A tisha b’av is drawing to a close I can’t help but to be grateful to be in our amazing land. On this fateful day. But somehow I am so hopefull. I am sad and have been watching horrific movies of our history.of monsters trying to wipe us out. But here we are. The eternal Jews. And here I am – with my family. Exactly where we are supposed to be.
I was reading a book over shabbos – lights on Orot, by Rav Kook. I didn’t read a lot – but I ascertained from what I have read that Eretz Yisrael, is not just another country. Not just another place to live. As we know – we have deep spiritual connections to this land. If we were placed in Uganda in the earl 20th century, we would not have the same sentiment. The land of Israel, the Jewish people and the torah are all intrinsically intertwined on a spiritual level- and it cannot be quantified or explained logically.
For example. My 13 old Daughter is not having the best time here she does not have a lot of friends – in fact she has one friend and a handful of amazing cousins. But her days are spent with mommy and daddy doing not such fun stuff. So in an outburst the other day she said ” I want to go back to Montreal- I’m having the worst time ” drama, drama
I ignored the comment and a few hours later, after she had calmed down, She said “mommy, no matter how mad I get and no matter how much I say I want to go back to Montreal, I don’t mean it. I love Israel.”
That was completely illogical. I smiled to myself when she said that. I knew that the land had connected with her soul.
Last Shabbat I went to cousins of mine (awesome Nikki and fam). Shabbos afternoon we went to a shiur on shmitta. I am embarrassed to say that I really don’t know a lot about shmitta. So I have asked the locals what to do when I go food shopping because it is very complicated when it comes to buying fruits and vegetables which have kedusha and which do not. Basically they told me to avoid all fruits and vegetables which contain kedusha because it’s just much easier when it comes to throwing it away especially when you don’t know the Halacha.
So during the lecture this woman Judy Simon, explained the meaning of eating fruits and vegetables during the Shmitta year , and what exactly the year means to us as the Jewish people.
I’ll explain a little bit,. Just like we have six days of the week and the seventh day is the Sabbath and we rest – so to do the farmers work the land of Israel for six years and on the seventh the land lies fallow. It’s quite amazing to see as you drive through the highways the fields on how the side of the road will have signs that say that they keep Shmitta on those fields they full all the produce is hefka.
Another aspect of the shmitta year is we are supposed to forgive loans. We are supposed to have rachmanus on our fellow neighbours like Hashem has on us.
The basic precepts of this year is that we say to Hashem – OK I’m putting my my trust in you that even if I dont touch the land you’ll provide for me. In fact it says that if we keep these laws the sixth year in the cycle will be a bountiful year – three times what it should ordinarily be.
And she said, that it is very important to eat the fruits and vegetables that have kedusha. So that holiness can enter into our bodies in a physical form.
So since then I’ve been eating and I’ve been thinking, and possibly the eating has given me the clarity!
I realized that we have just arrived completely and utterly directionless. We have arrived with the Clothes on our backs.
I feel that I’m completely in tune with the shmitta year. I am doing this because I believe to the very depths of my core that this is the place we are supposed to be. I believe that Moshiach is here. I believe that even though it has been very challenging the Hashgacha pratis has been amazing. And whilst everything feels hefka at the moment – I know it will soon start to take shape.
I appeal to all of you to listen to this shiur, and all of them on Rabbi Brody’s site. Rabbi Brody
I also just want to end off by saying that no one could actually believe the building and construction and expansion that is going on in this place. The highways and the byways and the buildings and the cities.
There is so much going on, and it’s only because it’s the merit that the people have returned to the land. There is everything here. Every day we are astounded by how far this little country has come. I appeal to each and everyone of you please start making a plan to come here. Because each of us being here brings us a step closer to the Geullah.