Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Greatness of Israel

The Sefer Habris, zt”l, explains the greatness of living in Eretz Yisrael. “We find in Bava Basra 158 that the very atmosphere of Eretz Yisrael imparts wisdom. Any person who is pure of heart and who has any option to immigrate will surely wish to move to Eretz Yisrael. I have never understood the wealthy among us who have the means but don’t bother to ascend to the land on which ‘the eyes of Hashem are at all times.’ How can they be so foolish? Surely if anyone who moved to Eretz Yisrael was granted a large sum of money they would have moved long ago. It is surely fitting for any person who is able to run to the land, just like a young child races to his mother’s lap with great longing and joy. The Jewish nation is only called an am echad when we are on our land. This is clear from the verse, 'עשיתי אותם עם אחד בארץ בהרי ישראל'—‘I have made them one nation in the land, in the hills of Yisrael.’
But what should one do if he truly cannot immigrate to Eretz Yisrael? He must visit, of course. Since even treading four cubits in the land with the intention of accepting its unique holiness affords one a portion to the world to come, surely one visit impart wisdom as well.
Once, when the Imrei Emes, zt”l, visited Eretz Yisrael, He met Rav Kook, zt”l. When Rav Kook asked him if he could feel the wisdom imparted by the holy land entering into him, the Rebbe responded with characteristic sharpness. “Don’t our sages teach that 'סייג לחכמה שתיקה'— ‘silence is a protective fence for wisdom’?”

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