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Monday, 20 February 2006

The Eretz Yisroel series, part 2: Milk, Honey, and Wild mustard

Israeliwildmustard Israeli wild mustard flower, commonly found in open fields in late winter, image courtesy of Dotan Goor Arie

My love affair with my blessed homeland of Eretz Yisroel is no secret. This land has a soul, a pulse, and breathes like a human. If you listen closely enough, you can hear her singing Hashem's praise all day and all night long. She sings a symphony in a thirty-part harmony that can revive any parched human spirit. She widens one's cognizance; no wonder the Talmud says that the air of Eretz Yisroel makes a person wise.

Yesterday - for the first time in several weeks - the sky over Ashdod was crystal clear and deep blue, like the color of the Heavenly throne described in tractate Menachos. With Hashem's loving grace, we've had a wonderful winter with abundant live-giving precipitation, well over the annual average. When the sun emerged from the dispersing cumulus clouds, literally within a day, a magnificent carpet of yellow flowers covered the countryside east of Ashdod. You don't have to strain your brain to guess where a person could look for yours truly on a day like this.

The pungent aroma of a several concentrated acres of wild mustard flowers is intoxicating. To my surprise, the grapefruit orchards had started to bud and blossom also - a few weeks ahead of time - perfuming the air with no scent that Chanel could ever duplicate. Having past the mustard fields and the orchards, I reached the Lachish River, usually dry for 7 months of the year, but whose bubbling waters were now flowing with the rest of Hashem's symphony. Wild anise and mint were growing by the riverside, a heaven on earth.

My Israel has nothing to do Labor, Likud, Kadima, or the religious parties either. I don't spend 2 seconds a day thinking about the Hamas. Politics has no place in a such a divine sanctuary. My sweet homeland is a haven of milk, honey, and wild mustard; a place where I can learn Torah, be close to Hashem, and walk out in the fabulous orchards and exquisite fields, sharing the scent of the citrus blossom with the bees and the riverbank with the bullfrogs, where all of creation - the soil, the flowers, the trees, the kingfishers and the deer all join me in the praise of our Creator. In my world - Hashem's Holy Land - Jews of all colors and all backgrounds are all equally beloved children of G-d.

What are you waiting for? Do your neshoma a favor and start thinking about Aliya.



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