Location, Location, Location

In real estate, there is a well-known maxim that states that the three most important factors in real estate are: Location, location, location.

This morning, that idea was once again driven home very strongly. My wife and I joined thousands of others at Ben Gurion airport to greet the 50th charter flight of Nefesh B’Nefesh, bringing Olim to Israel. As in the past, there were families and singles; young and old; men and women; boys and girls. One of the most remarkable things was the arrival of hundreds of young men and women who are going straight into the IDF.

Standing there and greeting all of these new citizens of the State of Israel was such an emotional moment! And it is at that moment that that old saying about “location” popped into my head. Hundreds of people today, and THOUSANDS of people over the past many years have taken that leap of faith and have uprooted themselves to make Aliya.

Yes, the most important “real estate: in the world to a Jew, the “location” in which Hashem says over EIGHTY times in the Torah that He wants us present…in indeed HIS location.

Interestingly enough, the word in Hebrew for location is “MAKOM.” This is another name of Hashem, Himself!  By His very name He tells us that He wants us to be in HIS location, His makom.

For centuries, Jews could only dream of living in Israel. For centuries, Jews did not have the rights or the wherewithal to be able to come to live in the Promised Land. And, for centuries, Jews were ruled in their Homeland by others, who imposed rules as to how many would be allowed to make Aliya .

And after thousands of years, it is no longer a “dream,” it is a reality. From 600,00 Jews at the founding of the State to today’s number of over 6,000,000 (where have we heard THAT number before!) bli ayin hara–the numbers keep on growing and Jews continue to realize that when it comes to being Jewish and when it comes to serving Hashem, the old maxim is indeed true: It is all about LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION.  That location is indeed the Land of Israel.

Welcome home and Mazal Tov to Israel’s newest citizens and may Hashem give those who have yet to make that decision/move the strength to  do so with His help.

May the MAKOM bring everyone home to His Makom speedily in our days!

About the Author
After living in Chicago for 50 years, the last 10 of which Zev Shandalov served as a shul Rav and teacher in local Orthodox schools, his family made Aliya to Maale Adumim in July 2009. Shandalov currently works as a teacher, mostly interacting with individual students.
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