Leah’s Blog – Israel the Land that Feels
“כי הארץ אשר אתה בא שמה לרשתה לא כארץ מצרים היא אשר יצאתם משם אשר תזרע את זרעך והשקית ברגלך כגן ירק והארץ אשר אתם עוברים שמה לרשתה ארץ הרים ובקעות- למטר השמים תשתה מים –ארץ אשר ה^ אלוהך דורש אותה- תמיד עיני ה^ אלהיך בה מראשית השנה ועד אחרית שנה
“Observe therefore all the commands I am giving you today, so that you may have the strength to go in and take over the Land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess, and so that you may live long in the Land the Lord swore to your ancestors to give them and their descendants, a Land flowing with milk and honey. The Land you are entering to take over is not like the Land of Egypt from which you had come, where you planted your seed and irrigated it by foot (in the overflowing Nile) But the Land you are crossing the Jordan to take possession of is a Land of mountains and valleys that drinks from the rain from heaven. It is a Land the Lord your G-d cares for, the eyes of the Lord your G-d are continually on it from the beginning of the year to its end.” (Dvarim 11)
This year on Seder night I was particularly drawn to the breaking of the afikoman. Unlike the little kids whose glee had us all smiling while Moshe tried to find a hiding place; I am not a gloomy person as you probably know, but the crack of it in two had me thinking about the schism here, the division so pronounced these days, the heart hurts. The gap in us here has created a toxicity that runs back to the ancient days of the kingdom of Judah and Yisrael when we cracked. No, it even happened way before that when Yosef’s brothers acted in baseless hatred. The division so definite, has caused a lightning and thunder effect on us here in Israel. Israel is a land but it feels things, unlike any other place in the world. Eretz Yisrael is a physical yet meta physical place, it’s heart hurts as well. Reality has many dimensions here. Do the right thing and it will rain and you will have bounty. Do the wrong thing and someone will pay: at times with their life. You reap what you sow.
Now that Pesach is over (sadly), we begin to count the Omer. A time for introspection, a time to increase working on our middot, a time for fixing the breach between us. This is a time known for extra compassion, standing together. The rift is illustrated in a very superficial way but it runs very deep. It goes way beyond public diplomacy- this is a spiritual concern. The solution is to know we are unbreakable. When we are weak the Land is vulnerable. When we unite, the Land stands whole. I am feeling peace facing the mountains sweeping east, a vast panorama of still empty grey green hills. Not a soul in sight for miles and miles, yet, I know calmly that fast approaching as I sway on this rusty swing here in the wide wilderness, calamity is looming just over the brink. Not far off now I hear shots. You can have sensible logic and absoluteness about dry facts with real world realism – but- they have guns and they are close by! The snake slithers in the garden, now, multiple snakes. On one hand, the vastness interprets secure, nature reserve ecological delight- on the other, it all flakes away when you take a deeper look at the frightening encroachment of the enemy. This IS the Land of milk and honey- something now is swinging in the air, vibrating and ready to explode. Here, your mind plays tricks on you, or does it? Can these mountains be sleeping giants? Should we run and hide or should we take command: NOT be like grasshoppers.
The angel of Hashem came to Joshua, sword in hand and commanded him: “Remove the shoes from your feet- the place on which you stand is holy!” This is the HOLY LAND!
Hashem created a code that ensures milk honey safety and absoluteness. Stand as one man with one heart. Picking up the pieces, we must change reality, from death to life, from broken to fixed.
Shabbat Shalom dearest friends, Leah