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Israel is Home

Thursday, 19 July, 2012 - 9:03 am

“It is impossible to be perfect ... I, too am not complete in Mitzvos. The fact that I do not live in Israel does not allow me to be complete in Mitzvos” - The Lubavitcher Rebbe to Israel PM Ariel Sharon (see it on YouTube here).

I don't live in Israel and I was not raised there. However, like most Jews, Israel  is considered home.

Why? Why did the Rebbe, as a Jewish leader, not live in Israel? Why was the Torah not given in Israel?

The answer to these questions is the difference between Jewish People and American People as well as the difference between a nation and a religion.  Jews are not limited to their "land" nor to being a "people".

Judaism, the religion, contains a set of laws which are the G-d given practice for Jews to express a holy set of ideals and ideas that can survive anytime and anyplace. These ideals are so powerful that we are willing to die for them. 
The Jews, as opposed to the Frenchmen, Italians, and Americans etc. do not need their country to be a Jew. Take the Italian out of Italy for 150 years and he will no longer be “Italian”. He may visit the “country of his ancestors” but Italy will no longer be “home”. The Jew may not have been in Israel for hundreds of years and still the land belongs to them. The land of Israel was given to the Jews by G-d (as is read in this week’s Torah portion) with defined markers: “This is the land ... according to its borders” (Bamidbar 34;2).

As a Jew, we must include in our life some of the practical Mitzvos that express the ideals that Judaism stands for. If not, we risk losing our identity as part of the Jewish nation and may no longer feel that connection to our homeland.

This article is based on the message I took from thisYoutube video – do you see a different message?

Hope to see you at Shabbat services.

Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Kushi Schusterman 

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