Love of the Land

For the week ending 15 February 2003 / 13 Adar I 5763

Rabbi Zeira No Time to Wait

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
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Why dont you wait for the ferry?!

This is the mocking outcry which the Talmudic sage Rabbi Zeira heard as he crossed the river separating him from Eretz Yisrael on a primitive bridge consisting of a log spanning the river with an overhead rope for support.

The heathen observer of this hasty, improvised crossing accused the sage of following the same course of impulsive behavior shown by his ancestors who accepted the Torah without even knowing what was written in it.

Rabbi Zeiras response to why he did not wait around for the next ferry and a more comfortable crossing to the land he had so long dreamed of making his home was:

A land which Moshe and Aharon did not merit to enter who knows if I wait any longer that I will have the privilege of entering it!

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