Shir Ha-Ma'alot #18

"May The Merciful One break the yoke from our necks and lead us upright to our Land"

On the verse, "And I will lead you upright" (Vayikra 26:13), our Sages explain, "With upright posture, so that you do not fear any creature" (Sifra). One can raise the difficulty: Doesn’t the Shulchan Aruch rule, "It is forbidden to walk with upright posture" (Orach Chaim 2:6), which the Mishnah Berurah (#9) explains: "Because you will press against the feet of the Divine Presence of the Omnipresent"?! This is not a difficulty: one refers to the individual who is required to be humble and modest, while the other refers to the entire community which is require to walk upright, and through this the honor of the Divine Presence will be revealed. Rabbi Yaakov Chagiz (Shut Halachot Ketanot #185) was asked: Should an individual living in the Land of Israel say, "and lead us upright to our Land (le-aretzenu)" or change it to "and LED us upright IN our homeland (be-artzenu with the letter bet)"? He responds, "This is how people customarily recite it [and LED us upright IN our Land], but if one says "le-artzenu - to our Land," he does not lose out." In practice, the prayer books in Israel say, "le-artzenu - to our Land," but this also includes upright posture for the Nation.