Dear Aish Family,

By the time this message reaches you, I will have landed back in Israel. Thanks to all of you who reached out to me to offer help and advice on getting back to Aish. I am starting my two weeks of quarantine today before I can physically enter the Aish building and the Old City. I want to answer a question that I have been asked so many times over the last two weeks. Is it worth it?

With so many things happening all over the world, does it really make sense for me to travel. I could have easily continued to work via zoom, as I have been doing since before Purim. I thought about the question and realized that if it meant traveling to any other location, I probably would think twice. Yet, a Jew’s love of Israel is totally irrational.

Israel is a tiny country in the middle of a dangerous neighborhood with poor natural resources. Still, every Jew around the world calls this barren land “HOME.” The more complicated the rest of the world becomes, the more we long for Israel. This is because love is, by definition, irrational.

When we fall in love, all we want to do is be with that special person. We want to give things to our significant other. We want to support them in any way possible. In essence, we want to make them better.

Loving our land is no different. Every serious Jew wants to help sustain Israel. We want to see Israel thrive. We want to support our brothers and sisters who live there. We want Israel to be transformed from a desert to a palace.

In all honesty, I can say that perhaps my decision to return to Israel was not the most rational decision I have ever made. Yet, I have no choice. I am passionately and madly in love with our homeland. May the Almighty bless the world with health and healing. I hope to see all of you soon, back home in Israel.

Shabbat Shalom!

Rabbi Steve Burg
On the Weekly Torah Portion:
Earning Our Torah Inheritance

Leave a Reply