Kenneth Cohen

Go Up and Inherit

Before the request of the nation to send spies to check out the land, it appeared that their entrance to Israel was imminent. Tragically, this was put on hold for forty years, because of the sin of the spies.

This can be seen by how Moshe Rabbeinu tells the people to be aware that Hashem has given them this land, and it is up to them to go up and inherit it. These words, עלה רש, are seen by some commentators as the source of the Mitzva to make Aliya.
Throughout our history, it was always the fulfillment of a Torah commandment to live in Israel. We can see this from the Talmud, where rabbis kissed the ground upon entering Eretz Yisrael. We can also see this from the Kuzari, where there was a tremendous longing for the Holy Land.

Nowadays, where making Aliya was never so easily within grasp, does this Mitzva become more pronounced. Anyone whose eyes are open, will clearly see the miracles and the generous gift from Hashem, that is the State of Israel. Therefore, it seems so wrong to reject this gift in the name of comfort or any other excuse.

We must do the right thing in the eyes of G-d, whether it is easy or not. Israel is Kiddush Hashem, and now more than ever, is the time for עלה רש, “Go up and inherit it!”

About the Author
Rabbi Cohen has been a Torah instructor at Machon Meir, Jerusalem, for over twenty years while also teaching a Talmud class in the Shtieblach of Old Katamon. Before coming to Israel, he was the founding rabbi of Young Israel of Century City, Los Angeles. He recently published a series of Hebrew language-learning apps, which are available at