Kenneth Cohen

Loving the Land

There is such an amazing contrast today, in terms of how Jews of all backgrounds, view the State of Israel. Israel’s Independence Day, is a day of reflection and appreciation.

Part of the celebrations in Israel, involve an air show, sponsored by the IDF. Fighter jets fly over the parks all over the country, where families are enjoying their barbecue picnic. Any Jew who is not moved and filled with a sense of pride, when these jets fly overhead, does not understand Jewish history. It is a clear statement that maybe in the past it was okay to persecute the Jews, but today, “You better not mess with the Jews.” We have come home, and we feel Divine protection both spiritually and physically.

The inability to grasp the miracles that take place daily, and literally seeing the Hand of G-d, means that either that individual is highly ignorant or blind.

Those of us who are blessed with the fulfillment of the Jewish dream, of living in Israel, must never take this for granted. Rabbi David Magence, in his book, “Magen Banim,” tells the story of a Rabbi Binyamin Leon.

Rabbi Leon pointed out that living in Israel is not only the fulfillment of a dream, but it is also the fulfillment of one of the 613 Mitzvot of the Torah. He, therefore, composed a prayer, that he vowed to recite every day, for the remainder of his life. Here is a part of that prayer: “May it be Your will, our G-d and the G-d of our fathers, that You help me to honor Your holy name, and cherish the Land of Israel with all my heart, at all times, at every hour, and every moment. May I be perpetually joyful in dwelling within the Land, with great longing for her, as one who longs for his mother. I express my appreciation that I have been able to enter the place which Moses and Aaron could not enter.”

This prayer demonstrates that their are those who deeply cherish our one and only Jewish homeland. This gap between those who lack this appreciation and those who are passionate in their love for this Land, should no longer exist. Every Jew should wake up and come home and join his 7.15 million Jewish brethren, in our miraculous State of Israel. Chag Atzmaut Sameach!

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
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