Paying for the Privilege to Live in Israel

In Parshat Metzora (Vayikra 14:33-34), we read : “God spoke to Moshe and Aharon saying: When you arrive in the Land of C’naan that I gave you as a possession and I will place a Tzaraat affliction upon a house in the Land of your possession.”


B’nai Yisrael have not even arrived in the Land of Israel, yet God is already telling them that when they arrive they are going to have problems!


Making Aliya is not easy and it is probably better to tell potential Olim (new immigrants) the realities of what to expect (both good and bad) before they go so that they won’t be disappointed upon arrival. Many Olim are disillusioned after having been told that everything will work out perfectly. If they understand that things won’t be perfect then they won’t become overly frustrated.


One of my students who is literally loving every minute of being able to study in Israel had a difficult day last week meeting with members of Israel’s Ministry of Interior. When she left their offices, she was very upset. She walked into a bookstore and the owner asked how she is enjoying being in Israel. She responded that usually she is really happy but today she is having a difficult day. The man told her not to be upset. After all, it is a privilege to be in Israel and we pay for that privilege by dealing with aggravation that comes up from time to time.


His comments made her feel better. After all, she is living in a part of Jerusalem where she can walk to the Kotel whenever she wants to, she is studying with top teachers and having an opportunity to tour the Land and grow spiritually so if there have to be some hard days, in the end it is still worth the trade off in order to be able to live in Israel.