Tuesday, June 05, 2007

12 for 12

In contribution to Nefesh B'Nefesh's new project, here are my 12 reasons for loving Israel:

1) The state that does, bar none, the most of any country in the world to further the study and dissemination of Torah. Israel supports countless בני תורה who learn full-time, and provides structure for others who want to incorporate torah learning into their lives otherwise.

2) A country that experienced open miracles and demonstrated God's existence and continued concern with our Nation's wellfare. The Six Day War is the most obvious example of this.

3) The land where all 613 mitzvot can be kept, even theoretically. More than half the commandments in the torah are dependent upon the land (תלויות בארץ).

4) A place every Jew, no matter who, is welcome and given immediate citizenship and a bundle of rights and benefits. In the history of the world, there is only one country that sees its mission as the protection and flourishing of every Jew.

5) A place about which the Chazon Ish said, "there is no greater mitzvah than the working of her land." (Censored out of all but the first edition of his writings.)

6) A place that the very act of breathing and living is a mitzvah.

7) A place where people really act like extended family to one another. Don't believe me? Go to any makolet and tell the owner that you don't have money, can you take milk and eggs, and pay tomorrow.

8) A place where the act of working and producing is not a self-centered activity, but one that contributes to our national economy and vitality.

9) The place where, when shopping at a mall, you can catch a mincha minyan at the mall's beit knesset.

10) A place where you automatically feel at home.

11) A place that fulfills prophecies, Like Amos's (9:13-15). " הִנֵּה יָמִים בָּאִים, נְאֻם-יְהוָה, וְנִגַּשׁ חוֹרֵשׁ בַּקֹּצֵר, וְדֹרֵךְ עֲנָבִים בְּמֹשֵׁךְ הַזָּרַע; וְהִטִּיפוּ הֶהָרִים עָסִיס, וְכָל-הַגְּבָעוֹת תִּתְמוֹגַגְנָה. וְשַׁבְתִּי, אֶת-שְׁבוּת עַמִּי יִשְׂרָאֵל, וּבָנוּ עָרִים נְשַׁמּוֹת וְיָשָׁבוּ, וְנָטְעוּ כְרָמִים וְשָׁתוּ אֶת-יֵינָם; וְעָשׂוּ גַנּוֹת, וְאָכְלוּ אֶת-פְּרִיהֶם. וּנְטַעְתִּים, עַל-אַדְמָתָם; וְלֹא יִנָּתְשׁוּ עוֹד, מֵעַל אַדְמָתָם אֲשֶׁר נָתַתִּי לָהֶם--אָמַר, יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ".

12) A place that doesn't suffer you, but needs you!