21 Iyar 5779 / Sunday, May 26, 2019 | Torah Reading: Bamidbar
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Hashem didn't say, "Go, and I will guarantee you a home, a job, good income, and the good life." He didn't say, "Go, and you will feel just as comfortable as you did in suburbia…"


What happened to Abram after he made Aliya to Israel?


1. He waged a war against an enemy of superior manpower, resources, and tactical position – and won.


2. He became a father. First to Ishmael, then to Yitzchak.


3. He raised a child at 100 years old.


4. He became wealthy.


5. He entered into the Covenant with Hashem, pledging his life and the life of all his descendants to Hashem for all eternity.


6. He became Abraham, the father of the great nations of the world, from whom kings emerge and peoples are blessed.


7. He hosted guests in his home right after having surgery on the most sensitive part of his body.


8. He was promised the Land of Israel by the Creator of Heaven and Earth. Maybe that's why the Balfour declaration was given during the following parshat Vayera. Parshat Lech Lecha is where the King of the Universe gives us the Land from the Nile to the Euphrates, including half of Egypt, the Sinai, East Israel (called in this era the West Bank), Jordan, Lebanon, and parts of Syria. The Balfour Declaration is only mankind's promise – and they break it day by day.


Avraham was the first oleh to Israel, the first Jew to move from the exile to the Holy Land. He is the prototype for every Jew that follows. In exile, he had power, prestige, and fame. His defeat of Nimrod's many attempts to kill him made him famous. He could have coasted through an idyllic life all his days in Ur Kasdim.


Then Hashem called him home:


Go to the Land that I will show you.  (Bereshit 12:1)


Hashem didn't say, "Go, and I will guarantee you a home, a job, good income, and the good life." He didn't say, "Go, and you will feel just as comfortable as you did in your former life." He didn't even say, "Go, and it will be just as good as before." All of that came later.


Nothing was guaranteed. Avraham went only because Hashem told him to. Avraham's move to Israel was a pure act of faith.


Once he came, there was a famine in the land. Things got so bad he had to leave. It was easy to say, "I tried to find work. I tried to blend in. I just can't speak Hebrew. The Israeli system is not for me. I'll wait for Moshiach during halftime."


In descending to Egypt he could have come to the logical conclusion that he took a step back from his mission. He knew better. After his trials in Egypt, he returned to the Land with riches, followers, and the princess of Egypt as a concubine. All of the trials and tribulations were merely a catalyst for a giant leap forward.


From the time Avraham arrived in Israel to the end of his life, Avraham soared to heights in every area of his being. He improved his character traits. He grew in emunah. He grew in prayer, service, devotion, and every conceivable metric by which a man is measured.


This is the example he sets for all of us.


Then and now, the journey to Israel is an act of faith. We are moving to a place where we don't know the language. We don't know the culture. We don't know the economy, job market, bureaucracy, even the best place to buy eggs.


Things become difficult the moment you land here. You have to burrow in the dirt to find your treasure. While you are mired in the mud, the instinct is to think that you can't make it, that Hashem doesn't want you here, that the politics, surprises, forwardness of your neighbors are all reasons why this is clearly a step in the wrong direction.


The truth, like in Avraham's case, is the Divine Opposite. The blessing of the Land of Israel is the hardship. It is the challenges. It is the arena Hashem pushes you into where you are forced to become a greater you that you've ever dreamed of.


I came here with a simple knowledge of stocks and blogging.


Eight years later I am developing websites and running digital marketing campaigns. I wake up in the dark hours, and work nonstop for my family, career, and serve Hashem through prayer, emuna, charity, and a set time for learning Torah.


I am no Avraham, not even close, but the change is real. A person beyond anything I ever dreamed of was found in Netanya, Israel.


Who knew?


This is the case for every Jew on earth. Your ideal self is here. Lech Lecha means journey unto yourself. Discover the person you have always longed to be. Enjoy that dream every moment of your blessed life.


Your winning lottery ticket is here. The question is, are you ready to cash it in?



* * *

Dovber Halevi developed http://www.abetterlifeinisrael.com/, a 5-hour, 20-video series which gives you day to day guidance on How to Enjoy a Better Life in Israel.

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