"The great dreams are the foundation of the world. There are different levels: The prophets dream- 'in a dream will I speak to him.' The poets dream while awake. The great thinkers dream of the rectification of the world. And we dream, all of us, of when 'HaShem will restore the return to Zion.'" -- Rabbi Avraham Yitzhak HaKohen Kook

"It is impossible for an individual Jew to be as dedicated and truthful to his thoughts and logic, ideas and dreams

This is about a dream which was dreamt for the past 2,000 years.

in the Diaspora as he would be in Eretz Israel. The revelations of holiness, no matter on what level, are pure in Eretz Israel, according to their intrinsic value; whereas, in the Diaspora they are intertwined and mixed with other factors." -- Rabbi Kook

I have often tried sharing a lot of different ideas through various communications medium - ideas of faith, love for our nation, love for our land, and love for our Torah. This is about a dream which was dreamt for the past 2,000 years - a dream which synthesizes all of those various ideas which I strive to share; a dream which I also used to dream.

Yes, that's right, I had a dream.

It was a dream much older than the American Dream. A dream deeply rooted in the Jewish tradition.

I had a dream that, one day, the land of Israel would once again give of its fruits to the nation of Israel, living on its land.

I had a dream that the nation of Israel would no longer suffer anti-Semitism without the tools to defend itself, but would be able to stand up for itself in every circumstance.

I had a dream that Klal Israel would be restored to its place of greatness, and that it would act as a nation of priests and a holy nation.

I had a dream that once again, the whole world would be able to worship God in Jerusalem, in a temple which will be a house of prayer for all the nations.

I had a dream that a time of peace will begin for all of humanity - not simply a transition period between wars, but with roots so deep that it will become everlasting.

Yes, my dream wasn't simply a personal dream. It's been the dream of a people, the ambition of a nation - the hope of Klal Israel. It is a dream that started 2,000 years ago, when the second Temple was destroyed.

When that happened, the Jewish world entered a deep depression. Yet, from this state of deep depression came the most incredible dream ever dreamt. This dream, the dream of going home and taking up our rightful place among the nations, was based on the prophecies of God Himself, and became the calling of our nation and our people.

We are not the first ones to dream this dream and to trust these prophecies. The Gemara tells how Rabbi Akiva and three colleagues went up to Jerusalem after the terrible catastrophe of the destruction of the second Temple. When they got to Mount Scopus and saw the Temple mount, they saw a fox coming out of the place where the Kodesh HaKodashim used to be.

The others started crying, but Rabbi Akiva started laughing. The others looked at Rabbi Akiva and asked, "Why are you laughing?" Rabbi Akiva answered, "Why are you crying?" The other three gave him the obvious answer, "It used to be that no one could enter the Kodesh HaKodashim and come out alive except for the Kohen Gadol, the holy priest, on Yom Kippur. And now, a fox is walking on the place where it used to be?"

Rabbi Akiva answered, "That is precisely why I am laughing! We know that the destruction of Jerusalem was prophesied, but we also know that its great rebuilding was prophesied. Now that I see that the prophecies of the destruction of Jerusalem have come true, I also know that the prophecies of its rebuilding will come true."

And with this incredible statement, spoken while overlooking the very rubble of the Temple, the dream of our return began. Of course, Rabbi Akiva was more than a mere dreamer. He joined the rebellion of Bar Kochba and did everything he could to make that dream a reality. However, after the final defeats of the Jews in the holy land, Rabbi Akiva's dream stayed just that - a dream.

It is that same dream which kept the Jews alive among the other nations through two thousand years of exile.

Yes, when Jews were expelled from Spain, Italy, France, Switzerland, Hungary, Germany, Austria, Portugal, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Russia, and more recently, Syria, Iraq, Libya and Egypt, this is the dream which kept the nation alive, which kept the people Jewish, and which gave them the strength to move on.

When Jews were burned alive or massacred in Prague, Rome, Toledo, Seville, Cracow, London, Lisbon, Lorraine, France, Germany and Hungary, this is the dream which kept the nation alive, which kept people Jewish, and gave them the strength to move on.

And of course, when Jews, oh-so-recently, were humiliated, tortured and exterminated by the Nazi regime, this is the dream which kept the nation alive, which kept the people Jewish, and gave them the strength to move on.

Yes, I had a dream.

This is a generation which we cannot bring closer to God through fear, but which will definitely respond to love.

It was a good dream and it saw us through from Rabbi Akiva's time to this one. But in modern times, dreaming is not enough anymore. It is now time to realize our dream.

You see, our generation is a special generation - the generation bringing about the final redemption.

This is a generation which is not content with simple dreams, it wants to see those dreams realized, sometimes even, unfortunately, rejecting the connection between the dream and its realization in order to focus only on its practical realization.

This is a generation for which the old teachings focused on individual personal growth are not satisfying anymore. This generation cannot limit itself to personal growth at a time of national renewal; it wants to speak the language of national growth.

This is a generation which we cannot bring closer to God through fear, but which will definitely respond to love - a generation which you cannot scare with the fires of hell since it is not scared to sacrifice itself for higher ideals, not even in the fires of tanks. It is a generation with which we can only communicate through higher ideals, not through fear.

This is a generation for which the old models are not sufficient. The old dreams, alone, are not sufficient. They want to see them realized.

For two thousand years we have dreamt, and now the reality is taking shape. This feeling of a whole generation was coined by one of the Zionist leaders, Herzl, when he said: "If you will it, it is not a dream."

We do not want to dream anymore, we want to make it happen. Through this mentality, this special generation was able to accomplish some of the most incredible accomplishments of history.

Thanks to the strength of this generation, 60 years ago, Jewish refugees from all around the world came together in order to re-instate Jewish sovereignty in Israel after 2,000 years of exile. The Jewish Nation once again became sovereign over the land of Israel.

Thanks to the strength of this generation, the miracle of kibbutz galuyot, the ingathering of the exiles, the greatest miracle of history, became once again a reality.

Almost every Jewish family celebrates the Seder on Passover, a night on which we celebrate our one nation coming out of exile in one country after 210 years. Well, our generation's miracle is exponentially more significant. With the creation of the State of Israel, our one nation has come out of exile not only in one country, but in hundreds of countries, and not only after 210 years, but after 2,000 years.

Thanks to the strength of this generation, the land of Israel has once again started to give its fruits to the nation of Israel, thus fulfilling the prophecy which was described by our sages as the most certain sign of our redemption: Ein lecha ketz meguleh mizeh.

One of my rabbis once mentioned to me an incredible explanation of one of the most famous psalms, found in Tehillim chapter 126: Shir Hamaalot – Beshuv HaShem Et Shivat Tzion, Hainu Kecholmim. The rabbi explained to me that this psalm should not be read as a simple, straightforward praise to God. Reading it that way presents a lot of difficulties. Rather, it should be read as a conversation between the Jews of Chutz La'aretz and the Jews of Eretz Israel at the time of the Geulah.

The Jews of Chutz La'aretz say: "When the Lord returns the returnees to Zion, we were like dreamers." The Jews of Chutz Laaretz who stayed back in Chutz Laaretz were still in that state of "dreaming" which we described above. They had not yet gotten to the point at which they became "realizers".

Then, the Jews of Israel say: "Then our mouths will be filled with laughter and our tongues with songs of praise." The Jews who made it to Israel, and who are living the redemption, at the time of the Geulah, will be full of joy, the greatest joy ever experienced.

Then, they will say among the nations, the Jews of Chutz Laaretz: "The Lord has done great things with these." He has done great things for the Jews of Israel, who they still call "these", unable to relate to the miracles

It should be read as a conversation between the Jews of Chutz La'aretz and the Jews of Eretz Israel at the time of the Geulah.

happening to the realizers, as they are still in the state of dreamers.

The Jews of Israel answer: Yes, it is true: "The Lord has done great things with us; we were happy."

Now, the Jews of Chutz Laaretz start to wake up. They say: "Return, O Lord, our captivity like rivulets in arid land." Include us in this amazing miracle. We want to be a part of it.

The Jews of Israel, and God himself explain: "Those who sow with tears will reap with song." There is no easy way to the joys of our redemption. Those who have sacrificed so much to make it happen will always enjoy it more.

Then, the psalm ends with the tragic description of the conclusion: "He will go along weeping, carrying the valuable seeds; he will come back with song, carrying his sheaves." Those who are unable to plant seeds, to realize their dream, because their seeds are too valuable, because their state of dreaming is too appealing to them, will only have their seeds to hold on to, their dreams to hold on to. While those who planted those seeds and realized their dreams will enjoy the fruits of their labour. As valuable as those seeds are, there is no doubt that the sheaves which come out of the labour of planting those seeds are more valuable.

Our redemption is far from complete, and our situation right now is far from perfect. Yet, as the Talmud Yerushalmi says, "This is how the redemption of Israel is." At first it goes slowly, but as time moves along, it keeps growing more and more quickly.

Our redemption is a process. It is not a one-shot miracle. And our job is to become part of the process, to remember the dream, but not to stay mere dreamers. We are to become realizers, to move the process forward, to bring the miracle that much closer.

Rabbi Avraham Kook writes, in the first chapter of his famous book Orot: "The expectation of salvation is the force that preserves exilic Judaism, while the Judaism of the Land of Israel is salvation itself."

In Chutz Laaretz, you can have a dream. That dream will preserve you, keep you Jewish, and give you the strength to go on. But in Israel, you can realize that dream. In Israel you can live that dream, and through that, live your Judaism. In Israel, you live the salvation. You live the redemption.

As I move to Israel in the upcoming weeks, I am finally living my dream - our national dream. At this time, I want to invite you all to ask yourselves a few questions:

Time is passing - days, months, years you can never have back. Are you spending this time the way you want? Are you living a life in which your dreams, both personal and national, will forever stay mere dreams? Are you living a life in which even when you have the possibility to live your dream, you prefer continuing to dream?

Or are you living a life in which your actions, slowly and surely, without skipping any steps and without any unnecessary rush, lead you to the realization of those dreams?

Are you spending this time the way you want?

I hope it's the second. I hope that you're making your dreams real, step by step, day by day, even when the world tries to make it seem impossible, even when dreams and reality seem mutually exclusive.

Because they're not.

Even when the world works against us, we can and should constantly work toward making our dreams real. And if we do that, if we stop being satisfied with mere dreams and always strive to make our dreams real, then our lives will remain truly, and eternally, meaningful. Then, we will be able to accomplish anything we dream of. Then, even the messianic times will not merely be dreamt of, but they will be lived, because they won't be mere dreams; they will have become reality.