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What's your "Lech lecha" story?

עולים חדשים
צילום: פלאש90

Translation by Yehoshua Siskin 

Happy "Aliyah Day." By law, this day is observed in Israel during the week in which we read about the aliyah of Avraham Avinu to Eretz Yisrael in parashat Lech Lecha. Avraham Avinu was the first person to arrive here and call it home, followed by millions who did the same over the next several thousand years. Rabbi Eliyahu Dessler describes how Avraham directed his compass to a place that serves as a powerful magnet for us all.

"All of Avraham Avinu's tests were meant to straighten the path before us to Eretz Yisrael. Every awakening of a person to suddenly go to the Holy Land originates in the command of 'Lech lecha' -- literally, 'go to yourself.' And, in truth, how wonderful is the love in our hearts for this land from which we were exiled for two thousand years.

Our nationalism is not like that of other nations. If it were, heaven forbid, the Holy Land would have long been forgotten from our hearts, as is the case with other nations that were exiled for a long time from their homelands. Instead, the love for our land depends on its holiness, a holiness that is imbued within us since it is an inheritance for our souls from Avraham Avinu, who practiced self-sacrifice in living up to the command of 'Lech lecha.'"

I would be delighted to hear your individual and family aliyah stories. It's a way to honor the "Lech lecha" road first taken in this week's Torah portion, a road that has continued to be traveled until today.


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