- The Torah World Gateway

The Land of Israel

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no creditA tale of two brothers
How to counter assimilation and alienation from Judaism.
  • The power of the Torah to influence the world – only in Eretz Israel
    After reading the Torah we recite the blessing "and He planted eternal life within us". The Gemara says that prayer relates to temporary life, while Torah relates to eternal life.
  • Strengthening Our Motivation for Aliya: Why (!) is Eretz Yisrael so Important?!
    All Jews know that Eretz Yisrael is important, but the question is: Why?! It's not enough just to quote chazal who praise her importance, but how can we strengthen our motivation to want (!) to make Aliya? This class deals with 5 explanations what Chazal exactly mean when they say that "Living in Israel is equated with all the other mitzvot combined". In addition to the greater quantity enabling many more mitzvot (Torah Tmima), and their real quality (Ramban), the Rivash points out that this mitzva is on a higher level than others bc it's for all of Israel & for all generations, & "doubles" our Judaism. The Chatam Sofer adds it raises one's life to a "planet" of kedusha even in his food, work & rocks, and Rav Kook adds an additional innovative idea.
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    Centrality of Eretz Yisrael in Judaism
    Why should a Jew make aliya to the Land of Israel? Can't one be a good Jew living in America?
  • Taste the Tree Like the Fruit- Sukkot as a Microcosm of Eretz Yisrael
    Rav Kook points out that just as most of the tree is roots, trunk, branches and leaves, despite the fact that the goal is the fruit, similarly most of life is preparations (e.g. eating, dress, work, cooking, raising children), and often one doesn't even achieve his goal. Does that mean that he wasted his life?! The basic question is, if most of life is "tree", and I want to have meaning in life, I have no choice but to find a way to have "taste" in the tree, not just in the fruit. This was the original plan in Eden, and is meant to be the ideal lifestyle, as expressed in the Etrog where the tree tastes like her fruit. Eretz Yisrael is likened to Sukkot, where even the secular/mundane/"tree" has meaning/taste/holiness, and it's all a mitzva.
  • גשם
    What a Rainy Day
    The Torah points out that the Land of Israel is almost wholly dependent upon rainfall. Therefore, the daily prayers always include prayers for rain to fall in the Land of Israel.
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