<I>Nachas</I>

Our goal should be doing the best for HaShem.

Yishai Fleisher,

Judaism לבן ריק
לבן ריק
Arutz 7
My father (alav hashalom) had an interesting quirk. He absolutely loved it when all his children were home for Shabbat. He would tell me: "Now that everyone is home, I finally feel at rest." No matter what time of day we arrived, he would promptly go to sleep on the couch as we three siblings palled around in the house. As he slept, you could see on his face the nachas that he felt.
What a concept - giving G-d nachas.

The Rebbe from Slonim says that there is a similar nachas for G-d Himself. He states, in his book Netivot Shalom, that just like a regular father, G-d loves it when His children love each other and are together. That is the reason why the Lord loves Shabbat - because on Shabbat His children are together in synagogues and around the table and have the opportunity to show each other affection.

What a concept - giving G-d nachas. We live in the i-pod, i-tunes, i-generation. Everything is about 'me.' All the gadgets are there to serve 'me.' So often in our religious life, we ask, "What does this do for me? How does this benefit me? How will I grow from this? What will I achieve?" Kashrut is good for me, Shabbat is good for me, even prayer is good for me. But what about good for G-d? How can I please G-d? This seems to be a question that is not often discussed.

Many of us think that our life's goal is to reach our greatest potential, to be the best person we can be. Maybe our goal should be to do the best service for HaShem. What does He want? What will make Him happy?

To that end, we come to the issue of living in Israel. The Torah tells us, "When you come to the land of Israel which HaShem your G-d has given you, the Land shall keep a Sabbath for the Lord." (Vayikra 25) The Ibn Ezra tells us that this passage contains a secret about the end of days. What is that secret? When the Jewish people will return to the land of Israel, it is G-d who will enjoy the Sabbath - all His children will be home, and He will finally feel at peace. The Torah is telling us an amazing thing: G-d gets nachas from His children, the Jewish people, being at home, just like my own flesh and blood father, alav hashalom. Amazing.

Not only G-d is happy when the Children of Israel are home. Our grandma, Mama Rachel, the great matriarch of the Jewish people, is continuously crying and refuses to be consoled. Why is she crying?

Thus says the Lord, "A voice is heard in Ramah, lamentation and bitter weeping. Rachel is weeping for her children; she refuses to be comforted for her children, because they are no more." Thus says the Lord, "Restrain your voice from weeping and your eyes from tears; for your work will be rewarded," declares the Lord, "and they will return from the land of the enemy. "There is hope for your future," declares the Lord, "and your children will return to their own territory." (Yirmiyahu 31)

Rachel is crying because she misses her children, she awaits their return from the Exile. Every time a Jew comes home, he or she brings joy to Rachel, helps her stop crying,
Rachel is crying because she misses her children.
because we are fulfilling her greatest wish - that we return. Have you ever considered giving some
nachas to Rachel? Have you ever though about bringing joy to her who can only be consoled by the return of her children?

Living in Israel certainly has an element of self-gratification. One feels spiritually fulfilled speaking Hebrew, living with the holidays, breathing the air of Jerusalem. As Nefesh B'Nefesh says it, you can "Live the Dream." But the highest level of making Aliyah is not about serving the self or even serving the country - it's about serving and pleasing G-d. The Torah tells us that "G-d's eyes are on the Land from the beginning of the year to the end of the year." (Devarim 11) He is always looking at Israel, over and above other places, to see how His children are doing. By living in Israel, and loving your fellow Jews there, you bring G-d the greatest gift of all: the nachas that all His children have returned home.




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