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Did I miss my trip to Israel?

Friday, 10 July, 2020 - 10:59 am

20170720_144936.jpgMany people are dealing with vacations and travel plans that were canceled or rescheduled. There are people that I know who had trips to Israel, Europe, Australia and cruises and more that were planned and have since canceled.

Imagine if I were to tell people, just envision in your mind that you are in your vacation spot and enjoy the experience. I am sure for most people it wouldn't quite work, as the experience of a vacation is to actually be in a different place and enjoy the visuals, the relaxation, the new state of mind and the benefits of what the place has to offer.

Personally I had high hopes of visiting the UK this summer and seeing my parents and maybe being able to do a quick check in and visit Israel, but oh well, I will just have to imagine those visits for now and wait for them to become a reality.

On the topic of not being able to take a trip to where we want, there is an interesting Chassidic story which tells of a Chassid who came to visit the Tzemach Tzedek, the third Rabbi of Chabad and spoke of how he wishes to visit the Holy Land, but is unable to and was deeply bothered by that.

The Tzemach Tzedek responded to him with the now famous quote "Mach Doh Eretz Yisroel", "Make here be like the Land of Israel". Meaning, the reason why this individual wanted to move to Israel, wasn't simply since it was a nice and beautiful place. Rather the person wished to move there since it was a Holy Land and the spiritual homeland of the Jewish people.

Therefore said the Tzemach Tzedek, your job is to recreate that experience in your own realm and make sure that your life, home, and experiences are a reflection of the Holy Land, and a reflect of the Divine purpose of creation. True he could not go to Israel at the time, but if Israel represents a place and a value system, which expresses the wholeness and Divine purpose of creation, then let his current life become symbolic of that through the home and community that he was building right where he was.

Our connection to the land of Israel, is not simply a cultural and historic connection, rather it is a deep spiritual and intrinsic connection which has been a part of the Jewish experience for thousands of years. It is this theme which is expressed in the Torah Portion of the week as we read all about the land of Israel and how it was divided among all the Jewish people. Every single person was to have a portion and intrinsic connection to the land, not simply so that they will have a piece of physical land and inheritance, rather it was so that they would have a portion in the spiritual destiny of what this land represented then, now and in the future.

We certainly cannot imagine away our vacations in Spain, Italy and Croatia or even Israel and we will have to be creative to have refreshing and relaxing summer experiences. Yet applying the spiritual concept of making our home and lives be a reflection of what the land of Israel should be, is certainly within our reach.

Practically speaking, by creating some space in our lives and home for the Shabbat experience, for deeper and more purposeful living, Charity to those in need, caring for others, Torah Study, improved Honesty & Ethics and other similar things, then we have truly made our current home be a mini Israel. Not quite an embassy, but a true spiritual extension of the Land of Israel.

Safe travels and Shabbat Shalom


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