable quality that expresses the extent to which G-d is revealed through a person or thing.
That Eretz Yisrael is called the Holy Land, means that of all places on the planet, G-d’s sovereignty is most apparent in the Land of Israel. Israel is not an arbitrarily designated area of the earth’s crust. Rather it is intrinsically unique and inherently different from all other places. Furthermore, no other place was designated as the homeland of the Jewish people. They are wedded to each other and G-d was their matchmaker.”
The Land of Israel is a Precious Gift
In Parsha Shelach, we are taught that calculations and logic don’t work when it comes to Aliyah. The Land of Israel is a precious gift and our inheritance.
Rabbi Frand teaches, “There are two types of gifts…those that are intrinsically valuable and those valuable by virtue of who gave it. The creator of the world gifted us with a land suffused with inner holiness. It doesn’t get much better than that and if that doesn’t convince a person…nothing will.”
In my mind, making Aliyah is about commitment and loyalty to our G-dly calling. Remember, we can survive anywhere but can only thrive in Eretz Yisrael. I can vouch for that as I approach my 17th Aliyah anniversary.
Move aside your fears and concerns and return to the Land of our Dreams. Your soul will thank you and so will Hashem!