Well, things seem to be spiraling out of control here in Israel with regards to Corona. The numbers of infections are increasing, the numbers of seriously ill are increasing, and so too the numbers of deaths.
The main worry seems to be the numbers of seriously ill. It’s a small country with limited healthcare options, and I believe that’s what’s driving the panic. If a person gets sick, he gets sick. Most of the deaths have been the elderly (not to negate that of course, but it does not point to a super-deadly virus that’s killing everyone and everything). And now they will be locking down thirty cities and towns. What will be for Rosh Hashanah, nobody knows. And what’s the government’s plan? Well…nobody knows that either. Except that everybody is fighting with everybody else.
I wonder if they noticed that the public no longer trusts any of them?
“And it will be, when you come into the land which the Lord, your God, gives you for an inheritance, and you possess it and settle in it…Then, you shall rejoice with all the good that the Lord, your God, has granted you and your household” (Dvarim 26:1-11).
Rav Nachmam M’Breslov writes that one needs to “go up” to Eretz Yisroel specifically with simcha. In fact, he reminds us, that we ask for this every Yom Tov in our tefillos, that we should “go up with simcha to our land.”
I was wondering why, specifically, he chose this particular mitzvah, to mention the importance of simcha. Then I was reminded that one of the ways that Eretz Yisroel is acquired is through suffering. So, we see somewhat of a contradiction. However, I think I have an answer.
Somebody told me of two families they know who recently moved to Eretz Yisroel. Both of them with older children. Both of them admit openly that their older children are not happy with the move.
As a side note, it is well known, and I’ve unfortunately seen this over and over again, but when one moves here with older children…you’re setting them up for trouble. A lot. I’ve seen many parents who want to move here, ignore the needs of their children, and it’s the children who pay the price for the parents' "happiness." And this is why I have yet to hear one rav say that it’s okay to move with such children. (And this is why many don’t ask before moving.)
So, these two pairs of parents decided to come anyhow, pulling their children from their homes and friends, and planting them in a completely unfamiliar society, which they nor their parents know how (nor want) to integrate in.
Here is an example of “going up” to Eretz Yisroel with suffering, but no simcha. And unfortunately, the statistics point out, that in the end, those children will continue to suffer from their parents' decision.
On the other hand. You might have a young couple that decides to move here. They’re going to leave everything behind to grow in Eretz Yisroel. They are going by choice. They have a plan. They have rabbeim. Is it going to be hard? Yes, of course it is. But they have a plan, a goal, and most importantly, they are doing this by choice.
When they run into the suffering part of Eretz Yisroel, they will be able to do it with simcha. Because they knew and know that this is part of the program. But when one is forced…then it’s only suffering.
This is not only true with making Aliyah, but with any mitzvah. When approached “by force,” then it’s only suffering. But when approached with simcha, even if there is force involved, the simcha will negate any suffering.
With that, I wish you all a wonderful Shabbos!