Most of the people I know who have been to Eretz Yisroel describe a deep love and longing for the land, for the place. They talk about davening at the Kotel and how its an unbelievably amazing and spiritual experience. I've been to Eretz Yisrael before, but for some reason I don't think I've experienced these overwhelming feelings of love for the land/additional kavannah when davening at the kotel. Is there something I am missing? How do I implant this attachment to Eretz Yisrael inside of me?
Love For Eretz Yisrael
Posted 05 May 2013 - 08:07 AM
Don't worry. You have no problem. The odds are that your friends' "spiritual experience" has very little to do with Eretz Yisroel's holiness. Do they really love Eretz Yisroel? If so, do they love Lebanon, southern Lebanon, that is, which is also Halachicly Eretz Yisroel?
Do they love a Lulav and Esrog? Is it a bigger Mitzvah to daven at the Kosel than it is to make Kiddush on Shabbos? Are they so spiritually moved by the holiness of making Kiddush? A Bais HaMedrash is a holy place. Do they feel the holiness of a Bais haMedrash?
If not, then what they are feeling in Eretz Yisroel is psychological, not spiritual. They get a high from the awesomeness of the whole experience, and that's nice and of course if it helps them daven with Kavanah then it's a good thing. But to make believe that that is Ahavas Eretz Yisroel is not a good thing. Ahavas Eretz Yisroel is a madreigah. It's not automatically acquired by looking at hills and valleys - or the Kosel.
Ahavas Eretz Yisroel does not mean love of its hills or valleys or even the fact that on Shabbos the buses do not run (more or less) and that people walk the streets looking like Jews should look. Shemiras Shabbos and being free to act like a Jew are all good things, and worthy of our love, but none of that is Ahavas Eretz Yisroel.
Ahavas Eretz Yisroel is loving the Kedusha of Eretz Yisroel - including that contained in Lebanon, as I mentioned, where there is no Shemiras Shabbos and Jews don't proudly walk the streets. But it is Eretz Yisroel.
Someone who possesses Ahavas Eretz Yisroel is pained at the pain felt by Eretz Yisroel when people defile it with Aveiros. He possesses love of Torah and Mitzvos, and all holy places and things. Including Talmidei Chachamim, for example. And they are repulsed by unholy things and places - including Reshayim, for example.
So inspiration is always a good thing, but let's not confuse ourselves, or fool ourselves into thinking that lofty Madreigos are so easily obtained.