Monday, November 28, 2005

Simchat Erets Israel

It’s such a great joy to be living my every day life in Erets Israel. It's such a great joy to be living in the Holy Land. It’s such a great joy to finally be home! Many people think this joy is just based on the fact that we have waited so long to come back to the holy land. Rav Kook, in Orot Hatorah, explained that Israel, in essence, is full of joy.

We can see this practical application in halacha at two instances: First is Birkat Cohanim for Ashkenaz People. In Israel, they do it every day. In Chutz Laarets, they only do it when there is a chag which adds on simcha. The obvious reason is because in Erets Israel, the simcha is always around. The second application is the bracha of shehechiyanu on a brit milah. In Erets Israel, the father must say it but not in chul. When someone says that bracha, he is not just thanking G-d for doing brit milah on his kid, he is thanking for living in the time he is living in. When we do it in erets israel and we see, around us, that we are living in the holy land, this bracha becomes relevant.

However, this simcha is not just a halachic issue. We can see all the secular Israelis full of joy of life. They might be living through hard times, they might be going through extreme personal tragedies, but they always have a distinctive way of life.

Rabbi Nachman of Breslov endlessly described the fact that the only way religion is relevant is if it is paired to religion. Some people like to forget that he also said anyone who wants to be a real Jew must be in erets Israel. He is actually saying the same thing twice: erets israel is synonymous to real simcha.

May we be zochim to taste a bit of the real simcha, the simcha of erets israel

No comments: