Parashat Masei: A Collection of Quotes about the Love of the Land of Israel

[Tal Chermon – Torah, p. 451]

Parashat Masei includes the verse: "You shall possess the Land and dwell in it, for I have given the Land to you to possess it" (Bamidbar 33:53) from which we learn the obligation to conquer and dwell in the Land of Israel (Ramban, positive mitzvah #4 in additions to Rambam’s Sefer Ha-Mitzvot). Rav Aviner collected quotes which express the love of our Land (Tal Chermon – Torah, p. 451):

“And this is the land which you shall inherit (by lot)” (Numbers 34:2), “The Holy One Blessed Be He said: ‘The Land of Israel is Mine and the Nation of Israel is Mine, it is fitting that I give what is Mine to those who are Mine’” (Midrash Tanchuma ibid.).

“There is no Jew who does not own four amot of the Land of Israel. But you will say: the Ishmaelites took possession of it, while we are in Exile? We have the right of possession: land cannot be stolen and it is still belongs to us” (Rabbi Nachshon Gaon).
“We have not taken control of a foreign land and we have not taken away property which is not ours. This is the inheritance of our forefathers, which had once been unlawfully conquered by our enemies” (Hasmoneans 1:15).

“It is fitting that this Nation, which is the embodiment of the world, dwells in the Land, which is the cornerstone of world, since the Land of Israel is holy and it is fitting that it is inhabited by the Holy Nation. When the Children of Israel dwell in it, this is what gives life to the Land of Israel (Maharal of Prague).

"May Hashem give me the merit of planting fruit trees near Jerusalem with my own hands, in order to fulfill the mitzvah (Vayikra 19:23): ‘When you come to the Land, you shall plant’” (The Vilna Gaon).

“I am from the Land of Israel, but because of our sins we were exiled from there, and I must live in Ostrovtza. Any man who is asked where he is from must answer, ‘I am from the Land of Israel, but at the moment I am temporarily in the Exile’” (The Admor of Ostrovtza).

“Anyone who lives in the Land of Israel should always be happy” (Rabbi Elazar Azkari).