In our previous blog, we mentioned that Moshe Rabainu offered 515 prayers to Hashem, at the beginning of this week’s Torah portion, begging Hashem to let him enter the Land of Israel. Some people have trouble making up prayers if it isn’t written out for them in a siddur. So here’s a prayer I wrote for coming to the Land of Israel. Print it out and say it every day for the next 515 days. If it doesn’t work, crumple up the page, send it to me, and I’ll eat it.
It may be the most important prayer you say in your lives.
Prayer to Come to the Land of Israel
Please God, and God of my fathers, please help me to come to the Land of Israel, Your chosen Holy Land, the Land where the Torah is meant to be kept, the Land where the commandments have their true value, the gateway to Heaven where all prayers ascend, the Land that You watch over from the beginning of the year to the end, the Land of the Shechinah, the Land where our holy forefathers longed to dwell and never wanted to leave.
Please God, fill my heart with a burning desire to reach the Land of Israel and to live there, for I know that the service of God can only be complete there, in the Land which You created especially for the Jewish People and for the Torah, as it says over and over and over again in the Torah, and just like our Prophets and Sages have told us in dozens and dozens of ways, emphasizing that it is the Land of our life, the only place we can have our own Jewish Nation, the only place where we can live as free men and not minorities in foreign countries, immersed in foreign cultures that surround us wherever we live in the exile and which pollute our true understandings of Torah.
And now that You in Your infinite mercy have opened the gates of aliyah after almost 2000 years, in fulfillment of Your promises in the Torah, and through the words of our Prophets, please help me to come to the Promised Land and do my share in the Redemption that is unfolding in our time. Now that the 2000 year longing “Next Year in Jerusalem” has become a reality, please let me shed all of my fears of the future, and of started out anew, and let me race after You with blinders, trusting in You and You alone, not listening to anyone who tries to discourage me from attaining the ultimate goal of a Jew – living a Torah life in the Land of Israel.
Please Father in Heaven, and Master of all the Earth, gather me also with the millions whom You have already brought home, let me take my place beside them in building the Land, Your cherished Holy Land, which is the beauty of all the earth, which our teacher, Moshe, yearned to reach all of his life, and now that I, a simple Jew like myself, has the chance to do what Moshe was denied, how can it be that I won’t do everything in my power to come?
I beg you, my Father, my King, strengthen my conviction until it be like steel, so that all of the distractions don’t confuse me along the way and prevent me from making aliyah, because I know that coming to Israel is the most important thing for a Jew and that the yetzer hara (evil inclination) rises up against him with all of its strength to prevent him from reaching his goal, even confusing people who are far greater in Torah than me, just as it twisted the thinking of the Spies in the Wilderness, who were all great men, leaders in Torah, but who rebelled against Your command to journey on to the Promised Land, because they wanted to remain in the wilderness and be protected by the Clouds of Glory without having to face the challenges of conquering and dwelling in the Land. Deafen my ears to all of the excuses for not coming, however reasonable they might sound, and put true faith in my heart that in doing Your will, knowing that You will surely guide me on my path, and watch over me. Even though the journey be hard, give me the strength to overcome all difficulties and setbacks, and the wisdom to know that all of the tests are for my good, to break down the walls of my swollen American ego so that I may become Your true humble servant, trusting in You and living according to Your will in the Land that you promised to our forefathers.
Please God, grant me the unsurpassed blessing of coming to Israel and dwelling in the Land, the Land of the Jews, the Land which my grandfathers, and their grandfathers before them, yearned to return to for 2000 years, and now that You have opened its gates and given us our own Jewish State, in such a miraculous fashion, how can I turn my back on the blessing which You have bestowed upon us and choose instead to live in a gentile land?
Please God, fill my heart with trust in You and holy courage, for I know from the Talmud that three things are acquired through sacrifice and suffering: the Torah, the World to Come, and the Land of Israel. Therefore, strengthen me on my journey and let nothing stand in my path. Draw me to You like a magnet and let me rise higher and higher in Your service, always with the joy in knowing that I am doing Your will, and always remembering that whatever befalls me is all for my good. Bring me to the Land of Delights, the Cherished Land, the Good Land, which lacks nothing, as the Torah says, and let me always see the Land only in a positive way, always as the good Land, just as our teacher, Moshe saw the Land, and please don’t let the guiles of the yetzer hara deceive me into having any negative thoughts or feelings whatsoever about Your holy dwelling place, the Land You have chosen for Your People for all generations, the Land which You love and care for out of all the countries of the earth.
Please, Father, my King, may my prayer of longing for the Land of Israel be pleasing to you, and may You bring me there as fast as possible, bring me home to our own Holy Land, along with the rest of the Jews who are still lingering in exile, before we sink into the darkness of foreign lands and become totally lost in their deceptive lures and values.
Please God, help me to always set Jerusalem above my highest joy, above every other desire and pleasure, and bring me there soon, to Zion, for on this my whole life depends, lest I die in a strange foreign land and never merit the greatest blessing of all – to be Your faithful servant in Your chosen Holy Land.
May the words of my mouth and the yearnings of my heart be pleasing before You. Amen.
[I’m going on vacation with my family for the rest of the week. As Tevye would say, “The mountains in the Galilee may be smaller than the Catskills, but thank the good Lord – they’re mine!]Tzvi Fishman
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." A wide selection of his books are available at Amazon. His recent movie "Stories of Rebbe Nachman" The DVD of the movie is available online http://bit.ly/buyDVDnowThe author's opinion does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Jewish Press.
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