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Tenth of Tevet:-Expand!

Rabbi Yehuda holds that he who ascends from Babylon to the Land of Israel transgresses a positive commandment, for it is written, “They shall be carried to Babylon, there shall they be until the day that I remember them, says God (Jeremiah 27:22).” [Ketubot 110b–111a]


Even though this verse refers to the vessels of the Temple, Rabbi Yehuda utilizes it as added scriptural support for his opinion. His real argument is for the sake of the love of Israel: It would be improper to go up to the Land of Israel knowing that one will see it in its desolation. For Israel keeps herself ugly while in captivity until God remembers her (Kiddushin 12b; ‘ a dignified woman in captivity deliberately makes herself ugly in the presence of her captor’), when she will appear to us, “As a bride adorned with her jewels (Isaiah 61:10).”

As you can see, praising Israel was so dearly valued in the eyes of Rabbi Yehuda that he forbade seeing her except in her glory and adorned with her ornaments. However, his opinion is not accepted as Halacha, and we do not follow his ruling.

It was taught: Rabbi Eliezer says, a person who did not say, “The desired, good, and broad land,” in the recitation of Grace After a Meal, did not fulfill his duty (Berachot 48b). By “broad,” is meant that the Land expands through its settlers; the greater the multitude of people who settled there, the more expensive she becomes.

For God gives the Land anew in all times and eras to each individual Jew. Anyone who does not state that it is a “Good and broad land,” does not fulfill his duty, for it is written, “And you shall bless the Lord for the good land which He has given you (Deuteronomy 8:10).” [Rabbi Tzvi Elimelech of Dinov, Maggid Ta’alumah, Berachot 51]

Application During The Days Leading to the Tenth of Tevet:

Pay special attention to the sentences in the Grace After a Meal that praise Israel, with the intention to use those praises to expand the Land of Israel.

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