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August 4, 2015 / 19 Av, 5775
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Would Moses Make Aliyah Today?

Ants

Ha ha ha ha ha! What a stupid question! Ha ha ha ha ha! Of course he would! Moshe wanted to make aliyah more than anything else in the world!

This week’s Torah portion begins with Moshe beseeching Hashem to let him go to the Land of Israel: “I pray Thee, let me go over and see the good Land that is beyond the Yarden, the goodly mountain region and the Levanon” (Devarim, 3:25).

Noting that the Hebrew verb for “And I besought,”(Va’etchanan), has a gematria of 515, our Sages teach that Moshe offered 515 prayers to Hashem, begging him to allow him to enter the Land of Israel.

He didn’t say, “I’ll go when Moshiach comes.”

Or, “I’ll go after my children finish getting their masters degrees and doctorates in Egypt.”

Or, “I don’t want to go into the IDF.”

Or, “It’s too dangerous in Israel.”

Or, “The Canaanites drive their chariots on Shabbos.”

Or, “I’m worried I won’t find a job that pays the same that I’m making now.”

Moshe Rabainu didn’t say any of the other 515 excuses you usually hear. Just the opposite. Moshe begged again and again and again, 515 prayers, to be granted the incomparable blessing of entering the Land. Dropping down on his knees and prostrating himself on the ground, he pleaded, “Please, Hashem. Turn me into an ant, if You want, and let me crawl into the Holy Land. I don’t have to be the king of the Jews, or the Chief Rabbi, or a Federation director, or any other fancy title. Make me into an ant and I’ll be happy. Just let me enter the Land!!!”

If Hashem had said OK, Moshe would have raised up the hem of his tunic and sprinted like an Olympic racer, all the way to Israel in his joy to reach the Land. Even though it was filled with bloodthirsty idol worshippers and there wasn’t even one kosher bakery to be found.

Today, there are people frummer than Moshe. The Land of Israel isn’t glatt enough for them. Or they don’t want to serve in the army. Or they don’t like the government. Or they’re worried about finding jobs, as if the hand of Hashem is too short to feed them. They prefer to rely on Uncle Sam instead.

I don’t know whether to cry or to laugh. Imagine. People frummer than Moshe!

Ha ha ha ha ha!

Ha ha ha ha ha!

Ha ha ha ha ha!

Frummer than Moshe Rabainu!

I don’t know whether to laugh or cry!

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.

The author's opinion does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Jewish Press.

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4 Responses to “Would Moses Make Aliyah Today?”

  1. Yehuda Cohen says:

    Yes, with the lack of true spiritual learning, spiritual awareness, spiritual elevation from the pits of materialism, there are in its place “pious idiots.” These “pious idiots” are apply depicted in the Talmud (Sotah 21B) which describes a man who sees a woman drowning but turns away from helping her for he says, “it is not proper to look at her…”.
    It is written that if we did not have the Torah, we would learn from all the animals. The ant is industrious and they all work together in harmony. They work hard in the summer time to prepare to live in the winter. Just as the ant, we should be working hard on this earth in this life time to learn and do mitvot so as to live in the world to come. Living in Israel is elevating one’s soul to this end.

  2. Whooooooo! Man, I'had ants in me pants to come to Israel. Went bananas in the banias. Ain't nothin like it.

  3. Liad Bar-el says:

    Great blog! I could use this one already. Is there a written source for "Turn me into an ant, if You want, and let me crawl into the Holy Land" or is it from Harry's angel during his life time play-backs?:-)

  4. That is not it at all…When Moses took all the Jews to Eretz Yisroel….everyone was frum…ie. Shomer Shabbos and ate kosher…In Eretz Yisroel today unfortunately….many many are not so…so as the liturgy says….the land will vomit them out…so it not safe while we have Jews who are not Shomer Shabbos and do not eat kosher….

Comments are closed.

Tzvi Fishman, author of the Jewish Press blog Felafel on Rye and author of more than a dozen books.
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