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The Great Call

By Tzvi Fishman
5/20/2008, 12:00 AM
“To the Land of Israel, Gentlemen, To the Land of Israel! Let us utter this appeal in one voice, in a great and never-ending cry!”

This isn’t me. It’s Rav Kook. You want love. Here's love. Unbounded, limitless love. Rav Kook wrote this open letter, which he named, “The Great Call,” to world Jewry in 1907 when the Turks ruled the Land of Israel, when travel was difficult, when livelihood was sparse, before there was  a Jewish airline, and a thriving economy, a rebuilt Jerusalem, government subsidies, and Jewish communities filled with yeshivot, modern ten-story apartment buildings, and split-level homes.

What more do you want?

“Come to the Land of Israel, dear brothers, come to the Land of Israel. Save your souls, the soul of your generation, the soul of the entire nation; save her from desolation and destruction, save her from decay and degradation, save her from defilement and all evil — from all of the suffering and oppression that threatens to come upon her in all the lands of the world without exception or distinction....

“Escape with your lives and come to Israel; G-d’s voice beckons us; His hand is outstretched to us; His spirit within our hearts unites us, encourages us and obliges us all to cry in a great, powerful and awesome voice: Brothers! Children of Israel, beloved and dear brethren, come to the Land of Israel, do not tarry with arrangements and official matters; rescue yourselves, gather, come to the Land of Israel....

“And now, who is so blind that he does not see the L-rd’s hand guiding us in this, and does not feel obligated to work along with G-d? A heavenly voice in the future will cry aloud on top of the mountains and say, ‘Whoever has wrought with G-d, let him come and receive his reward.’ Who can exempt himself from doing his part in bringing additional blessing and swifter salvation; from awakening many hearts to return to the Holy Land, to the L-rd’s legacy, that they may become a part of it, to settle it with enterprises and buildings, to purchase property, to plant and sow, to do everything necessary for the foundation of life of a stable and organized settlement....

“Brothers, come to the Land of Israel.”