Achieving the Uniqueness of the Holy land
Dvar Torah Parshas Shelach:
There are so many Gemaras, Midrashim and other Seforim that discuss the uniqueness and special spiritual nature of Eretz Yisroel.
The Medrish Vayikrah Rabah (13,5) says that “Ein Torah ke’torat Eretz Yisroel” There is no Torah like the Torah of Eretz Yisroel. Implying that the Torah learned in the land of Israel is on a totally different level.
There is another Medrish (Medrash Tehillim) that says: if one wishes to see the Shechinah in this world he should be osek in Torah in Eretz Yisroel.
The Kuzari writes extensively about the specialty of the land of Israel towards ruchnius. He points out that just as not every climate is suitable to plant a vineyard, rather some climates will produce better produce then others. So too is spirituality, the most suitable and conducive place on earth for ruchnius and spiritual growth- is the land of Israel.
In 1972 The famous Gaon R’ Chaim Shmuelevitz asked his students in the Mir Yeshivah in Yerushalayim the following: How is it that we live in Eretz Yisroel and we study Torah in Eretz Yisroel yet we fail to properly feel the uniqueness and spiritual elevation that Eretz Yisroel affords those that dwell in her borders?
To answer this question R’ Chaim cites a fascinating Medrish (Devarim Rabbah 2:8). Moshe Rabeinu asked Hashem why is it that the bones of Yosef will merit to be buried in the land of Israel but not his? Hashem answered him that Yosef was “Modeh”, he admit to being from the land therefore he will merit to be buried there, but you did not, therefore you will not merit to be buried there.
When Yosef was accused by Eishes Potifar he described himself as being “stolen from the land of the Ivriim” meaning the land of Israel. When Moshe Rabeinu rescued the daughters of Yisro they described him as an “Ish mItzri” an Egyptian man- yet he did not protest to that title.
Based on this, R’ Chaim points out that there is a condition that has to be met before one can merit and enter the specialness of Eretz Yisroel. One has to be “Modeh/admit” to the land, he has to be connected to the land; meaning recognizing her specialness and importance and only then does he merit to be under the special influence of Eretz Yisroel.
(Based on sefer sichas musser mammer tzadi)