"L'shanah haba b'Yerushalayim habnuya!
Next year in the rebuilt city of Jerusalem!"
Yet like everything else, this mitzvah needs a lot of prayer.
In fact, a major life-change like this calls for copious heartfelt prayer, whether you feel like you'll never be able to make aliyah or whether you're already on your way. Fortunately, Rabbi Eliezer Papo (author of the Pele Yoetz) wrote a book of prayers for all occasions (called Beit Tefillah) including this prayer for "Diur b'Eretz Hakodesh — Residing in the Holy Land."
As is usual by tzaddikim, you'll see that in his great love for his fellow Jews, Rav Papo doesn't leave out anyone.
Also, while Jews outside of Eretz Yisrael have an obligation to help and support Jews living within Eretz Yisrael, Jews within Eretz Yisrael apparently have a special obligation to pray for their fellow Jews still stuck outside.
We're all in this together!
The following prayer is presented in:
- English transliteration
- English translation
ויהי רצון מלפניך ה' אלוקי ואלוקי אבותי, שתעזור לעמך ישראל ותזכם שיקבעו דירתם לשכון כבוד בארץ הקדושה. ולא יאמר אדם, צר לי המקום שאשב בארץ הקדושה. ולא יצטרכו לצאת ממנה, אלא ישבו בה כל ימי חייהם בקדושה ובטהרה, ושם תהא מיתתם, שם תהא מנוחתם כבוד. ותתן כוח וחיל ורצון טוב ליושבי חוץ לארץ, להיותם עוזרים ותומכים ביד יושבי ארץ ישראל בגופם וממונם, למען ישבו שם בהשקט ושלוה, עובדים עבודתך ומתפללים על עמך
May it be Your Will Hashem, my God and the God of my fathers that You will help your Nation of Israel and grant them the merit to permanently fix their abode to reside honorably in the Holy Land.
And may no person say, "It's difficult [narrow, too tight] for me, this place I will reside within the Holy Land."
And may they not need to leave it, but may they remain within it in holiness and purity all the days of their lives, and there shall be their death and there shall be their resting place of honor.
And grant strength and valor and good will to those who dwell outside the Land, to be helpers and supporters in hand with the settlers of Eretz Yisrael, both physically and financially, so that they can dwell there in peace and tranquility, toiling in Your Divine Service and praying for Your Nation.
At that time he wrote of the Jews in Eretz Yisrael (who were also under Turkish Muslim rule):
"They live like chickens in a coop; they are not able to earn a living, and there is almost no one who has pity upon them."
The primary purpose of going to Eretz Yisrael is for the rectification of the soul.
And the spirit shall return to G-d who gave it as He gave it, and the soul will praise G-d because the holiness of the place and the respite from the pressures of time is a great help to this matter.
As such, whoever merits to go there should be holy and should separate himself [from materialistic goals].
And even if God has "expanded his boundary," [i.e. blessed him with material abundance], he should not delight in sensual pleasures...he should behave in the ways of repentance...And great is the power of prayer in that place, the Land which is so desired.
And they already have awesome prayers which they pray on behalf of all those in Exile [i.e, all those still living outside of Eretz Yisrael].
And from their mouths, we live.
But in reality, a move to Eretz Yisrael carries with it a tremendous responsibility:
heartfelt prayer on behalf of our precious brothers and sisters (in addition to raising our own standards of piety and religious commitment).
The lives of the Jews in chutz l'Aretz depend on our "mouths"! We need to buckle down and care about everyone and beg for Hashem's Mercy for EVERYONE.
Rav Papo provides an important list of what Jews in Eretz Yisrael must pray for:
- Each person should pray for his relatives according to his best ability
- Pray for the building of the Beit Hamikdash
- Pray for the Ingathering of the Exiles
- Pray for Hashem to bring the complete Redemption speedily in our days, Amen.
He concludes with:
One who resides in the Land of Israel must be continuously happy with his continuous mitzvah.
All of his suffering should be alleviated in his eyes due to his great love for her [i.e.the Land].