Kitzur Tefilat Amecha #36-37

[adapted for middle-schoolers by Rabbi Shmuel Jablon from Rav Aviner's three-volume commentary on the siddur "Tefilat Amecha"]

In the blessing of Ahava Rabba (Ahavat Olam in Nusach Sefard), we ask Hashem to gather us from the four corners of the earth and bring us upright and proud to our Land. This is how Hashem will give us blessing and peace from all corners of the earth - when He brings Klal Yisrael from all over to Eretz Yisrael. And all of us want be able to go to our true home - Eretz Yisrael. It is interesting to note that we don’t just ask for all Jews to go home, we ask for Hashem to bring us there upright and proud. Just as we did when we left Egypt in the bright sunlight of day, proudly marching towards Eretz Yisrael, we ask that the Jewish People today not have to flee for their lives. We ask to proudly go to our Land. We are blessed to live in a time when most Jews in the world are able to do just that. We don’t have to run away. We have to run towards our true home.

In the blessing of Ahava Rabba, we learn about Hashem’s great love for us. We say he has a great love for us. At the end of the blessing, we say that "He chooses His Nation of Israel with love". Notice that "chooses" is in the present tense. He chooses His Nation Israel with love. He chooses us constantly to be His Nation. This great love that He has for us lasts forever and will never go away. This is an important reminder to us about Ahavat Yisrael. Since Hashem has a great love for every Jew and for the entire Jewish People, we must have that same great love. Sometimes it’s not so easy. People may annoy us or upset us in minor or major ways. But we want Hashem to love us even when we’re not perfect. So we want to love all Jews in the same way that Hashem does.