Middle East 6:12 AM 3/7/2014
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Life Lessons with Judy Simon
Before making Aliyah to Israel, Tzvi Fishman was a Hollywood screenwriter. He has co-authored 4 books with Rabbi David Samson, based on the teachings of Rabbi Kook, Eretz Yisrael, Art of T'shuva, War and Peace, and Torat Eretz Yisrael.
We have mentioned more than once that G-d’s first command to the world’s very first Jew, Avraham, was to leave his birthplace and go live in Israel. Our forefather, Yitzhak, never left the Land of Israel. Yaacov had to flee from the Land to avoid being killed by Esav, but G-d eventually told him to return. Then, following G-d’s master plan for history, Yaacov and his family had to descend to Egypt until G-d sent Moshe to bring them out of Egyptian bondage and bring them back to the Land of Israel. Along the way, the Jews stopped at Sinai to pick up the Torah, but then, after 40 years of punishment in the wilderness for not wanting to make aliyah, they were back on their way home to Israel where the whole of Biblical history unfolds.
I ask you all once again – could anything be clearer from the straightforward reading of the Torah that G-d wants the Jewish People to live in Israel? A six-year-old child could figure this out. There’s no secret meaning to these straightforward events that mark the foundations of our nation. How can a person think otherwise? If you have an answer, please tell me. I can’t figure out how a Jew could think that G-d wants him to live anywhere else, especially in super gentile places like Canada, Australia, and the United States of Abama.
Sure, making aliyah is a challenging matter. So what? Who ever said that life is supposed to be easy? We do what G-d wants us to do, whether it be easy or hard. That’s the way it is. The Torah is eternal. The Torah doesn’t change. That’s one of the main principles of our faith. Just like G-d wanted us to live in Israel in Biblical days, He wants us to live in Israel now. Things haven’t changed.
Yes, for almost 2000 years, against out will, most Jews didn’t have the option of living in Israel, because of the coercion of the gentiles, but now that a fair chunk of it has returned to our hands, and the country has been miraculously rebuilt, the mitzvah of living here has returned with all of its original force.
Why isn’t this clear to everyone? If you ask me, I think that it is clear to everyone. Any Diaspora Jew who knows something about Jewish history and Torah knows that he should be living here. It's just a very demanding mitzvah, that's all.