After a long morning of Kinos there are all sorts of thoughts that go through one’s mind—a sort of mingling of past, present, and future. One of the sections we read in the Kinos was the section referred to as the Tzion (Zionistic) Kinos. These are a collection of poems that were written in terms of yearning for Eretz Yisroel. They show Eretz Yisroel in a romantic way as being the perfect land .Eretz-Yisroel is indeed a perfect land the best and choicest land. The Torah tells us that Israel is the land where Hashem is. It is the place we call home
The truth is this isn’t merely a Tisha beAv topic. We daven multiple times daily for Shivas Tzion. Even on Shabbos and Yom-Tov the Bracha which we end by asking for our return to Zion is said even though all other requests are omitted from the Tefilla. After reading the Kinos the question resonated: Is Chibas Tzion (love of Zion) alive or dead? How many of us want to come back home? How many of us value Eretz-Yisroel and recognize its being the best land?
Throughout history many of our greatest Torah giants made it their business to travel to Eretz-Yisroel, be it even for a mere visit. R’ Yehuda Halevi, the Ramban, The Vilna Gaon, and many more. In those days one didn’t just hop on to a plane and arrive in Israel a few hours later. It was then was a matter of months and meant traveling through the unknown in not necessarily friendly lands. Yet they persevered and came to Eretz-Yisroel.
Nowadays it is far easier to live in Eretz-Yisroel than it was in those days merely to travel to Eretz-Yisroel. Yet how many of the Diaspora’s religious Jews have not even visited Israel.
Eretz-Yisroel is facing turbulent times. There is a lot of tension among different segments of Klal-Yisroel. The Gemorah tells us that the hatred the Amei-HaAretz have towards Talmidei Chochomim is greater than that of the Goyim towards the Jews. This is something that was clearly evident in the second Beis-Hamikdash with the end of the Maccabean dynasty and as well with the Bar-Yonim. This is certainly true in our days. There is only one tactic that can be used to remedy such a situation: the tactic is to make Torah study and Torah knowledge greater and more accessible. At the very least this would limit the number of ignoramuses, but represents a project that can take years of work until even a dent is made.
When the secular Zionists built the state of Israel they didn’t want all Jews to come. They wanted mostly Jews who would comply with their agenda. Israel ended up not being sufficiently populated by Torah Jewry. We could change the demographics instantly if religious Jews from all over the world would start feeling Chibas Tzion. Some returning and everyone visiting. Such in influx of Torah and Mitzvos into Eretz-Yisroel would surely change the picture. Every Jew who comes to Eretz-Yisroel does Mitzvos and earns Torah in Eretz Yisroel and is helping to add weight to ‘good’ side of the scale.
Part of yearning for the Geula is Chibas and Shivas Tzion. Do we cherish Tzion; do we want to come back?
May we be zoche to have Chibas Tzion and to take part in Shivas Tzion,
Rabbi Y. Dov Krakowski
(YWN World Headquarters – NYC)