On Friday I returned from E”Y. Interestingly, my return to the States coincides with the parsha of the spies.
My report: With HaShem’s help, surely we are capable of going up and inheriting E”Y. The land is very very good.
Thank G-d, my mission went amazingly, hopefully yet another step towards realizing my goal of returning home to our holy land.
Regrettably, the spies’ error continues to resonate and reassert itself in our generation. As demonstrated in some third meal discussions with young Yeshiva bachurim learning at a “top” institution in America, the Torah world appears to have uncritically and unthinkingly accepted the rationale that residing outside of E”Y is more conducive to one’s spiritual growth and Torah learning than living and residing in E”Y.
Please, don’t get me wrong. As I’ve stated on this blog previously, I understand there are many legitimate reasons – as analyzed in consultation with the g’dolei Yisrael – for not moving to and residing in E”Y (e.g. lack of reasonable parnassah plan, serious medical conditions requiring ongoing treatment, unstable family/marriage situations, etc.).
The problem however is not the not moving to E”Y for legitimate reasons, but rather the lack of a strong, active, conscious, constant, and expressed desire (tshukah) to reside in E”Y if those legitimate reasons did not exist.
HaShem should bless all of the Jews to have a deep yearning to live in and connect with the land and its people, and HaShem should help all who yearn to live and learn in the land realize their dream, speedily and in our days.
(Note also, with respect to Torah learning, I do recognize that it is true that the Gemara states that one may leave the land if unable to find a proper Torah teacher. But this, in my opinion, would only apply after attempting an exhaustive search for, and failure to locate, a suitable teacher in the land. And clearly, one should regret and lament this situation and still yearn deeply for the land in this case.)