Love of the Land

For the week ending 20 October 2007 / 8 Heshvan 5768

The Original Aliya

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
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Although historians refer to the arrival of Jews in Eretz Israel a century ago as the "First Aliya" the truly original aliya took place almost four millennia ago. This was when the Patriarch Avraham was commanded by G-d "Go out from your country, from your birthplace and from your father's house to the land that I will show you." (Bereishet 12:1)

As we hear these words read in the synagogue this Shabbat we should take note of the fact that Avraham was not told where this promised land was and yet he headed in the direction of the Land of Canaan which was to eventually become Eretz Israel.

In his commentary on the Torah, Rabbi Moshe ben Nachman (Ramban) suggests that Avraham instinctively knew that the Land of Canaan was the G-dly place which would be given to him for his spiritual perfection.

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