<I>Vayishlach</I>: As if He Has a Portion in the World to Come

Ibn Ezra explains the reason that the Torah mentions that Yaakov Avinu purchased a portion of the field in Shechem for one hundred kesita: to inform us of the importance of owning land in Eretz Yisroel.

Aloh Naaleh,

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Arutz 7
Ibn Ezra explains the reason that the Torah mentions that Yaakov Avinu purchased a portion of the field in Shechem for one hundred kesita: to inform us of the importance of owning land in Eretz Yisroel.

He who has a portion in Eretz Yisroel is as if he has a portion in the World to Come. Perhaps the intention is as follows. The midrash relates that before G-d commanded Avraham to go to Eretz Yisroel, he visited various places to see a good place to settle. He came to Aram Naharayim and saw idol worshippers eating, drinking and partying and beseeched G-d not to give him that land. He then went to Eretz Yisroel and saw idol worshippers planting, plowing and harvesting and he beseeched G-d that this be the land that he would be given.

There are two philosophies of life. The secular philosophy is that this world is an end in itself, and that one should enjoy while he can - eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die. However, the Torah philosophy is that this world is a means to reach an end, the place to invest effort in order to earn a share in the World to Come. This is the fundamental difference between Eisav and Yaakov. Eisav was a hunter, someone interested only to seek out a mature animal, capture it and kill it for immediate gratification; whereas, Yaakov Avinu was a shepherd who put effort into raising the animals for future benefit.

The Meiri says that Olom Habaa and Olam Hazeh are not two different worlds, but rather, Olom Habaa is the fruit of this world. In this world, one plants the seeds by living and learning Torah, and then, in the World to Come, one reaps the results.

Avraham Avinu saw that the environment and atmosphere of chutz la'aretz is conducive to the philosophy of immediate gratification, which would not promote a proper lifestyle. Eretz Yisroel, on the other hand, provides an environment and atmosphere conducive to the philosophy "toil now for a future benefit". Yes, it is possible to go against the influence of chutz la'aretz and live a fine Torah lifestyle there, and it is possible to resist the influence of Eretz Yisroel and live a secular lifestyle here. However, one who wants to live a proper lifestyle will be aided in Eretz Yisroel and hindered in chutz la'aretz.

Hence, one who owns a portion in Eretz Yisroel is connected and attached to its environment, and it is as if he purchased a portion in the world to come. His connection and attachment to Eretz Yisroel will aid him to live a life focused on producing the fruit of Olom Habaa from the seeds and toil of this world.
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Rabbi Zev Leff writes from Moshav Matityahu.




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