Affecting the Land of Israel
Parashat Matot Mas'ei
Written by the rabbi
Dedicated to the memory of
Hana Bat Haim
In this week’s haftarah the prophet Yirmeyahu has the following prophecy: "And I will bring you to the fruitful land, to eat its fruits and its plenty..." This verse is puzzling. After all, did Hashem bring us into the land of Israel in order for us to eat fruits? Surely, there are fruits outside of the land of Israel as well!
A similar formulation is found in the Al Hamichya blessing recited after eating the seven fruits with which the land of Israel is blessed. We ask Hashem to allow us to eat the fruit of the land: "Rebuild Jerusalem, the city of holiness, speedily in our days. Bring us up into it and gladden us in its rebuilding and let us eat from its fruit and be satisfied with its goodness and bless you upon it."
The holiness of the land is evident not only in the performance of the mitzvot dependent upon the land. The land of Israel is unique in that performing seemingly mundane acts, such as eating its fruits and working the land, can be considered acts of holiness.
The Talmud (Sanhedrin 98) teaches that one of the sure signs of the coming redemption is the abundance of fruit produced in the land of Israel. Anyone who visits the land of Israel today can easily see that Hashem is expressing His love of the people of Israel by returning us to His land and causing the land to produce an abundance of fruits of the highest quality.
This is a weekly column contributed by Aloh Naaleh an organization devoted to motivating Jews to make Aliya.
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