Israel Forever

For the week ending 4 November 2006 / 13 Heshvan 5767

The Hidden Potential

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
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Why, it is frequently asked, is Eretz Yisrael the place where young people from all over the world discover their hidden potential to become fully committed Jews?

Perhaps the answer lies in the mystery that unfolds in the very first passages of the weekly Torah portion that will be read in synagogues this Shabbat.

Avraham is commanded by G-d to abandon his land, his birthplace and his father’s home and travel to a land that G-d will show him. Although no indication was given as to the identity of that land, Avraham heads in the direction of the Land of Canaan. Why?

In his commentary, Ramban suggests that Avraham intuitively knew that the Land of Canaan was the special province of G-d and that this would be the Land that would be given to him.

Avraham felt what history has proven to be true. The Land given to Avraham’s posterity has a special spiritual quality that enables those who come here to discover their own spiritual potential. We can therefore hope that this quality will soon have the same effect on those born here and thus secure Israel forever.

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