web analytics
April 18, 2014 / 18 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
Blogs
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



Don’t Ask What Israel Can Do For You – Ask What You Can Do For Israel


Rav Kook

Share Button

The thought that Eretz Yisrael is an accessory to Judaism, and not a central pillar in itself, is a tragic distortion which was caused by the nearly 2000 year exile of the Jewish People from the Land of Israel. After years of wandering in foreign countries, scattered among the gentiles, and separated from our homeland, our orientation to the Land of Israel became distorted and confused. Instead of being a day-to-day reality integral to our lives, Eretz Yisrael became a faraway dream. In our Diaspora existence, the most important aspects of Judaism were the matters which affected our daily lives – Torah study, prayer, the Sabbath, Kashrut, and the mitzvot which we were still able to perform. Eretz Yisrael became something of secondary importance – a place to which we would one day return, but not an essential part of the Jewish experience.

This misconception results when we misunderstand the true culture of the Jewish People. The foundation of our culture is not just the holidays and the performance of precepts, but in our being the Nation which brings the word and blessing of God to the world. As we will learn, our national attachment to God can be achieved exclusively through the Land of Israel.

To help us remember the centrality of Eretz Yisrael to Judaism and to the nation of Israel, let us reflect on a few teachings of our Sages regarding the special qualities of the land of Israel.

The Zohar calls the Land of Israel, the heart of all lands.

The word of God goes forth to the world only from the Land of Israel, as the prophet says, “From Zion shall go forth the Torah, and the word of God from Jerusalem.”

The Midrash tells us that the goodness which God grants to the Jewish people emanates from Zion: “All of the blessings and consolations, all of the good which the Holy One, Blessed Be He, brings to the Jewish People, all of them come from Zion.”

Additionally, all of the blessings which God sends to the world flow out of Eretz Yisrael: “All of the vitality of all of this world, and all of the blessings and Divine Influence to all – they all come down initially to Zion, and from there, they are proportioned to everyone on earth.”

Hashem divided the world between nations and gave each nation a land suited to it. He fashioned and formed the Nation of Israel and set it in the center of His world blueprint, in the Land particularly suited to its holiness. Eretz Yisrael enjoys a special relationship with the Almighty. It is the meeting place, the point of intersection between the Divine and the physical world. For example, when the Divine seeks written expression in the world, the result is Torah. When Hashem seeks a national, earthly, human expression, the result is Am Yisrael. So too, the manifestation of Kedusha in geographic terms appears only in Eretz Yisrael. “For the Lord has chosen Zion; He has desired it for His habitation. This is My resting place; here I will dwell” (Tehillim, 132:13-14). These Divinely designed receptacles of holiness, the Torah, Am Yisrael, and Eretz Yisrael, are united in their essence.

A special Divine Providence graces Eretz Yisrael to the exclusion of all other lands. It is “The Land where the eyes of the Lord our God are always upon it, from the beginning of the year till the end” (Devarim, 11:12).

Certainly, God reigns the world over. From our point of view, however, there is a great difference in our ability to receive the Divine content. Our Sages teach us that God has placed angelic forces to rule over all other lands. Only in the Land of Israel is God’s Providence direct, without any intermediary angels (Ramban on the Torah, Vayikra, 18:25). Only in Israel is the worship of God pure without any barriers or impurities. This is how the Ramban explains the Gemara’s startling declaration that “All who live in Eretz Yisrael resemble someone who has a God, and all who live outside the land of Israel resemble someone who has no God” (Ketubot 110B). In Chutz L’Aretz, the worship of God only reaches the level of the celestial angels, whereas in Eretz Yisrael, Divine service is direct to God Himself, with no interference whatsoever.

Share Button

About the Author: Tzvi Fishman was awarded the Israel Ministry of Education Prize for Creativity and Jewish Culture for his novel "Tevye in the Promised Land." For the past several years, he has written a popular and controversial blog at Arutz 7. A wide selection of his books are available at Amazon. The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not represent the views of The Jewish Press


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

Leave a comment (Select your commenting platform)

One Response to “Don’t Ask What Israel Can Do For You – Ask What You Can Do For Israel”

  1. Reading Fishman declaring that "Arabs don't read books" is very disappointing. Imagine how indignant he would be if someone wrote a negative comment about Jews. Right wing religious Jews in Israel, probably from North America, are among the most openly racist and bigoted people around. It is disgraceful.

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Loading Facebook Comments ...
Loading Disqus Comments ...
Tzvi Fishman, author of the Jewish Press blog Felafel on Rye and author of more than a dozen books.
Current Top Story
Flyers ordered Jews to appear at a designated location in Ukrane, in Sept., 1941. The next day, the Jews lined up at the Babi Yar Ravine.
‘Jews Must Register’ Flyer in Ukraine an Echo of Babi Yar
Latest Blogs Stories
Church of the Nativity, beseiged and desecrated by Arab Palestinian terrorists in the spring of 2002.

World Council of Churches expresses solidarity with “Palestinians” ‘languishing’ in Israeli prisons.

Haggadah for the Passover Seder.

The Seder: We starve (during the sometimes endless recitations and discussions) and we feast.

Unit 9900 is an intelligence unit that utilizes the unique capabilities of soldiers on the autism spectrum.

The unique skills of people on the autistic spectrum adds great breadth to IDF intelligence work.

Jews are no longer slaves, but many are still plagued with a slave mentality.

Passover is a road that we still travel, a long journey from slavery to freedom.

In Iran, 131 offenses are punishable by death, including blasphemy, adultery and homosexuality.

Women must eat Matzah on Pesach too but that is also a time bound positive commandment.

Pro-Israel leaders on campus are as important as the troops in the IDF and professional hasbaraniks.

The seder reminds us of our freedom now that we are home again in the land of the Nation of Israel

IDF helicopters are ready to act on a moment’s notice to defend the State of Israel.

The Samson Super Hercules aircraft ensures the IDF can safeguard Israel from far beyond her shores.

Rudoren and the Times are determined to go the extra mile to humanize Barghouti.

Gazans are among the principal victims of the terror-addicted Hamas Islamists.

Factors that you need to take into account when deciding whether to rent or buy a home.

Intelligence organizations seek enemy’s secrets; for the past 35 years, all secrets are on computers.

Guest Blogger Robert proves that one must not eat any Matzah on Pesach based on an article in Vosizneias.

More Articles from Tzvi Fishman
    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/felafel-on-rye/dont-ask-what-israel-can-do-for-you-ask-what-you-can-do-for-israel/2012/05/22/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: