Yesurin – What Do the Rabbis Really Think About Living in Israel? (part 4 of 6)
To whom does the Land of Israel belong to?
ויקרא כה:כג פרשת בהר
והארץ לא תמכר לצמתת כי לי הארץ, כי גרים ותושבים אתם עמדי.
The Land shall not be sold in perpetuity, for the Land is Mine; for you are sojourners and residents with Me. (Vayikra 25:23)
Alei Shur based on Sforno states that based upon this pasuk; Eretz Yisrael is given to the Jewish people conditionally.
Bereishis Rabba (46) teaches us that Hashem had a deal with Avraham. As long as the Jewish people keep the Torah properly we will hold onto the Land of Israel; however, if we do not, then that is a violation of the deal and we will be exiled or not have complete control of Israeli territory.
בראשית יז:ז-ח, פרשת לך לך
והקמתי את בריתי ביני ובינך ובין זרעך אחריך לדרתם לברית עולם, להיות לך לאלקים ולזרעך אחריך: ונתתי לך ולזרעך אחריך את ארץ מגרך את כל ארץ כנען לאחזת עולם, והייתי להם לאלקים:
I will ratify My covenant between me and you; and between your offspring after you, throughout their generations, as an everlasting covenant, to be a G-d to you and to your offspring after you; and I will give to you and to your offspring after you the land of your sojourns – the whole of the land of Canaan – as an everlasting possession; and I shall be a G-d to them. (Bereishis 17:7-8)
We the Jewish descendents of Avraham inherit Eretz Yisrael on the condition that we will keep His covenant. We are not allowed to sell the land. Shemita (not working the land every seven years) demonstrates that we are allowed to use the land for six years, however in the seventh year the land goes back to the owner – G-d Himself.
The Jews were given the Land of Israel in order to serve G-d by keeping his Torah. This is an intimate relationship between G-d and the Jewish people; similar to a husband and wife. He kept his part of the bargain, however, we did not.
תהילים קה:מד- מה
ויתן להם ארצות גוים ועמל לאמים יירשו. בעבור ישמרו חקיו ותורותיו ינצורו, הללוקה.
And he gave them the lands of the nations, and they inherited the toil of regimes. So that they might safeguard His statutes and observe His teachings. Halleluka! (Tehillim 105:44-45)
וימאסו בארץ חמדה לא האמינו לדברו.
And they despised the desirable land; they had no faith in his word (Tehillim 106:24)
ויזכר להם בריתו וינחם כרב חסדיו.
He remembered His covenant for them and relented in accordance with His abundant kindness. (Tehillim 106:45)
In the very first Rashi in the Torah, he prophesized, that one day the Jews would be accused of being thieves and stealing the Land of Israel. Rashi explains that the Torah begins with parshas Bereishis in order to prove to us, that we are not thieves and that G-d gave all the Land of Israel and Yehuda to the Jewish people.
בראשית א:א, רש”י
בראשית. אמר רב יצחק, לא היה צריך להתחיל את התורה אלא מהחדש הזה לכם שהיא מצוה ראשונה שנצטוו בה ישראל, ומה טעם פתח בבראשית? משום כח מעשיו הגיד לעמו לתת להם נחלת גוים. שאם יאמרו אומות העולם לישראל ליסטים אתם שכבשתם ארצות שבעה גוים, הם אומרים להם כל הארץ של הקב”ה היא, הוא בראה ונתנה לאשר ישר בעיניו, ברצונו נתנה להם, וברצונו נטלה מהם ונתנה לנו.
IN THE BEGINNING- Rav Yitzchak said: G-d need not have begun the Torah but from “This month shall be for you the beginning of months” (Shemos 12:2), because it is the first commandment which Israel was commanded. What is the reason that it began with the book of Bereishis? It began thus because it wished to convey the message of the verse, “The power of His acts He told to His people, in order to give them the estate of nations.” (Tehillim 111:6) So that if the nations of the world will say to Israel, “You are bandits, for you conquered the lands of the seven nations who inhabited the Land of Canaan,” The Jews will say to them, “The whole earth belongs to the Holy one, Blessed is He. He created it and He gave it to the one found proper in His eyes. (Yermiya 27:5). By His wish He gave it to them, and by His wish he took it from them and gave it to us.”
Why did G-d create the scenario that the nations will call us thieves? In current times foreign occupiers with the name of a fake people (Palestinians/Arabs) have settled the Land of Israel and claim that we stole the land of Judea from them! The United Nations, the European Union, and other countries echo this malicious claim which is an outright lie. Our only valid claim to Eretz Yisrael is Rashi’s that the Land of Eretz Yisrael belongs to G-d and He in turn gave it to us as an inheritance. However, we need to remember that we received Eretz Yisrael only on the condition of our keeping the Torah.
The lessons of the stories found in sefer Bereishis teach us a pattern of events. When a nation sins it is exiled and loses its land to another nation. The possession of Eretz Yisrael must be earned. The way this is accomplished is only through proper Torah observance (Ramban Bereishis 1).
From the time of Yehoshua’s conquest until today, the nations of the world have called us thieves. In this context the miracle of our continued presence in Eretz Yisrael is obvious. There is no logical explanation. This is another fact that points out the truth of the Torah.
Since the day the Jewish people were banished, no other nation has settled Eretz Yisrael! Even if an Arab state in Israel was to be established, G-d forbid, we have been promised that it would not last. It would only be another step in the footsteps of Moshiach (ikvesa d`Meshicha).
Why are the Arabs, who are descendants of Yishmael, present here in Israel? The Zohar explains that the Arabs have a share in Eretz Yisrael since they are circumcised. They ruled over the land when it was empty and deserted in the same way their version of circumcision is empty and incomplete. The Jewish people will be kept from returning to all of Eretz Yisrael until the Yishmaelim have been paid off for whatever merits they have (Zohar, end of parshas Va`era).
Eretz Yisrael can not belong to the Jewish people unless their connection to the Land is spiritual. When the Jewish people act as G-d’s nation then they become worthy of living in G-d’s estate. The nation belongs to the Land not the reverse. We are living here in Israel going though our daily routine of settling the Land. Living in Eretz Yisrael for the sake of yishuv Eretz Yisrael, is a fulfillment of the mitzvah of yishuv Eretz Yisrael lishma (Building the Land of Israel) (Chasam Sofer).
In the USA I built a large house and established myself as a Board Certified, Fellowship Trained, Associate Professor of Colon and Rectal Surgery. Here in Israel we are starting all over again from scratch. We are trying to establish our roots in this Holy Land. However, unlike the USA where life seemed to revolve around “the job” and competing with our neighbors who has the bigger house in the community; here in Israel we are actually fulfilling our covenant with G-d. We are forced to grow in Torah knowledge, proper observance of all the mitzvos and have a unique and close relationship with G-d which is not possible anywhere else. In Israel, life is not about “the job” but rather about serving G-d in the best possible way and thereby demonstrating that He is “our G-d” – that is the real job of a Jew (Talmud Kesubos 110b).
How do we get kapara for our eveiros (sins)? One may experience illness, lose money, get embarrassed etc. We are taught that merely living in Israel erases our sins. This must mean that here in Israel we actually have the proper tools to get rid of our eveiros on a daily basis – a true kappara. In Megillas Eicha (3:30) we are told “יתן למכהו לחי ישבע בחרפה” do not respond to shame and then we will be forgiven for our sins. Maybe this explains why the Israeli culture consists of yelling at each other on a daily basis, on the roads, in the workplace and in every aspect of our daily routine. In this manner, there is a real opportunity to live here in Israel without any sins, by improving our middos and controlling our natural reactions, however justified they may be. Maybe one day we may be able to achieve achdus (unity) of the Jewish people.
Yesurim B’simcha (Happy Suffering)
In the Shema prayer, we invoke the name if the Holy Land of Israel – “Shema Yisrael”. Then we affirm our belief in the need to serve G-d with all of our heart and soul. This concept is put into practice only when a Jew lives in Eretz Yisrael. In this manner G-d enables us to improve ourselves and get closer to Him as our G-d.
דברים יג:ד, פרשת ראה
…כי מנסה ה’ אלקיכם אתכם לדעת הישכם אהבים את ה’ אלקיכם בכל לבבכם ובכל נפשכם:
…G-d is testing you to know whether you love G-d with all your heart and with all your soul”. (Devarim 13:4)
When we are challenged and have needs we turn to G-d. Those who seek G-d should be happy.
…ישמחו לב מבקשי ה’.
…rejoice the hearts of those who seek G-d. (Tehillim 105:3)
A Jew who is in the position to have a relationship with The King of the world can ask Him for help. Such a relationship is a happy one, since the one who has this closeness to the King feels very special.
אחת שאלתי מאת ה’ אותה- אבקש…
One thing I asked of Hashem, that I shall – seek… (Tehillim 27:4)
A מבקש is happy because he is seeking out G-d and having a relationship with him. Where else could a Jew maximize on the possibility of this interaction if not in the Palace of the King – Eretz Yisrael? Being a מבקשmivakesh can be accomplished by settling the Land; prayer alone is not sufficient. שאלתי refers to an individual being involved in prayer. Here in Israel we do both action and prayer to get close to G-d and bring the Redemption closer to fruition.
In my Bar Mitzvah parsha Ekev, G-d hinted to me that I would be a surgeon in Israel. I pray that I will be worthy of being His good messenger, שליח טוב by helping cure disease and alleviate suffering.
דברים ז:טו, פרשת עקב
והסיר ה’ ממך כל חלי…
G-d will remove from you every illness… (Devarim 7:15)
The Yesod HaAvodah explains that this pasuk is referring to the fact that depression leads to illness. If a person is happy he is protected from many diseases. We strive to be happy seeking and serving Hashem in His Land, which is the body of the Shechina. We are able to sense this happiness here every Shabbos. This one day a week was given to us in order to have an uplifted spirit in order to enable us to serve G-d properly.
Only Rely On G-d Alone
We are not to despair when we see the nations of the world turning their backs on us. This isolation is a sign of the upcoming redemption and meant to strengthen our reliance on G-d. Yaakov’s struggle with Esav’s angel is the paradigm for our future.
בראשית לב:כה , וישלך
ויותר יעקב לבדו, ויאבק איש עמו עד עלות השחר:
“Yaakov was left alone and a man fought him until the break of dawn”. This is the dawn of the geula and a long dark night of exile (Seforno, Ramban, Bereishis 32:25)
Rav Eliyahu Dessler taught that that we need to have emunah and rely solely on G-d to help us. Do not trust in “man”. This is the test or “nissayon” of the Jewish people before Moshiach comes. G-d brought back many Jews to Eretz Yisrael and they now rule over the Land. Many have forsaken the Torah and act as if they alone have accomplished the settlement of Eretz Yisrael. This is the lastניסיון nissayon of galus – to fight the attitude of כחי ועוצם ידי.
מכתב מאליהו חלק ג דף 218
זה הוא הניסיון שלתוכו הוטל עם ישראל ב”עקבות דמשיחא”. ה’ יתברך משיב יהודים רבים לארץ ישראל ושולטים בה, ופורקי עול התורה מתגאים כאילו הם עשו ופעלו זאת בגבורתם…וזהו הניסיון האחרון של גלות השכינה, הניסיון הקשה ביותר…כי “הכל בידי שמים חוץ מיראת שמים”.
העומדים בתקיפות ובגבורה נפשית בניסיון הקשה הזה, של הדעות הכוזבת של “כחי ועוצם ידי“…
Why was the Land lost? Hashem said: because they left my Torah (Eicha Rabbah). The final geula did not take place in the days of the second Beis Hamikdash because the people were not interested in returning to Eretz Yisrael. Rabbi Reish Lakish said to Rav bar Chanah from Bavel – “G-d hates you Babylonians!”
יומא דף ט עמוד ב
ריש לקיש הוי סחי בירדנא אתא רבה בר בר חנה יהב ליה ידא א”ל אלהא סנינא לכו.
Reish Lakish, who lived in Eretz Yisrael, was once swimming in the Yarden River. Rabah bar bar Chanah, [who was from Bavel] came [by and noticed him starting to leave the water. Thereupon], he gave him his hand to assist him. [Reish Lakish] then said to [Rabah bar bar Chanah]: G-d hates you [Babylonians]! (G-d hates all Babylonian Jews who did not make Aliyah to Eretz Yisrael in the days of Ezra, and thus prevented the Shechina from returning and resting in the second Beis Hamikdash). (Talmud Bavli Yoma 9b)
The overwhelming view of the majority of most poskim is that the mitzvah of living in Eretz Yisrael is still in force today. This is based on the Ramban and a proper understanding of the Rambam. The Ramban writes in Sefer Hamitzvos:
We may not relinquish the land to any nation at any point in time…we were commanded to conquer the Land and live in it…
The Rivash holds that the obligation to live in Israel still exists today.
The mitzvah of living in Eretz Yisrael…is a mitzvah forever (Rivash response 101).
The Pischei Teshuva concludes that all Rishonim and Achronim agree that one should live in Eretz Yisrael; however, only on the condition that it is possible to support oneself here.
Fortunate is he who can live in Eretz Yisrael and serve G-d there and even make a living – even a poor one. But not every man is so fortunate (Pischei Teshuva, Even HaEzer 15).
There is story told about how the Chozon Ish decided to move to Eretz Yisrael:
Before this trip as well he had inquired…and had received the unequivocal reply that he must go. The mitzvah of living in Eretz Yisrael was determined in force by the Rambam, Ramban and other poskim…He knew how fervently the Chafetz Chaim…had yearned to move to Eretz Yisrael…Heaven had not allowed the Vilna Gaon to reach his goal, and he had been forced to turn back…The pains through which Eretz Yisrael is acquired were precious to him (Pe`er Hador pg. 344)
Rav Yosef Chaim Sonenfeld stated that:
Whoever has the means to come live in Eretz Yisrael and does not, will have to answer for it in Heaven. (Ha’Ish Al HaChoma vol.2 pg.149)
…being a laborer in Eretz Yisrael is greater than being a Rav in Chutz la’aretz. (Ha’Ish Al HaChoma pg.158)
Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach paskened that the mitzvah of yishuv Eretz Yisrael is still applicable today.
שו”ת מנחת שלמה, ח”ג סימן קנח, סעיף כב
…שגם בזמן הזה שפיר נוהגת מצוה רבה זו של ישוב ארץ ישראל…ומיכל מקום בזמנינו דאפשר שפיר לשמור ולקיים, שפיר חייבין לעלות…ואף גם בדעת הגר”א ז”ל נראה דשפיר סובר שדין ישוב ארץ ישראל ודאי נוהג גם בזמן הזה…
A G-d Fearing Jew Does Not Chose To Live In Chutz La’aretz
The ideal for a Jew is to live in Israel and not in the Diaspora. For those who live in chutz la’aretz serve idolatry in holiness.
מסכת עבודה זרה דף ח עמוד א
תניא רבי ישמאל אומר ישראל שבחוצה לארץ עובדי עבודת כוכבים בטהרה הן.
The Jews who live outside the Land of Israel worship idols, in purity. (Talmud Bavli Avodah Zarah 8a)
חסד לאברהם מעין שלישי נהר ח
אמנם המקובל האלהי מוהר”ר משה קורדבירו זצ”ל כתב וזה לשונו, ואני אומר לענין זה, כי כל זה נכנס בדרך מה שאמרו רז”ל שהיושבים בחוץ לארץ הם עובדי עבודה זרה בטהרה.
Rav Yaakov Emden (the Ya’avetz) wrote in his introduction to his siddur (pg. 13) that every Jew must strive to make Aliyah.
Every man among us must make up his mind and go and live in Eretz Yisrael. Do not think of settling yourself permanently in chutz la`aretz, G-d forbid, to fulfill the decree of destruction. This rejection of the desirable Land was the transgression of our forefathers who, thereby, caused crying for generations [the meraglim on 9th of Av]. This same transgression has been the root of our unease and persecutions throughout the ages. All these troubles befell us because the people of Israel dwelt in Spain and in other lands in serenity and with great splendor.
The Chasam Sofer explains the statement of Rav Yehuda HeChasid that one should not build houses of stone [in chutz la’aretz].
… the danger lies in building excessive and permanent housing in chutz la’aretz. Such building is indicative of an attitude of long range plans to remain in chutz la’aretz and of forgetting about Redemption.
The Netziv in his Haggada expounds on the passuk “and he took us out with a mighty hand”, that many Jews may remain in chutz la’aretz and may never make it over to Eretz Yisrael.
During the three days of darkness [חושך] all those who did not want to leave Egypt died. We must remember that in our days, since many Jews now deny the imminent Redemption, the Almighty will have his way, however, even through a mighty Hand.
Rav Yisachar Shlomo Teichtal, in his monumental sefer published in 1943 Eim Habanim Smeicha, brings Torah sources to prove that the settling of Eretz Yisrael is the only way to bring the Redemption. This was also promoted by the writings of the Chafetz Chaim, the Chazon Ish, and the Chasom Sofer. Today, the only way we can actually bring the Moshiach is to live in Eretz Yisrael.
Aliyah Is Not Easy, It Is Supposed To Be Difficult
Some element of personal sacrifice is actually essential for the accomplishment of this mitzvah.
Avraham Avinu became worthy of Eretz Yisrael from the time he sacrificed for it. (Mabit, Beis Elokim, Sha`ar Hayesodos)
Rav Sonenfeld would tell his wife not to complain about the harsh living conditions they encountered in Israel.
This is why we came! To suffer the pains of Eretz Yisrael. He urged those who felt they needed more physical comfort and greater income to try to be satisfied, as he himself was, with little. (HaIsh Al HaChoma, vol. II pg.120)
The Peleh Yoetz writes, “he who lives in Eretz Yisrael should be perpetually happy with his mitzvah and all the suffering he experiences should be insignificant to him in the light of his love for this mitzvah” (Erech 11).
A Jewish Does Not Own His House In The Diaspora!
The Shema prayer commands us to place mezuzos on “your house” וכתבתם על מזוזות ביתך. This mitzvah can only be fulfilled properly in the Land of Israel. The reason is explained by the Chelkas Yoav of Kinsk. He points out that it is only in Eretz Yisrael that a house really belongs to a Jew. How many millions of Jewish homes have been stolen from Jews by the non-Jews of Europe, North Africa, and the middle east? Clearly G-d is sending us a message.
ספר חלקת יואב על התורה, פרשת בא, דף צג
בתוס’ עבודה זרה כ”א עמוד א (ד”ה אף) הביא בשם רבינו חיים כהן דביתו דבחוץ לארץ – לא מקרי “ביתך”…ואם כן הוא הדין אם יש לו בית בחוץ לארץ…אינו בכלל ביתו, ואינו עובר עליו. וזהו דבר חדש.
The Chasam Sofer writes that when most of the Jews are living in Eretz Yisrael, the agricultural work itself becomes the Torah mitzvah of, “and you will gather your grains” ואספת דגנך. Why did Boaz (in Megilas Rus) who was the Gadol Hador, spend his time on the threshing floor winnowing barley in the middle of the night? Because this too [agricultural work] was part of the mitzvah of settling Eretz Yisrael.
The Talmud in Pesachim (8b) teaches that we know from the Torah that on three regalim we must go up to the Beis Hamikdash. However, one who does not own a portion of land is exempt from this mitzvah. The Chidushei HaRim explains that the purpose of oleh laregel is to train us to recognize Hashem’s Hand in the world. The passuk “שלש פעמים בשנה יראה כל זכורך את פני ה’ “teaches that whoever owns their own field and earns a parnassa from it, can make the error of כחי ועוצם ידי, believing that everything he has is from his own actions and wisdom. Those who do not own land must struggle to earn a living and therefore do not need this reminder; because they are continuously raising their eyes to the heavens praying for parnassa.
תלמוד בבלי פסחים דף ח עמוד ב
דאמר רב אמי כל אדם שיש לו קרקע עולה לרגל ושאין לו קרקע אין עולה לרגל.
For Rav Ami said: Every man who owns land must go up to Yerushalayim for the pilgrimage festivals, but one who does not own land does not have to go up to Yerushalayim for the pilgrimage festivals. (Talmud Bavli 8b)
Everything Is For The Best, We Need Unity
The Jewish people are punished for our hatred and jealously towards each other. We need to work to rid ourselves of these bad middos. We need to improve our mitzvos bein adam lechveiro and create a real achdus among the Jewish people.
In Parshas Behaloscha we learn that we must to work hard to gain spiritual benefits. Based on the pasukוזה מעשה המנורה מקשה תעשה, the Chidushei HaRim tells us that origin of the light of the menorah was a spiritual light. What does it mean by the wordמקשה? The light of the menorah was created from hardships toil and difficulties. The light of Torah and mitzvos only shine bright after hardships יסורין.
תלמוד מגילה דף ו עמוד ב
יגעתי ומצאתי תאמין.
If, however, he tells you, “I have labored in the study of Torah, and I have succeeded,” your may believe him. (Talmud Bavli Megillah 6b)
When toil and hardship are involved in Torah observance and one passes the challenges encountered in life, he will merit the great light of the Torah. The greatest salvations emerge from the darkness. The Sifsei Tzedek teaches that one will perceive and become aware of G-d when times are hard. The hard times connect people to G-d more often than the good times. In times of trouble people tend to daven better, say Tehillim and search out Rabbonim for berachos. Hashem is light; He does not need our light. But He desires that we serve Him from amid the hardships and the darkness.
במדבר יב:ו, פרשת בהעלותך
ויאמר שמעו נא דברי, אם יהיה נביאכם ה’ במראה אליו אתודע בחלום אדבר בו:
He said, “Hear now My words, If there shall be prophets among you, in a vision [mirror] shall I, Hashem make myself known to him; in a dream shall I speak with him. (Bamidbar 12:6)
Rav Yechezkel of Kozmir translates במראה meaning a mirror. A mirror seems like an obstruction of vision through a piece of glass, whereas in reality it helps us see ourselves better. Similarly, when things appear dark and hard it seems that this is getting in the way of our goals, but these are specifically the times when one can merit seeing the best. Living in Israel has the power to bring out these qualities in the Jews who live here.
The Challenges Of Living In Israel Makes Us Better Jews
The Rebbe of Kotzk asks the question: By maaser the tenth animal is Holy, why? Since it is hit with a stick! From this we learn that whatever goes through yesurim deserves to be designated as holy. The Talmud in Berachos (5b) mentions that the Land of Israel is acquired only through yessurim. Being that this topic is discussed on page five of Talmud Berachos, this can represent the Hand of G-d, a five finger slap. This can be compared to the yad of Hashem as described in the in the Hagadah when enumerating the plagues meted out against the Egyptians. When one gets slapped it is a huge embarrassment. However, this is a moment not to be wasted; for during the time of embarrassed we learn from Chazal that it is a tremendous time for es razon (asking G-d for out needs), for whatever one may ask at this moment will in fact materialize.
Problems can only disappear when one knows all that occurs is from G-d and he also believes that everything is for the good.
שולחן ערוך אור החיים סימן ר”ל הלכה ד
כל מה דעביד רחמנא לטב עביד.
Everything that G-d does is for the good. (Shulchan Aruch, Ohr HaChaim 230:4)
The Ben Ish Chai points out that the word chovחוב can be translated as obligations or negative matter or problems. This word has the gematria value of (8+6+2) sixteen. Tov טוב good has the gematria of (9+6+2) seventeen. The difference between good and problems is one; because troubles disappear and even become good when a Jew strengthens his emunah in the one and only G-d,אחד ישראל…ה’ .שמע The place to do this is in Eretz Yisrael.
The first paragraph of the Shema prayer says to “love G-d”. When one accepts G-d’s decrees with love, the hardships (yesurim) go away. In turn, G-d wants to give us the blessings and the good of the Land of Israel.
במדבר י:כט, פרשת בהעלותך
ויאמר משה לחבב בן רעואל המדיני חתן משה נסעים אנחנו אל המקום אשר אמר ה’ אותו אתן לכם, לכה אתנו והטבנו לך כי ה’ דבר טוב על ישראל:
Moshe said to Chovav son of Reuel, the Midianite, the father in-law of Moshe, “We are journeying to the place of which Hashem has said, ‘I shall give it to you’ [Eretz Yisrael], Go with us and we shall treat you well, for Hashem has spoken of good for the Jewish people. (Bamidbar 10:29)
The Chidushei HaRim’s grandson, the Imrei Emes explains a pasuk in parshas Ki Savo. In the middle of tochacha (rebuke) G-d tells us the reason for the punishments and suffering – because we did not serve G-d with joy and good heart.
דברים כח, מז , פרשת כי תבוא אל הארץ
תחת אשר לא עבדת את ה’ אלקיך בשמחה וטוב לבב, מרב כל.
Because you did not serve Hashem, your G-d, amid gladness and goodness of heart, when everything was abundant. (Devarim 28:47)
Why is this explanation by G-d given in the middle of the rebuke? The Imrei Emes explains, that if a Jew accepts with love the yesurim, despite everything, he continues to serve G-d with joy, then all the suffering will end. We are being taught to focus on the good that G-d gives us and then we will be happy. Jealously is the wanting the goodness that others have and when this happends we lose sight of the good that G-d has given us. Many people leave Israel looking for material wealth, or refuse to make Aliyah for the fear of forfeiting their acquired wealth. G-d is telling us to serve Him and put our trust in Him by living in the Land of Israel – this is real happiness “when you enter the Land…”
The Imrei Emes comments on the upside down nuns “נ” in (Bamidbar 10:35-36) ויהי בנסע הארן ויאמר משה…, this represents that these pesukim are written out of order. Similarly our lives at time seem to be out of order. Parnasa may be more difficult to acquire than anticipated – these challenges are called yesurim. It just so happends, that this pasuk represents an event which did not happen and should have happened. Moshe was supposed to enter Eretz Yisrael with the Jewish nation at this juncture and build the Beis Hamikdash. Our sins in the wilderness with the Spies’ rejecting Aliyah prevented this from happening.
The real test of emunah (faith) occurs when something does not go as anticipated. Rav Yaakov Galinsky was once menachem avel, he said, “hishtadlus is only about the future, not the past”. After something has happened one must believe that whatever occurred was exactly as G-d planned it and nothing could have been done to change it. Therefore, Rav Leibke warns that if someone says, “if only I would have done things differently …” this is apikorsus! We need to remember that whatever occurs is G-d’s will.
Many are scared about making Aliyah. When we have worries and concerns we need to remember that our Father in Heaven cares for us. This is bitachon הבוטח בה חסד יסובבנו; whoever trusts in G-d kindness surrounds him (Tehillim 32). The Magid of Mezrich points out that this is not a segulah but it is a rule of nature. Whoever trusts in G-d he will be enveloped in G-d’s kindness. When one focuses on the truth that אין עוד מלבדו that there is none other but Hashem, nothing bad can happen to him. Bitachon is the knowledge that no one other than G-d can help us. Salvation from G-d can happen in one moment, תשועת ה’ כהרף עין . Rav Yochanan of Rachmistrifka explains this concept by teaching us to stop relying on other people to help us, rely only on G-d that is when we receive G-d’s salvation.
In Israel there is always the fear of what the USA or other nations are going to say if we settle the Land of Judea. The Chazon Ish points out that, “G-d helps in the moment when a person does not see any natural means for his salvation.” When one trusts solely in G-d, then G-d will certainly help him. The Baal Shem Tov taught that G-d acts with people in the same manner that we act מידה כנגד מידה. G-d mirrors our deeds. If we do kindness for others G-d does kindness with us. This is why Jewish unity is the key to be successful over our enemies and dwelling securely in our land. Our trust is not in the might of the co-ed IDF or the fickle support of the USA.
The Ohev Yisrael, Apter Rav teaches us that learning Shaar HaBitachon, in the Sefer Chovas HaLevavos is mesugal for parnassah. The Chazon Ish explains, G-d’s providence over people is in accordance to their level of bitachon in Hashem. In Eretz Yisrael the laws of nature do not operate as we know it since G-d is directly in charge of our parnasah here. The gematria of nature (86) הטבע equals. אלקים There are no intermediaries or angels who help us in Israel, it is only G-d. (Chesed L’Avraham)
The Land of Israel runs on miracles against the accepted rules of nature. In this manner we can be victorious against our Arab enemies. We are especially helped when we serve G-d according to the Torah in Eretz Yisrael. This miraculous status exists because G-d himself is involved directly in all aspects of our lives in the Holy Land.
מכתב מאליהו חלק ג דף 196
בארץ ישראל בוטחים בניסים, שנוכל לעמוד אפילו נגד ריבוי שונאינו…שזו היא מברכות הארץ אשר ברך ה’. אמרו רז”ל: “אין תורה כתורת ארץ ישראל” (ספרי ר”פ עקב); אוירה דארץ ישראל מחכים” (בבא בתרא קנ”ה:). דבר זה גם כן הוא מהבחינה הנ”ל, שהעוסק בתורה בארץ ישראל זוכה לסייעתא דשמיא מרובה והשפעה מיוחדת…
Rav Dessler writes that now is the time to return to Hashem, do teshuvah. We are now living in era of the beginning of the Redemption, Moshiach is coming. We have to appreciate all the wonders G-d had done for us, especially after the horrors and devastation we experienced in the Holocaust. G-d has given us our own country in the Holy Land of Israel, one has to blind not to see this.
מכתב מאליהו חלק ג דף 352
ועיין בילקוט שמעוני סוף מלאכי: “אם ישראל עושים תשובה נגאלים, ואם לאו אין נגאלים…מה שאנו בו עכשיו בארץ הקדושה קשה להגדירו כעת כאתחלתא דגאולה, אבל על כל פנים חסדים גדולים מן הקצה אל הקצה הם, מקצה היסורין של חורבן ששת אלפי אלפים מאחינו (יגדור ה’ את הפרצה) אל קצה השני – התישבות עמנו במדינתו בארץ ישראל הקדושה. מזה צריך ללמוד ולקבוע אמונה בלב. אוי מי שיבא ליום הדין ועדיין סומא הוא מלראות דבר מושחי כזה.
Rav Teichtal in his introduction to Eim Habonim Semeicha, quotes Rav Yisrael Yehoshua of Kutno on the topic of the settlement of Eretz Yisrael.
Do not become disheartened nor discouraged by the words of the antagonists, for they speak out of ignorance.
Since the late 1800s until today we are slowly seeing the words to the prophets coming true and being revealed in our times. Cities are being built all over Israel and the Jewish population is growing in size. Yerushalyim is growing by leaps and bounds. The city of Beit Shemesh located in the area of the Tribe of Yehuda, is building new communities on every mountain top and valley as far as the eye can see. Since 2013 the majority of the Jewish population of the world is living in Israel (6 million vs. 5.5 million in the Diaspora).
ישעיה מד: כו-כח
מקים דבר עבדו ועצת מלאכיו ישלים, האמר לירושלים תושב ולערי יהודה תבנינה וחרבותיה אקומם:…ולאמר לירושלים תבנה והיכל תוסד.
Who confirms the words of his servant, and fulfills the counsel of His messengers; Who says of Yerushalayim, ‘It shall be settled,’ and the cities of Yehuda, ‘They shall be built up, and I will rebuild its ruins…to say of Yerushalayim , ‘It shall be built,’ and of the Temple, ‘It shall be established’. (Yeshaya 44:26 –28)
נחמו נחמו עמי, יאמר אלקיכם: דברו על לב ירושלים וקראו אליה כי מלאה צבאה כי נרצה עונה, כי לקחה מיד ה’ כפלים בכל חטאתיה: קול קורא במדבר פנו דרך ה’ ישרו בערבה מסלה לאלקינו: כל גיא ינשא וכל הר וגבעה ישפלו, והיה העקב למישור והרכסים לבקעה:
Comfort, Comfort My people, says your G-d. Speak consolingly of Yerushalayim and proclaim to her that her period of [exile] has been completed, that her iniquity has been forgiven; for she has received double for all her sins from the Hand of Hashem. A voice calls out, In the wilderness, clear the way of Hashem; make a straight path in the desert, a road for out G-d. Every valley will be raised, and every mountain and hill will be lowered; the crooked will become straight and heights will become valley. (Yeshaya 40:1-4)
G-d is telling the Jewish people to make Aliyah. Come back and serve Him in Israel and then he will come back to us.
למימי אבתיכם סרתם מחקי ולא שמרתם שובו אלי ואשובה אליכם אמר ה’ צבקות, ואמרתם במה נשוב:
Since the days of your forefathers you have veered away from My laws and you have not observed them. Return to Me and I will return to you! Says Hashem, Master of Legions; but you say, ‘For what should we repent? (Malachi 3:7)
Why are there still bnei Torah and growing Yeshivos in the USA ? Why are they not moving here? The more Torah that is learned in chutz la’aretz gives move power to the yetzer harah and the impure spiritual powers, which get their strength by having Jews live in the Diaspora. Rav Chayim Elazar Waks explains this concept in Nefesh Chayah, he quotes a letter from Rav Eliyahu the son of Rav Shlomo of Greiditz.
…the evil forces (kelipah) gain strength even among the most righteous individuals in order to nullify this good. This is so because the kelipah’s entire strength depends on exile; when the exile dissolves, so will the kelipah, as the Talmud states in Sukkah (52a) [the Yezer Harah is very strong among the tzadikim, it will be destroyed when the Jews are living in Eretz Yisrael and Moshiach ben Yosef arrives].
Eim Habonim Semeicha (pg. 49-50) points out that the Meraglim, spies were against Aliyah when we came out of Mizrayim, were the Gedolei Hador of their times. They were greater Rabbis then any rabbis of our day. They were wrong about rejecting Aliyah. We are suffering the consequences of their rejection of Israel to this day. Rabbis who are against aliyah in our generation are behaving like the Meraglim and rejecting the chosen Land of Hashem.
…Who amongst us is greater than the spies?…The Zohar and the Shelah explain that the spies were afraid that they would lose their positions of leadership upon entering Eretz Yisrael…for the spies were prejudiced by hidden motives.
The same holds true in our times, even among rabbis, rebbes, and Chassidim. This has a good rabbinical position; this one is an established Admor, and this one has a profitable business or factory, or a prestigious job which provides great satisfaction. They are afraid that their status will decline if they go to Eretz Yisrael. People of this sort are influenced by their deep rooted, selfish motives to such an extent that they themselves do not realize that their prejudice speaks on their behalf…
Rav Yeshaya Muskat of Praga…most of the time a person fools himself and thinks that he acts for the sake of Heaven…Therefore, one who is prejudiced on a certain matter can no longer judge truthfully…
The Divrei Chayim writes:
…we clearly see that the rabbis, Chassidim, and laymen of this generation, for the most part, descend from the Eirev Rav (due to our many sins), and they want to rule over the masses. All of their deeds are done for their own benefit, to receive honor or monetary gain.
G-d is waiting to reveal Himself, to send Moshiach and return his Shechina to the Land of Israel. He is knocking on the door to enter Eretz Yisrael. However, he needs the majority of the Jewish people to first make Aliyah and rebuild the country of Israel.
שיר השירים א:ד
משכני אחריך נרוצה, הביאני המלך חדריו נגילה ונשמחה בך נזכירה דדיך מיין מישרים אהבוך:
Draw me near and we run after you. The King brought me into His chamber; we shall always be glad and rejoice in your Torah. We recall Your love more than any earthly delights unrestrainedly do they love you. (Shir Hashirim 1:4)
שיר השירים ה:ב
אני ישנה וליבי ער, קול דודי דופק, פתחי לי אחתי רעתי יונתי תמתי שראשי נמלא טל קוצאתי רסיסי לילה:
I am sleeping, but my heart is awake, My Beloved is knocking! He said, “Open your heart to Me My sister, My love, My dove, My perfection; admit Me and My head is filled with dew like memories spurn Me and I bear collections of punishing rains in exile-nights” (Shir Hashirim 5:2)
Non-Religious Jews Can Effect Spiritual Rectifications By Building The Land
Omri was one of the wicked kings of Israel. He did evil in the eyes of G-d. He build a city in Israel for his own honor (Melachim I 16:25-26). Omri worshipped idols and yet he fulfilled the mitzvah of yishuv Eretz Yisrael. The cheylonim of our generation cannot be any worse than Omri. Omri was rewarded for building a city in Israel by having three of his descendants inherit his throne. Whereas, none of the other evil kings were succeeded by their sons. He was rewarded because he added a city to the Land of Israel (Yalkut Shimoni 2:207). Eretz Yisrael is in the sphere of Malchus. Since Omri rectified an aspect of Kingship on earth by adding a city to Israel, he likewise received the specific rearward of kingship (Rav Yosef Engel, Otzrot Yosef).
G-d gave us Eretz Yisrael so that we can observe the Torah. The Rashba and Maharsha (Ein Ya’akov Shabbos 88a, Etz Yosef) ask: Why were the Jews exiled and the first Beis Hamikdash destroyed before the days of Mordechai and Esther? They answer that G-d gave us Eretz Yisrael so that we can observe the Torah. The Torah was forced upon us at Har Sinai. However, we reaccepted the Torah willingly only at the time of the Purim miracle. Eretz Yisrael is our inheritance and G-d gave it to us on the condition that we keep his Torah willingly. It seems that now is the time for us to accept Eretz Yisrael willingly.
Those Who Love G-d Live In Israel
Who are those that love Hashem and keep Torah? This refers to those who dwell in Eretz Yisrael and have dedicated themselves to all the mitzvos (Yalkut Shimoni, Yisro 292).
שמות כ:ו פרשת יתרו
ועושה חסד לאלפים, לאהבי ולשמרי מצותי:
but Who does kindness for thousands of generations for those who love Me and observe My commandments. (Shemos 20:6)
Based on the Kuzari (2:23) we learn that even if Eretz Yisrael is filled with lewdness, it is preferable to dwell here compared to anywhere else. This contradicts those who feel that Israel is not Kosher or religious enough for their needs.
G-d said, “If only My children were with me in Eretz Yisrael, even though they defile the Land” (Yalkut Shimoni 2:1038)
The Fruits Show Us That The Redemption Is Near
The sign the end of days is need is the yield of the fruits of the Land of Israel.
תלמוד בבלי סנהדרין דף צח עמוד א
ואמר רבי אבא אין לי קץ מגולה מזה שנאמר ואתם הרי ישראל ענפכם תתנו ופריכם תשאו לעמי ישראל וגו’
רש”י ד”ה מגולה מזה
כשתתן ארץ ישראל פריה בעין יפה אז יקרב הקץ ואין לך קץ מגולה יותר.
And Rav Abba said: There is no clearer indication of the “End” than this, as it is stated: But you, O mountains of Israel, you shall shoot forth your branches and bear your fruit for My people Israel, etc. (Yechezkel 36:8) (Talmud Bavli Sanhedrin 98a)
Eretz Yisrael will yield fruit in abundance shortly before the redemption. This is the clearest sign of all that the exile is about to end. (Rashi)
ויאמר ערם יצאתי מבטן אמי וערם אשוה שמה ה’ נתן וה’ לקח, יהי שם ה’ מבורך:
He said Naked did I emerge from my mother’s womb and naked shall I return there. Hashem has given, and Hashem has taken away, blessed be the Name of Hashem (Iyov 1:21)