The Aliya Revolution

Chapter 34 of Parshat Masei begins with the following words (Bamidbar 34:1-2): “God spoke to Moshe saying: Instruct (Tzav et) B’nai Yisrael and say to them: “When you come to the Land of C’naan, this is the land which will fall to you as hereditary property, the Land of C’naan according to its borders”.

In Bamidbar Raba, Naso, Section 7 we see two Rabbi’s opinions on what the word “Tzav” refers to:

1. Rabbi Yehuda Ben Betira said: “The word Tzav means urging (ziruz) as it says in Devarim 3:28 ‘You shall command (Tzav et) Yehoshua and strengthen him and give him resolve, for he shall cross before the people and he shall cause them to inherit the Land that you will see”.

2. Rabbi Shimon Ben Yochai says: “The word Tzav implies loss of money as it says in Bamidbar 35:2: “Instruct (Tzav et) B’nai Yisrael and have them give to the Levi’im from their hereditary possession, cities in which to settle; and open space for the cities all around you shall give to the Levi’im’. The only time that Tzav means urging as opposed to loss of money is in Bamidbar 34, 1-2 in reference to the inheritance of the Land of Israel”.

Rabbi Shaul Yedidya Elazar MiModzitz explains that although when people make aliya (immigrate to Israel) they are often leaving their businesses and properties behind, in the end it is not a monetary loss since Jewish property in the galut (exile) often doesn’t endure after a few generations (which we have seen throughout history). Therefore the command implies urging immediately and for the generations to follow: Come to the Land of Israel and inherit it! The command does not imply that part of making aliya is not having a lot of money or possessions.

Today, many people continue to run businesses outside of Israel after making aliya thanks to technology that was never before available. With the option of bringing a “lift”, olim (immigrants) can bring almost all of their possessions (except for their house and land of course).

For those who have made aliya already and feel that they are losing a lot of money (or not earning much) we must keep in mind that it doesn’t have to be that way, there is a light at the end of the tunnel and the most precious possession and inheritance that we have is the Land of Israel, a place that many Jews only dreamed about for thousands of years.