“…The power of your rising sun has significance well beyond the color it creates around me. It shouts the fulfillment of the covenant; that a time of spectacular existence would be granted, and a new day which promises great possibilities.
The simple people and the scholars, the great men, and those never to be known, have a charisma that intensely draws me and urges me to burn their images into my memory, as I wonder about their joys and their failures, their prayers and what fills them inside.
The pain that sometimes defines your reality doesn’t frighten me; it gives me pause to appreciate that this geulah (redemption) is not perfect, as the first geulah from Egypt was not perfect. And that the imperfection is by design, so that we build a people around the love of our Creator, and the love of each other.
The tiny worship halls, and simple sanctuaries that are within you, declare with the loudest affirmation, that G-dliness is not ennobled by bricks and mortar, nor is it not nurtured by fine woods and silk. They declare that G-dliness – in the domain of man, is dictated by the hope of his heart and the hunger of his spirit.
Spirituality is everywhere and in everyone, those who have embraced it and those who imagine they never will. It is in the children playing in the streets, the taxi drivers, the young female soldier, and the blind woman selling wilted flowers.
When we reflect on the wonders and miracles that framed the exodus from Egypt we are humbled by the love of G-d and the magnificence of His people. We are no less humbled today as we walk the streets of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and the tiny hilltop settlements, reflecting the eternal commitment of our Creator, and the brilliance and will of His people.
There is a soul that joins my soul as my time is spent here. It is an extension of the Almighty, and it causes my head to spin with the self-confidence and love it grants.
You bless me with the feeling that I am a partner in the journey of a people discovering itself; that even my smallest efforts contribute to the symphony of the Jewish People, our Torah and our Land.
You are all you were promised to be
(Excerpted from Ricky’s upcoming book)
We are approaching the time period when we intensely focus on the Land of Israel and the pain she experienced during the two destructions that took place on her soil.
This year, let’s take the opportunity to proclaim that our mourning of Israel’s destruction twenty four hundred years ago, and again two thousand years ago, will be transformed into tangible efforts to establish a real connection to the modern day Land and State.
In short: Let’s each get an Israel Life!
Start, with thinking about what role the only Land of our Patriarchs and Matriarchs, the only physical place on the planet that Hashem endowed with His presence, plays in your life.
Then reference the following acronym: ISRAEL
Inquire about Israel in the thousands of references in Tanach, our tefillot (prayers), and in modern history
Share what you’ve learned with those you love
Remember the feelings you felt when being in Israel
Acapulco or Jerusalem? Allocate the time and money to be in Israel rather than elsewhere
E: Make the effort. Nothing meaningful is easy
List the places of kedusha (holiness), historical significance, and natural beauty you’ve yet to see. Re-affirm your commitment to see them
Israel will transform you, and will transform those you love, each and every time you allow it to do so.
Get an Israel Life!