- We have a commandment by G-d to make Aliyah and take possession of our land. The Pasuk states to keep one mitzvah that encompasses all “כל המצוה“. One such Mitzvah is living and serving G-d in Israel.
כָּל הַמִּצְוָה אֲשֶׁר אָֽנֹכִי מְצַוְּךָ הַיּוֹם תִּשְׁמְרוּן לַֽעֲשׂוֹת, לְמַעַן תִּֽחְיוּן וּרְבִיתֶם וּבָאתֶם וִֽירִשְׁתֶּם אֶת הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר נִשְׁבַּע ה’ לַֽאֲבֹֽתֵיכֶֽם:
Every commandment that I command you this day you shall keep to do, that you may live and multiply, and come and possess The Land that Hashem swore to your forefathers (Devarim 8:1).
- We are told that G-d “chastises” us as a father shows love to his son. The word for “chastise” is ייסר . This reminds us of the Talmud in Berachos where the first statement of Rav Shimon, in the Talmud, teaches us that Eretz Yisrael is given to us only with challenges or Yesurin יסורין. Our challenge is to believe that G-d is only doing good for us and thus we must accept these Yesurin, in Eretz Yisrael, with love אהבה.
תלמוד בבלי, ברכות ה עמוד א
תניא רבי שמעון בן יוחאי אומר שלש מתנות טובות נתן הקדוש ברוך הוא לישראל וכולן לא נתנן אלא ע”י יסורין אלו הן תורה וארץ ישראל והעולם הבא…. ארץ ישראל דכתיב) דברים ח: ה) “כי כאשר ייסר איש את בנו ה’ אלקיך מיסרך” וכתיב בתריה “כי ה’ אלקיך מביאך אל ארץ טובה” .
It is stated in a Beraisa, Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai says: three good gifts were GIVEN by G-d to Yisrael. All of them were only given with Yesurin/Challenges/Chastisement. These are them: Torah, Eretz Yisrael, and Olam Habah… From where do we know about Eretz Yisrael? As it is written:” As a man rebukes his son, so Hashem your G-d rebukes you” (Devarim 8:5). And it is written thereafter: “For Hashem will bring you to the GOOD Land” (Devarim 8:6). (Talmud Bavli Berachos 5a)
דברים ח:ה, ו,ז,ט, י, יב , יג
וְיָֽדַעְתָּ עִם לְבָבֶךָ, כִּי כַּֽאֲשֶׁר יְיַסֵּר אִישׁ אֶת בְּנוֹ ה’ אֱלֹקיךָ מְיַסְּרֶֽךָּ: כִּי ה’ אֱלֹקיךָ מְבִֽיאֲךָ אֶל אֶרֶץ טוֹבָה, אֶרֶץ נַחֲלֵי מָיִם עֲיָנֹת וּתְהֹמֹת יֹֽצְאִים בַּבִּקְעָה וּבָהָֽר:… אֶרֶץ אֲשֶׁר לֹא בְמִסְכֵּנֻת תֹּֽאכַל בָּהּ לֶחֶם לֹֽא תֶחְסַר כֹּל בָּהּ, אֶרֶץ אֲשֶׁר אֲבָנֶיהָ בַרְזֶל וּמֵֽהֲרָרֶיהָ תַּחְצֹב נְחֽשֶׁת: וְאָֽכַלְתָּ וְשָׂבָעְתָּ, וּבֵֽרַכְתָּ אֶת ה’ אֱלֹקיךָ עַל הָאָרֶץ הַטֹּבָה אֲשֶׁר נָֽתַן לָֽךְ:… פֶּן תֹּאכַל וְשָׂבָעְתָּ, וּבָתִּים טֹבִים תִּבְנֶה וְיָשָֽׁבְתָּ: וּבְקָֽרְךָ וְצֹֽאנְךָ יִרְבְּיֻן וְכֶסֶף וְזָהָב יִרְבֶּה לָּךְ, וְכֹל אֲשֶׁר לְךָ יִרְבֶּֽה:
You shall know in your heart, that just as a man chastises his son, so does Hashem, your G-d, chastise you. And you shall keep the commandments of Hashem your G-d, to go in His ways, and to fear Him. For Hashem your G-d is bringing you to a good land, a land with brooks of water, fountains and depths, that emerge in valleys and mountains…a land in which you will eat bread without scarcity, you will lack nothing in it, a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose mountains you will hew copper…And you will eat and be sated, and you shall bless Hashem, your G-d, for the good land He has given you…lest you eat and be sated, and build good houses and dwell therein,.. and your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and gold increase, and all that you have increases, (Devarim 8: 5,6,7,9,10,12,13)
- We learn about the need to thank G-d after eating bread after being told we will eat and be satisfied ואכלת ושבעת וברכת…על הארץ הטובה in Israel (Devarim 8:10). Thus, “benching” after bread is actually referring to our enjoyment of a physical life in Israel.
- Israel is a land of Iron (Devarim 8:9) or ברזל. So what? The Zohar reminds us that our foundation our roots from our mothers are from Israel. “Barzel” is an anachronism of the matriarchs and their midwives who created the twelve tribes of Israel.
ברזל = בלהה רחל זלפה לאה
BaRZeL = Bilha Rachel Zilpa Leah
- The prayer of “Shema” , שמע clearly states that we are to keep the Mitzvos in Eretz Yisrael and the reward for this is living a long life, specifically in Eretz Yisrael ארץ הטובה . We are told to put our Mezuzos on YOUR houses בביתך. The only land and houses that are considered ours are those that are in our portion נחלה , which is in Eretz Yisrael.
Tosafos (Talmud Bavli Avoda Zara 71a) quotes Rav Chaim Cohen as stating that prohibition of having Chametz on Pesach in YOUR home only applies in Israel! His reasoning is that “your house ביתך ” can only apply to what is actually yours; and that is property/housing in Israel.
Rashi (Devarim11:18) quotes the Midrash (Sifrei 43) that when we wear Tefilin and put Mezuzos on our door posts in Chutz LaAretz, it’s only for practice! So that, if and when we each have an opportunity to make Aliyah to Eretz Yisrael, the mitzvos will not be new to us. Clearly, the main fulfillment of all of the 613 Mitzvos is in Eretz Yisrael and thus, we only keep the Mitzvos in Chutz LaAretz for practice.
In the USA, after one moves into a new residence one can wait 1 month to put up a mezuzah; since our dwellings are really only temporary. However, in Israel, one cannot even sleep one night in our home if it does not have a Mezuzah placed on it immediately.
שולחן ערוך יורה דעה רפ”ו:כב
השוכר בית בחוצה לארץ והדר בפונדק בארץ ישראל , פטור ממזוזה שלשים יום. והשוכר בית בארץ ישראל חייב במזוזה מיד משום ישוב ארץ ישראל .
One who rents a home in Chutz LaAretz and one who lives in a hotel in Eretz Yisrael, is exempt from Mezuzah for thirty days. One who rents a home in Eretz Yisrael is obligated to place a Mezuzah immediately because of the Mitzvah to settle the Land of Israel (Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah 286:22).
The Zohar, seemingly, goes to the extreme opinion to state that Jews observing Torah in Mitzvos has an unintended consequence of giving strength to the Sitra Achra (evil power). This ultimately prevents Moshiach and the Geula! So we must move here at the first opportunity and not delay.
- Birkas HaMazon – The prayer after eating bread. We thank G-d for Eretz Yisrael, נודה לך…שהנחלת לאבותינו ארץ חמדה טובה ורחבה…; that’s mainly it!
All the bread of the world is blessed because of the wheat of Eretz Yisrael. We say the words in the blessing on bread, “from The Land [of Israel] המוציא לחם מין הארץ , not “from the ground/earth” מין האדמה (Vilna Gaon). The reason for this is that if there is no bread in Eretz Yisrael, then there will be no bread in the entire world.
Eretz Yisrael is the best place suited for us, to sanctify our actions to G-d. We are given Eretz Yisrael with afflictions or challenges יסורין , in order to test us and to ultimately benefit us.
דברים ח:טז- יז יח
הַמַּֽאֲכִלְךָ מָן בַּמִּדְבָּר אֲשֶׁר לֹא יָֽדְעוּן אֲבֹתֶיךָ ,לְמַעַן עַנֹּֽתְך וּלְמַעַן נַסֹּתֶךָ לְהֵיטִֽבְךָ בְּאַֽחֲרִיתֶֽךָ: וְאָֽמַרְתָּ בִּלְבָבֶךָ, כחִי וְעֹצֶם יָדִי עָשָׂה לִי אֶת הַחַיִל הַזֶּֽה: וְזָֽכַרְתָּ אֶת ה’ אֱלֹקיךָ כִּי הוּא הַנֹּתֵן לְךָ כֹּחַ לַֽעֲשׂוֹת חָיִל, לְמַעַן הָקִים אֶת בְּרִיתוֹ אֲשֶׁר נִשְׁבַּע לַֽאֲבֹתֶיךָ כַּיּוֹם הַזֶּֽה:
Who fed you with manna in the desert, which your forefathers did not know, in order to afflict you and in order to test you, to benefit you in your end, and you will say to yourself, “My strength and the might of my hand that has accumulated this wealth for me.” But you must remember the Lord your God, for it is He that gives you strength to make wealth, in order to establish His covenant which He swore to your forefathers, as it is this day (Devarim 8: 16-18).
Every time we eat grains or one of the seven fruits of Israel we make a special prayer מעין שלש. We thank G-d for Israel ארץ חמדה טובה ורחבה . Then we recognize by merely living here and eating the fruits of The Land we become holy and pure בקדושה ובטהרה ; because we are that much closer to G-d Himself. This prayer has so much more depth, meaning and relevance for a Jew who actually lives in Eretz Yisrael.
- Every person asks himself, “What is the purpose of my life? What does G-d want me to do?” This question and answer is addressed in this Parsha. We are told to fear G-d, by following His commandments and to Love Him despite the Yesurin or Challenges. We are told to “walk in His ways” , that is use our heel or עקב.
דברים י: יב
וְעַתָּה יִשְׂרָאֵל מָה ה אֱלֹקיךָ שֹׁאֵל מֵֽעִמָּךְ, כִּי אִם לְיִרְאָה אֶת יה אֱלֹקיךָ לָלֶכֶת בְּכָל דְּרָכָיו וּלְאַֽהֲבָה אֹתוֹ וְלַֽעֲבֹד אֶת ה אֱלֹקיךָ בְּכָל לְבָֽבְךָ וּבְכָל נַפְשֶֽׁךָ:
And now, Yisrael, what does Hashem, your G-d, ask of you? Only to fear Hashem, your G-d, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, and to worship, Hashem your G-d, with all your heart and with all your soul. (Devarim 10:12)
From this Pasuk we learn to say 100 blessings every day. In this way we connect to G-d. The ultimate place to connect דביקות to G-d is in Israel. For here, in Israel, is where ALL of the Mitzvos are meant to be fulfilled.
מה = מאה = 100
- If we thank G-d daily for giving us Eretz Yisrael and then we choose not make Aliyah – our prayers are meaningless and is “like the chirping of the birds” (Kuzari 2:24).
- This Parsha refers to the “Eikev” Mitzvos. Eikev עקב means “heel of the foot”. These mitzvos are those that we trample with our “heel”, like walking or settling the Land of Eretz Yisrael (The Kotzker Rebbe). Can also be referring to the fact that if we choose not to serve G-d in Israel, we are trampling his commandments with our “heel” and not giving them the proper respect and reverence that we should.
- Israel is called “Eretz Tevel” ארץ תבל , the land of spices. Rav Shimon bar Yochai states that “Tevel” is Eretz Yisrael because it is “spiced” with everything (Sifrei). In Israel we lack nothing here; in Israel we have everything that we need. Every type of habitat is represented here: from the Hermon with snow, to south Lebanon and Galil with forests, lakes, to the desert and stalactite caves. Israel lacks nothing. A person who is satisfied with what he has, lacks nothing, because his purpose is fulfilled and is content with what G-d gives him (Devarim 8:7-10).
- The choice of word “Ekev” or heel used for walking is repeated several times. Hashem tells us to write these words of Torah on the doorposts of our houses in Eretz Yisrael. In this manner we will live on the actual land of Israel for a long time as a reward for observing ALL of His Mitzvos here. We are told to walk (imagery of a heel) in His ways. In addition, everywhere we walk (with our heels/Ekev) on the Land of Israel we will acquire. The physical place to connect with G-d [Deveikus] is here in Israel. Like a husband shows love to his wife by living with her, we show our love for G-d by serving Him in the Land of Israel. Thus, it’s a Mitzvah to actually tour Israel from the Southern Desert to the Northern Euphrates River (Lebanon), because all of this area is Eretz Yisrael. This includes the modern day area of Har Dov (Gladiola IDF base). In this manner, we have the opportunity to choose the blessing to make Aliyah and live in Israel, or rather prefer to take G-d’s curse and live in Chutz La’Aretz (USA).
דברים יא: כ-כו
וּכְתַבְתָּם עַל מְזוּזוֹת בֵּיתֶךָ וּבִשְׁעָרֶיךָ: לְמַעַן יִרְבּוּ יְמֵיכֶם וִימֵי בְנֵיכֶם עַל הָאֲדָמָה אֲשֶׁר נִשְׁבַּע ה’ לַאֲבֹתֵיכֶם לָתֵת לָהֶם כִּימֵי הַשָּׁמַיִם עַל הָאָרֶץ: כִּי אִם שָׁמֹר תִּשְׁמְרוּן אֶת כָּל הַמִּצְוָה הַזֹּאת אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי מְצַוֶּה אֶתְכֶם לַעֲשֹׂתָהּ לְאַהֲבָה אֶת ה’ אֱלֹקיכֶם לָלֶכֶת בְּכָל דְּרָכָיו וּלְדָבְקָה בו: וְהוֹרִישׁ ה’ אֶת כָּל הַגּוֹיִם הָאֵלֶּה מִלִּפְנֵיכֶם וִירִשְׁתֶּם גּוֹיִם גְּדֹלִים וַעֲצֻמִים מִכֶּם : כָּל הַמָּקוֹם אֲשֶׁר תִּדְרֹךְ כַּף רַגְלְכֶם בּוֹ לָכֶם יִהְיֶה מִן הַמִּדְבָּר וְהַלְּבָנוֹן מִן הַנָּהָר נְהַר פְּרָת וְעַד הַיָּם הָאַחֲרוֹן יִהְיֶה גְּבֻלְכֶם: לֹא יִתְיַצֵּב אִישׁ בִּפְנֵיכֶם פַּחְדְּכֶם וּמוֹרַאֲכֶם יִתֵּן ה’ אֱלֹקיכֶם עַל פְּנֵי כָל הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר תִּדְרְכוּ בָהּ כַּאֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר לָכֶם: רְאֵה אָנֹכִי נֹתֵן לִפְנֵיכֶם הַיּוֹם בְּרָכָה וּקְלָלָה:
And you shall inscribe them [the Mitzvos] upon the doorposts of your house and upon your gates . In order that your days may increase and the days of your children, on The Land [Israel] which Hashem swore to your forefathers to give them, as the days of heaven above the earth. For if you keep all these commandments which I command you to do them, to love Hashem, your G-d, to walk in all His ways, and to cleave to Him [Deveikus]. Then Hashem will drive out all these nations from before you, and you will possess nations greater and stronger than you. Every place upon which the soles of your feet will tread, will be yours: from the desert and the Lebanon, from the river, the Euphrates River, and until the western sea, will be your boundary. No man will stand up before you; Hashem your G-d will cast the fear of you and the dread of you on all The Land [Eretz Yisrael] upon which you tread, as He spoke to you. Behold, I set before you today a blessing and a curse. (Devarim 11: 20-26).
- One who chooses to live in Chutz La’Aretz over Eretz Yisrael demonstrates in action, that he despises Hashem’s inheritance and does not acknowledge or recognize the special spiritual qualities of Eretz Yisrael.
- Yishuv Eretz Yisrael entails ridding the Land of foreigners “the seven nations”. There is a Torah prohibition of living in peace with non-Jews here or even considering a “two state solution”.
וְהוֹרִישׁ ה אֶת כָּל הַגּוֹיִם הָאֵלֶּה מִלִּפְנֵיכֶם, וִירִשְׁתֶּם גּוֹיִם גְּדֹלִים וַֽעֲצֻמִים מִכֶּֽם:
Hashem will drive out all these nations from before you, and you will possess nations greater and stronger than you. (Devarim11:23).
- There is also a purpose in hiking and touring every part of Israel. Especially those areas now mainly inhabited by occupying Arabs, such as in Hevron and Shechem. This may be another reason Israelis hike all over Israel during the Chol HaMoed holidays. Wherever we walk, this demonstrates that we are accepting and taking a part of our inheritance. This is one reason I serve in Miluim and regularly guard the border in Southern Lebanon at Gladiola in Har Dov.
דברים יא: כד
כָּל הַמָּקוֹם אֲשׁר תִּדְרֹךְ כַּף רַגְלְכֶם בּוֹ לָכֶם יִֽהְיֶה, מִן הַמִּדְבָּר וְהַלְּבָנוֹן מִן הַנָּהָר נְהַר פְּרָת וְעַד הַיּם הָאַֽחֲרוֹן יִֽהְיֶה גְּבֻֽלְכֶֽם:
Every place upon which the soles of your feet will tread, will be yours: from the desert and the Lebanon, from the river, the Euphrates River, and until the western sea, will be your boundary (Devarim 11:23).
Number of Pesukim In The Parasha
- קיא פסוקים = איק / יעלא ; 111 Pesukim
- Gematria of 111=יעלא =111, איק
- A יעלה (mountain goat) and a איקare each of type of wild goat. Mountain goats continuously climb UP tenuous mountains, even though it is difficult. Just as wild animals depend on G-d for food, Jews rely on G-d for our existence in the Midbar, Chutz La’Aretz or in Eretz Yisrael. The word יעלא phonetically sounds like יעלה or to go up – to make Aliyah!
Haftarah – (מט: יד-נא, נ: א-יא, נא: א-ג (ישעיהו
We read from three chapters in Navi Yeshayahu – 49:14-51; 50:1-11; 51: 1-3.
- שבעא דנחמתא – The consolation weeks between Tisha B’Av and Rosh Hashanah (Shabbis Shuvah).
- Verse 49:6 is the source for the famously misquoted phrase for the Jews to be “a light unto the nations”. It is actually written for us to be brought back to the Land of Israel and then be a “light of nations”. This topic is not read as part of the Haftarah of Ekev.
Clearly, the aforementioned “Jewish light” only emanates from the Jews living in Eretz Yisrael. This pasuk is, unfortunately, used by many prominent people, including the famous podcaster Ben Shapiro, as a self-serving excuse not to make Aliyah.
וַיֹּאמֶר נָקֵל מִֽהְיֽוֹתְךָ לִי עֶבֶד לְהָקִים אֶת שִׁבְטֵי יַֽעֲקֹב וּנְצוּרֵי (כתיב וּנְציּרֵי (יִשְׂרָאֵל לְהָשִׁיב, וּנְתַתִּיךָ לְאוֹר גּוֹיִם לִֽהְיוֹת יְשֽׁוּעָתִי עַד קְצֵה הָאָֽרֶץ:
And He said, “It is too light for you to be My servant, to establish the tribes of Yacov and to bring back the besieged of Israel, but I will make you a light of nations, so that My salvation shall be until the end of the earth.” (Yeshayahu 49:6)
In the future (i.e. now) Zion and Yerushalayim will be full of children, the land will be rebuilt and crowded with lots of Jewish people. These prophesies are referring to our generation.
ישעיהו מט: יט-כ
כִי חָרְבֹתַיִךְ וְשֹׁמְמֹתַיִךְ וְאֶרֶץ הֲרִֽסֻתֵךְ, כִּי עַתָּה תֵּֽצְרִי מִיּוֹשֵׁב וְרָֽחֲקוּ מְבַלְּעָֽיִךְ: עוֹד יֹֽאמְרוּ בְאָזְנַיִךְ בְּנֵי שִׁכֻּלָיִךְ, צַר לִי הַמָּקוֹם גְּשָׁה לִּי וְאֵשֵֽׁבָה:
For your ruins and your desolate places and your land that has been destroyed, for now you shall be crowded by the inhabitants, and those who would destroy you shall be far away. Your children of whom you were bereaved shall yet say in your ears, “The place is too narrow for me; move over for me so that I will dwell.” (Yeshayahu 49:19-20).
Israel currently has a housing shortage crisis; there is no solution for the near future. Good luck to Jews in USA who think they will find housing when Moshiach arrives. For sure American Jews are not coming to Israel with their large homes. Apartments are now in short supply in Israel…
The current population of Israel is around 6.9 million Jews and approximately 40% of the population of Yerushalayim is children.
Look around today, ותחזינה עינינו בשובך לציון , we pray three times daily in Shemoneh Esrei to be worthy to see the return to Zion. Most Jews don’t see it! It’s occurring in our lifetime – now.
שְׂאִי סָבִיב עֵינַיִךְ וּרְאִי כֻּלָּם נִקְבְּצוּ בָֽאוּ לָךְ, חַי אָנִי נְאֻם ה’ כִּי כֻלָּם כַּֽעֲדִי תִלְבָּשִׁי וּתְקַשְּׁרִים כַּכַּלָּֽה:
Lift your eyes around and see, all of them have gathered, have come to you; as I live, says Hashem, that you shall wear all of them as jewelry, and you shall tie them as a bride (Yeshayahu 49:18).
The nations of the world will force to back to Eretz Yisrael. There will be pogroms in Europe with the gentiles saying for us to go home to Israel. There will be a holocaust where the gentiles will kick us out of their countries and “our homes”. Then the gentile nations of the world in the United Nations would recognize the Jewish Homeland of Israel in 1947 and was formally recognized as The Jewish Homeland by the USA on May 15, 1948 by President Truman.
ישעיהו מט: כב
כֹּֽה אָמַר אֲדֹנָ-י ה’ הִנֵּה אֶשָּׂא אֶל גּוֹיִם יָדִי וְאֶל עַמִּים אָרִים נִסִּי, וְהֵבִיאוּ בָנַיִךְ בְּחֹצֶן וּבְנֹתַיִךְ עַל כָּתֵף תִּנָּשֶֽׂאנָה:
So said Hashem G-d, “Behold I will raise My hand to the nations, and to the peoples will I raise My standard, and they shall bring your sons in their armpits, and your daughters shall be borne on their shoulder[s]. (Yeshayahu 49:22)
The nations will then accuse us of being occupiers of Arab land and of a fake nation of Palestinian Arabs, which never existed. G-d will say yes, we conquered and returned to our land that was occupied by the Arab nations. This is because G-d gave this land to us and He wants us to live here. We do not worry because G-d will always save and protect us.
ישעיהו מט: כו
וְהַֽאֲכַלְתִּי אֶת מוֹנַיִךְ אֶת בְּשָׂרָם וְכֶֽעָסִיס דָּמָם יִשְׁכָּרוּן, וְיָֽדְעוּ כָל בָּשָׂר כִּי אֲנִי ה’ מֽוֹשִׁיעֵךְ וְגֹֽאֲלֵךְ אֲבִיר יַֽעֲקֹֽב:
And those who taunt you I will feed their flesh, and as with sweet wine they shall become drunk [from] their blood; and all flesh shall know that I am Hashem Who saves you, and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Yacov.( Yeshayahu 49:26)
These are supposed to be challenging times. World events and our daily life challenges in Israel are meant to foster our belief and trust in the One and Only G-d.
ישעיהו נ: י
מִי בָכֶם יְרֵא ה שֹׁמֵעַ בְּקוֹל עַבְדּוֹ, אֲשֶׁר הָלַךְ חֲשֵׁכִים וְאֵין נֹגַהּ לוֹ יִבְטַח בְּשֵׁם ה וְיִשָּׁעֵן בֵּֽאלֹקיו:
Who among you is G-d fearing, who listen to the voice of His servant, who walked in darkness and who has no light, let him trust in the name of Hashem and lean on his G-d (50:10).
This parallels Parshas Ekev , what does G-d want from us? Fear, love, follow His mitzvos. We can only walk in His ways with our heart and soul – if we are walking in His Land of Eretz Yisrael.
וְעַתָּה יִשְׂרָאֵל מָה ה אֱלֹקיךָ שֹׁאֵל מֵֽעִמָּךְ, כִּי אִם לְיִרְאָה אֶת ה אֱלֹקיךָ לָלֶכֶת בְּכָל דְּרָכָיו וּלְאַֽהֲבָה אֹתוֹ וְלַֽעֲבֹד אֶת ה אֱלֹקיךָ בְּכָל לְבָֽבְךָ וּבְכָל נַפְשֶֽׁךָ:
And now, Yisrael, what does Hashem, your G-d, ask of you? Only to fear Hashem, your G-d, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, and to worship Hashem, your G-d, with all your heart and with all your soul (Devarim 10:12).
True joy and happiness is consciously being aware that one is living a purposeful life and fulfilling his potential and purpose. We are now living the actual fulfillment of this prophecy of an era when Israel’s ruins will be rebuilt and the desert lands will be filled with gardens like Eden. This is true happiness or Simcha.
ישעיהו נא: ג
כִּֽי נִחַם ה צִיּוֹן נִחַם כָּל חָרְבֹתֶיהָ וַיָּשֶׂם מִדְבָּרָהּ כְּעֵדֶן וְעַרְבָתָהּ כְּגַן ה, שָׂשׂוֹן וְשִׂמְחָה יִמָּצֵא בָהּ תּוֹדָה וְקוֹל זִמְרָֽה:
For Hashem shall comfort Zion, He shall console all its ruins, and He shall make its desert like Eden and its wasteland like the garden of Hashem; joy and happiness shall be found therein, thanksgiving and a voice of song. (Yeshayahu 51:3)
Rav Schwab explains that Eretz Yisrael will be transformed into The Garden of Eden. We see today Israel growing and green. The USA is having major water shortages. California is drying up and only has another 12 months supply of water. Their green farms are now dry deserts. Whereas is has a water surplus and green farms are plentiful. We are here to experience true “Simcha” which is to serve G-d, not our selfish goal of fake happiness, money, or honor כבוד . We are here in this world to serve G-d and perform His Mitzvos Eretz Yisrael; which represents G-d’s Heavenly throne and His Kinship over the entire world.