Rabbi Mordechai Machlis, a Rebbe at Yeshivat Lev HaTorah and the spiritual director of the Jerusalem Hospitality Project, says that for many years, his daily prayers have focused on being alive to be able to see the prophesied ingathering of the exiles from the Diaspora.
Rabbi Machlis is one of a group of rabbis and rebbetzins from English-speaking countries who have already fulfilled the mitzvah of returning to the Land of Israel, and are participating in a project called “Bring Them Home,” in which they each have recorded a brief video to discuss this mitzvah, and the importance of actually living here in Israel.
“We are hoping in our prayers, please, God, give us the opportunity to be alive at the time of the Redemption,” notes Rabbi Machlis. “That’s the simple interpretation.
“However, on the extended level, perhaps we can suggest the following,” he continues. “God, I know it’s going to happen. Yes, there will be this time. With God’s help, that’s what’s happening right now. But …
“You know what’s happening in Eretz Israel? You know what’s happening in Jerusalem? Just walk the streets of Jerusalem, just walk the streets of Eretz Israel!
“But unfortunately, we’re not always in a position to see it. We don’t see it sometimes. We recognize it to be a very interesting phenomenon, we recognize it to be wonderful place to be, Eretz Israel, we recognize the fact that this is the most flourishing — thank God — Jewish community in the world.
“But do we see our return to Zion? So our prayer every day is, God please? Help us see it? It’s happening. Help us recognize the miracle. Help us recognize the fact that that which is happening right now is unparalleled in world history.” And then the rabbi smiled.
“I look forward to celebrating it here together with you.”