22 April 2012

A Word of Warning

30 Nisan 5772
Rosh Chodesh Iyar A
Day 15 of the Omer
(Two weeks and one day)

A few days ago, I read something that has been bothering me - a lot. I've thought and thought about it before deciding to blog about it, so don't think I'm speaking in anger - not at all. I'm addressing this issue out of love for my fellow Jews no matter where they are. And believe me when I say that I can empathize with you and your situation wherever you are.

I feel for the Jews in chu"l. I've been there. I understand the fear, the doubt, the confusion, the conflict of thoughts and emotions when it comes to deciding whether to make aliyah or not. I can also identify with the Jews who made that choice and now feel some regret, some angst about whether they chose correctly or not.

But, while I feel I can honestly say I understand, I can't in good conscience sit by and condone by my silence what amounts to slander against Eretz Yisrael and against the Borei HaOlam. It's okay to admit our weaknesses and to seek encouragement to overcome them, but it's not okay to rationalise and justify them by condemning others.

I read an exchange recently, and unfortunately, I have to say it's not the first time, where someone justified his unwillingness to consider making aliyah to Eretz Yisrael because of a whole list of "sins" which he enumerates - terrible things to be sure. And it's true that all the horrors of Western society have found their way into our Holy Land. But, it's the height of hypocrisy to say, "I won't lower myself to live among sinners in Eretz Yisrael, but I have no problem living among the exact same sins in the impure lands of dispersion."

What's more, by refusing to come and add to the numbers of Torah-observant Jews, thereby increasing their power to amend the laws and to eliminate these sins from the Holy Land, they are partly responsible for what is going wrong. And it gets worse! All the Torah and mitzvot in chu"l is actually giving power and sustenance to the evil forces which rule over those impure lands who then use it to turn and around and subjugate the faithful Jews of Eretz Yisrael!

This might be hard to hear, but it's the truth and if it applies to you, you need to not take offense, but take it to heart and do something about it if it's in your power to do so.

Furthermore, to say that the situation in Eretz Yisrael is simply not to your liking is a slap in Hashem's face. The situation may not be to our liking or to His, but it's what it is because HE has allowed it to be so, for His own reasons, most likely to maintain free will. I mean, if things were perfect in Eretz Yisrael, who wouldn't want to make aliyah? Including the goyim!? Where would be the challenge or the reward in making aliyah then? Things are actually getting so good here that it's getting harder and harder to keep from being completely overrun by goyim from all over the world!

The kedushah that the Land imparts is absolute and not dependent on anything.

(Rambam: Hilchot Melachim, Chapter 5, halacha 12) - “A person should dwell in Eretz Yisrael, even in a city whose population is mostly non-Jewish, and not live in “chutz la’aretz”, even in a city which is mostly Jewish.”For those who prefer to remain in chu"l and only come home to Eretz Yisrael when Mashiach personally brings them out, I should also point out that were it not for your brothers and sisters who sacrificed what you are unwilling or afraid to sacrifice to build Eretz Yisrael up into what it has become today, there would be no Eretz Yisrael for you to come to with Mashiach. It's a chutspah to expect only to reap the rewards of the work others have done without any intention to assist in that work.

It never ceases to amaze me that goyim come from Thailand, the Phillipines, Korea, and every country in Africa and even while operating illegally! they manage to survive and thrive and have children and at the same time there are Torah and mitzvah-observant children of Hashem who actually belong here, - whom He yearns to see here - who doubt His ability or willingness to provide for them all that they could possibly need here.

If you knew how much you hurt Hashem when you disparage the treasure of His Holy Land and the gift He made of it to you, you would be so ashamed and full of regret. Any true Jewish neshamah would.

If you're going to rebel against the Creator's will and purposely refuse to come home, please don't compound that error by speaking against the Land and against the way Hashem runs it. You'll save yourself many sorrows.

I'll end with the following quote:

The Yalkut Shimoni, Midrish Shmuel and Rashi on Hoshea 3:5 says the following. “The Children of Israel were exiled because they despised three things: the kingdom of heaven, the kingdom of David and the Beit Hamikdash.

R Shimon ben Menassiya stated: The people of Israel will not be shown a good sign until they return and seek out these three things. As it says (Hoshea 3:5) “Afterwards the children of Israel will return and seek out the lord” – this refers to the Kingdom of Heaven; “and David their king” – according to its simple meaning; “and they will tremble for the Lord and his goodness”-this refers to the Beit Hamikdash, as it says (in Devarim 3:25) “This good mountain”.

The Yalkut also states “The people of Israel were exiled only because they despised Eretz Yisrael, as it is written, “And they despised the desirable land” (Tehillim 106:24). Rav Techtiel mentions that the 3 things which we must seek out can only be attained in Eretz Yisrael. It is for this reason that our holy sages instituted that we should Daven 3 times a day in the Shemona Esrei and “seek out” these three things.