Yom HaAzmaut is called Independence Day because it marks our personal and national freedom from the 2000 year old charade that we are Germans and Americans and Canadians, and all the rest.
For all of you still living in foreign lands, here’s a prayer you can say to help speed your aliyah. Print it out, mount it in an attractive frame, and hang it up in a prominent place in your house so you won’t forget to say it every day.
PRAYER FOR SALVATION
My G-d and G-d of my Forefathers, Creator and Master of the universe, who watches over all of my doings and hears all of my prayers with infinite compassion and mercy, who knows all of my uncertainties, doubts, weaknesses, and fears - may my words penetrate the darkness and impurity of my present exile in this gentile and foreign land (of America, France, Canada, England, South Africa, Australia…), which is no more of a home to me than a zoo is to a lion.
A Jew living in Diaspora is in an unnatural habitat, just like a lion in a zoo.
Dear G-d, please fill my heart with a longing and love for the Land of Israel. You created me a Jew, and gave the Jewish People a Holy Land to live in. Let a yearning and ardor for the Holy Land of my Forefathers burn in my heart with an ever-growing passion, filling my thoughts like a groom’s love and excitement for his bride. Let my love for the Land surpass all of my longings and joys, as King David said, “If I ever forget you, O Jerusalem… if I not set Jerusalem above my highest joy!”
Please G-d, place in my heart a burning desire to go up to the Land, to live there and help in its rebuilding, in whatever way I can, in order to do Your will, as clearly set forth in the Torah, and to take part in the 2000 year-old-dream of a Jewish homeland of our own. Make me realize each and every day that the gentile land where I am presently living is a foreign land, a place of exile, a place of impurity and darkness which is poisonous to my holy Jewish soul. Make me to literally feel the estrangement in my gentile surroundings, to feel with every step I take, and every place I go, that my soul does not belong here, so that a holy fire will rage within me to escape the bonds of my exile, and the half-truths that I am living, however comfortable and materially pleasing my present life may seem - to flee as quickly as I can from this treacherous illusion and double identity, to go forth to the Land that You have singled out and chosen for Your holy Chosen People, ever since the time of our Forefather, Avraham, where I can finally be myself.
Please G-d, open my eyes to see the miracles You have done in re-establishing the Nation of Israel in our Biblical homeland, in our time, in fulfillment of the promises of our Prophets, after a 2000 year exile of wandering and national decay in foreign countries amongst people who hate us. Teach me to be grateful for the State of Israel which rose, in Your great mercy, out of the ashes of the Holocaust. Make me to comprehend with a clear and simple understanding that Germany, and Russia, and America, and all the lands of our exile, are all the same, graveyards for the Jewish People, whether now or in the future, whether through persecution or assimilation, the result is the same.
Help me, Hashem, to stand resolute against all those who attempt to discourage me from going to live in Israel, whether it be my family, teachers, or friends, or blog talkbackers who spew out poisonous dribble to justify their own love affair with the brothels of foreign lands. Put blinders on my eyes to everything around me, and stuff wax in my ears to blot out all gestures and words intended to weaken my resolve. Set my sight and my ears fixed to the words and true voice of the Torah, that again and again and again calls out for the Jewish People to come up to the Promised Land. Keep my heart glued to the goal of reaching Your Holy Habitation and building my life anew on our cherished holy soil, may it be soon.
You know, Hashem, how I tremble at the challenge that You have set before me. Truly, it is a humongous undertaking to pick up one’s belongings and follow the example of the brave and holy Jews who have forged the path before me, and who, through sacrifice and hard work, have transformed the desert wilderness into a metropolis of modern life. Give me the inner strength and faith to know that You will stand by me in my journey and bless my path with success, just as You stood by our Forefather, Avraham, when you commanded him to leave his birthplace and get himself forth to the Land.
And when I come to the Land of Israel, stay with me, Hashem, and enable me to see the good of the Land at all times, knowing that all of the imperfections, hardships, dangers, and challenges that I encounter, are all a necessary part in rebuilding myself, and in rebuilding the Land and the Jewish Nation, just as our Sages have taught in the Talmud, that three things in life are acquired through suffering: the Torah, the World to Come, and the Land of Israel.
And if, for whatever reason beyond my control, I am unable to make aliyah at this time, let my foremost goal always be to come to the Land as soon as I can. May I instill this goal in the hearts of my children, teaching them that we are exiles, strangers in a foreign land, and that our one and only homeland is Eretz Yisrael. Help me to do everything in my power to make my children love the Land and long to live there, with all of their hearts and souls.
May it be Your will that my words and requests are pleasing in Your sight. Save me from my exile amongst the nations and bring me home to Israel, to join the millions who have already reached its promised shores, to share in the Divine task of national rebuilding, in order to play my small part in the Redemption of our Nation, and in the sanctification of Your Name, as it says, “And the nations shall know that I am the L-rd, says the L-rd G-d, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes. For I will take you from amongst the nations, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own Land.”