Ben Shapiro
Ben Shapiro Israel National News

I am constantly bewildered and amazed. After all, we read the same Torah in Israel as in the Diaspora. The verses and words are the same. Rashi is the same. Yet we are here in Israel while Diaspora Jews remain in foreign Gentile lands.

Let me cite an example from this week’s Torah portion Matot in which we learn that there is a complete way to serve Hashem and an incomplete way. When the tribes of Reuven, Gad and the half-tribe of Menashe request to remain with their cattle outside of Israel proper, Moshe Rabenu employs a little shaming to keep them in line, saying: “Shall your brethren go to war and you shall sit here? Why will you turn away the heart of the Children of Israel from going over into the Land which the Lord has given them?” (Bamidbar 32: 6-7).

Moshe continues in his rebuke, comparing them to the Jews who refused to journey onward into the Land of Israel during the tragic episode of the Spies. Angered by their rebellion, Hashem explains why He refused to allow them to enter the Land: “Because they did not wholly follow me,” Hashem tells them, save for Joshua and Caleb “because they have wholly followed the Lord.”

From the Torah reading we learn that there is a way of following Hashem completely and an incomplete way. The complete way means making Aliyah to the Land of Israel while the incomplete way means preferring to remain outside of the Land. The Torah states that remaining outside of the Land is “evil in the sight of the Lord” (Bamidbar 32:13). This isn’t Tzvi Fishman talking. This is a quote straight from the Torah which labels them “a brood of sinful men” (Ibid, 32:14). Rashi explains the reason for their revolt: “They had consideration for their wealth more than for their sons and daughters, for they mentioned their cattle before their little ones” (Rashi, there, 32:16).

Some things don’t seem to change. Fortunately, there is a happy ending. When the recalcitrant tribes agree to lead the Children of Israel into the battle to conquer the Land, Hashem grants them their wish.

Today, during the Three Weeks and Tisha B'Av, we mourn the destruction of Jerusalem and the exile from our Land. Therefore, to rectify those tragedies, the Jewish People have to rebuild Jerusalem and return to the Land of Israel. Simple, right? So what's holding up the tikun? Today, wherever you look in Jerusalem you see new building. Airlines fly to Israel from all around the world. Israel's economy is prospering. Most Jews around the world are educated, have a better-than-average economic base and the potential to find good jobs. Some have lots of money. There are all kinds of housing in Israel, good education possibilities, excellent medical care, unlimited spiritual benefits, and organizations and individuals who are waiting to assist to new olim. Young immigrants to the country are known to adapt to the country quickly and successfully.

So why don’t Diaspora Jews from the West flock to Israel in droves?

There are readers who vehemently objects to my style of writing, admonishing me for ranting about Aliyah. They tell me to have faith in Hashem and leave the affairs of the Jewish People to Him. While I appreciate their concern and try to soften my words, it seems to me that they are ignoring a foundation of Torah. Certainly Hashem is in charge of everything, but He has given us free choice.

Modern-day Israel would not have been established and developed without the hard work and self-sacrifice of the pioneers, secular and religious alike, who were willing to fight the British and the Arabs. Nor would it have developed into a world leader in every field of endeavor without the dedicated effort of the immigrants who moved to the country and built it in the face of almost impossible conditions.

Hashem is the boss but we are His messengers. As the Torah and the Prophets of Israel proclaim over and over, He wants the Jewish People to return to the Land which He chose for us. Many people have justified reasons why the move is impossible for them, but there are many many more who could come but don't - either because they don't know about the mitzvah of dwelling in the Land of Israel, or because they are lazy or afraid, or because they love the good life in America.

Especially young Jews could come. They need to be told the truth before they vanish in the onslaught of intermarriage which plagues the Diaspora. And religious Jews who know the truth need to be reminded so that they don't lead others astray.

-How wonderful it would be if wealthy Diaspora Jews, Jewish Federations and Jewish communities raised money to promote the aliyah Jews capable of coming.

-How wonderful if Jewish educators, Rabbis, and parents in the Diaspora taught young Jews to use their talents and skills to build the Jewish Homeland – and not the lands of the Gentiles. This is what the Torah teaches us – to willingly join in the dream of fulfilling the words of our Prophets to become soldiers for Hashem in the greatest battle of them all - the rebuilding of the Nation of Israel in Eretz Yisrael.

And finally, a word to Ben Shapiro who is presently visiting Israel. Dear Ben – more power to you on your strong stance for Israel. By all means, come and live here. Make Aliyah. If for whatever reason you find that you can’t continue your podcasts from here then take jaunts back and forth. That way you will set an important personal example to all of the Jews in America by making the clear statement, punctuated by deed and not only by word, that Israel is the one and only home of the Jews.