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A Better Reason

by Ozer Bergman

Occasionally I get an e-mail, usually a forward, that encourages Jews to move to Eretz Yisrael (the Land of Israel) because the current political climate in [insert country name here] is caving in for Jews. Anti-Semitism in said country is bad and getting worse. (Full disclosure: I live in Eretz Yisrael. With many thanks to the Good Lord, I recently celebrated the 33rd anniversary of my move here.)

Whether the advice is good or not is hard to say. Of course, it would be ideal if every Jew lived in the Holy Land (or so we believe). But, we do not live in an ideal world, yet. Yes, for many it would be best to move immediately to Eretz Yisrael. However, for some, there may be unfinished spiritual business they need to do before moving on. To proclaim, as if with ruach hakodesh (Divine spirit akin to prophecy), every must come now is unwarranted, unless one is in fact a genuine prophet or a saintly gaon (Torah genius).

But my intention is not to give musar (ethical/moral/religious reproof). My intention is to point out that such calls are demeaning to Eretz Yisrael! Are fear and (presumed) safety the reasons to live in the Land of Milk and Honey? the Land of Ten Kedushot (degrees of holiness)? the land which God promised and gave to our forefathers and anscestors?!

Our forefathers and mothers worked very hard and sacrificed greatly to create a people which would be dedicated to God at any cost, any time and any place. So to His chosen people God gave a land that would further develop and enhance their spiritual strength. That land was not France or Switzerland, Japan or Tibet or the United States of America. It is the Holy Land, the Land of Israel.

A person should move here, or at least visit here, to claim his (or her!) natural and potential kedushah (holiness), to express his (her!) love for and thanks to the Creator. To breath its holy air and walk on its holy soil. To blossom as a Jew in every which way that he (she!) is meant to blossom.

God willing, may we swiftly and soon see each and every Jew here in the Holy Land, safe and well, in our lifetime, Amen!

p.s. In general, it is much better to have a positive reason for choosing to do something (holy) instead of a “all the other options are worse” reason.

© Copyright Breslov Research Institute 2011

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