Parashat B'har

Our Love For The Land Of Israel

The commandment to bring the redemption of the Land of Israel reminds us of the inextricable link between Judaism and Israel.

Print this page Print this page

Our generation is uniquely blessed. While Jews have prayed facing Jerusalem for thousands of years, while our ancestors longed for the messianic future as a time when Jews could freely live as Jews in our homeland, we have seen the establishment of a Jewish state--a thriving democracy and a world center for Jews and Jewish expression--in our own time.

Unlike our great-grandparents, we can travel to Israel's holy sites any time we choose. Unlike the Jews of the past, we can learn our holy language, Hebrew, from people who speak it on a daily basis. We can contribute to the liberation of Jewish people who have left lands of oppression and suffering--places like Ethiopia, Syria and the former Soviet Union--to be reunited with their people and its history. We can redeem the Land.

Rambam (Spain, 13th century) translated God's instruction to mean, "that I wish to redeem My land from the hand of those who hold it, as I have not given it to them as part of their possession." We make the Land of Israel ours by translating our possession into deeds. For example, by planting trees through the Jewish National Fund, we are able to literally make the deserts bloom, while also assuring a Jewish presence throughout the Land.

By contributing generously to federations and the Jewish Federations of North America, we make it possible for hundreds of thousands of Soviet Jews to rejoin our people and to strengthen our land in freedom. By visiting Israel ourselves, often, we demonstrate our love of the land and our solidarity with the first free Jewish state in over 2000 years. "You must provide for the redemption of the land." What have you done for Israel lately?

Did you like this article?  MyJewishLearning is a not-for-profit organization.

Please consider making a donation today.

Rabbi Bradley Artson

Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson is Vice-President of the American Jewish University in Los Angeles and Dean of its Ziegler School of Rabbinical Studies. He served as a congregational rabbi in Southern California for ten years. Rabbi Artson?is the author of The Bedside Torah and co-author of a children's book, I Have Some Questions about God.