Mar 18, 2011

Love for Eretz Yisrael

Long ago, I wrote about my fascination with people's passions: post on passion
This week, I took note of what the grandmother, sitting shiva following the massacre in Itamar, said to PM Netanyahu who paid them a shiva call.  With tremendous emotion she said to him, "Pay attention to how much this nation loves the land. We came from overseas for this land. This is eretz chayeinu (the land of our lives). We cannot separate from it. It's impossible, impossible, to separate from it."

One of the most famous lines of poetry from Rabbi Yehuda Ha'Levi (of Kuzari fame) says:

'My heart is in the east, and I in the uttermost west."

We - people I know - care about Eretz Yisrael, feel a bond with it, but I don't often hear the passion as expressed in the grandmother's words.  Although it says there are three loves, not four, love for G-d, love for our fellow Jews, and love for Torah, our Torah leaders throughout the generations, as well as the "ordinary folk," felt and expressed great love for Eretz Yisrael. 

If I -we don't feel that great love, perhaps we need to think about why this is so.

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