Question & Answer: The Land of Israel

I received this impassioned plea disguised as a question, from a woman in her 20s who currently resides in the Western Hemisphere. It’s relevance is global, applies equally to all ages and genders and goes beyond her immediate concern.

[20-something woman]

Sorry to bug you but I wanted to talk to you about something. When you said that I should be zokheh (privileged) to bring Israel home with me I want you to know it really affected me. I have been praying Minchah (the Afternoon Service) every day and have been learning with my father. I feel very passionate about Eretz Yisrael and I am serious about coming back. I have begun implementating the first stages of it by gathering information and networking.

Despite my enthusiasm to fullfill my dream people seem to keep telling me how I will change my mind and how I’ll end up staying here; that everyone feels like this when they come back from Eretz Yisroel and they change their minds. I don’t want to change my mind. I have never been so sure of anything in my life.

But why do people doubt me and why are they? I am also nervous about it myself but I know it is my destiny. I’m trying to stay besimcha (upbeat) throughout this difficult transition in coming home and buildfing myself up for what’s to come but I feel as if people are trying to bring me down from my high spiritual awareness and desire for Eretz Yisroel.

What do you think?

[Ozer’s reply]

Many people are gung-ho about Eretz Yisrael until they get back “home” and the luster wears off, they get back into their old life-style, and there‘s nothing to remind and re-kindle their yearning for Eretz Yisrael.

Which is why one (YOU!) need to make time every day to yearn for Eretz Yisrael and to EXPRESS OUT LOUD TO HASHEM that you miss and love Eretz Yisrael, that you want to go back and that WITH HIS HELP YOU WILL GO BACK THERE TO LIVE.

Desire for any thing/goal of kedushah (holiness) is short-lived. One must constantly make the effort to protect, maintain and strengthen that desire. As for why people tell us we‘ll fail and otherwise discourage us and “get in the way,” see the pieces below from Sichot HaRan.

It also tells us about what Rebbe Nachman faced on his way to Eretz Yisrael. You’re in good company! 🙂

It might also help to look around for like-minded young ladies who want to go back to Eretz Yisrael for the same/similar reasons as you.

[The two excerpts from Sichot HaRan (Rabbi Nachman’s Wisdom)]

#11.
Fortunate are we, that the blessed Lord has been so good to us, granting us the privilege to be holy Jews.

The Rebbe said he had great joy of being worthy to have been in the Land of Israel. He endured many obstacles, doubts, delays and disturbances in order to make his journey to the Land of Israel. Money was also an obstacle. But he overcame everything and finished the job completely—he made it to the Land of Israel!

He said, “I believe—and I know a lot about this subject—.every motion, every thought, everything that one does attempting to do something holy is not wasted. When one breaks through all the obstacles and achieves his holy goal, his every move and all the uncertainties and confusion that he faced when he was still in the throes of doubt and bewilderment—‘Can I do this or not?’—with hurdles facing him at every turn; when one finally overcomes them, those very obstacles, doubts, etc., every last one of them, are all made into exalted and sacred things, marked for good.”

Fortunate is one who is worthy of surmounting all the hurdles in completing any holy task.

#80.
People have more power than the Evil Urge himself. Their influence is strong enough to keep a person from serving God and from a true tzaddik.

The Evil Urge has power only in a particular realm. His ability does not extend beyond that. But a person is a microcosm and his influence extends to all realms. Therefore, a person can do more to deter a person from God than the Evil Urge himself (Likutey Halakhot, Milah 5:21; Gezeilah 5:17).

Author: Ozer Bergman

Ozer Bergman is an editor for the Breslov Research Institute, a spiritual coach, and author of Where Earth and Heaven Kiss: A Practical Guide to Rebbe Nachman's Path of Meditation.

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1 Comment

  1. What is meant by Rabbi Nachman’s statements that as we move to the next level closer to God we mus experience a set back? What kind of setback? Illness? Misfortune? What about a Jew who just wants to believe in Hashem and study Torah? Does he experience setbacks with increased learning of Torah, Talmud, Midrash and prophets? What is meant by levels? What is meant by closer to God? What is the reward for all these setbacks and new levels?

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