In Parshat Nitzavim (Devarim 30:2-3) we read: “You will return to HaShem, your God and obey Him exactly as I am commanding you today, you and your sons, wholeheartedly and with your whole being. HaShem, your God, will turn your captivity and will be merciful toward you; and He will return and gather you from all the peoples that HaShem, your God has dispersed you there.”
It should have written ‘Bring back’ your returnees. The rabbis derive from here, that the Divine Presence, with all due reverence, resides with Yisrael in the suffering of their exile, so that, when they are redeemed, He ascribes redemption to Himself- He shall return with them.
One may explain additionally: The day of the ingathering of the exiles is momentous and difficult as if He, Himself, would need to carry, literally in His grasp, every individual from his place, as it is said (Yishayahi 27:12) “You shall be plucked, one at a time, B’nai Yisrael.”
Just as God went into exile with us, so too does he personally bring each and every one of us back to Israel one at a time.
We are fortunate to be living at a time where we have a Modern State of Israel, where each and every oleh (new immigrant) is a miracle in and of themselves no matter what country they came from. Each has a story of what drew them back to the Land of Israel.
Rashi’s statement about aliya being both momentous as well as difficult is very true. When we see groups arrive from all over the world we can’t help but feel that this is a momentous occasion and that God is behind it. However, moving to Israel is not easy and takes a lot of preparation and adjustment with a lot of bumps along the way. It is important for the immigrants to remember that God is holding their hands even in the tougher times.
We are living in miraculous times where the prophecies of the return of the Jewish people to their homeland are being fulfilled. May the Jewish people continue to return home one at a time.