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Peace at Last

Lech Lecha. Go forth. The first G-dly command given to the first Jew--our forefather Abraham--and it has become a standing order for generations. Are you Jewish? Then go forth. It has been decreed upon you to go, to travel, to wander continuously. Even if you rest and set down roots somewhere, even for a lengthy period of time--know that it is all only temporary. In essence you are a wanderer, and in the end, you, or your children, or your grandchildren, will be uprooted, and will have to wander once again.

Abraham, the father of our nation, was also the quintessential wanderer. He moved from his birthplace, Charan, to the Land of Canaan. Shortly thereafter he left for Egypt, then returned to Canaan, spent some time in the land of the Philistines and then returned to Canaan again. His son Isaac lived a less disrupted life and never left the borders of Canaan. However, his son Jacob resumed the tradition of wandering--first he lived in Canaan, then in Charan and finally in Egypt.

Looking back at the history of our nation, it seems that we follow in the footsteps of our ancestors. After years of slavery, we left Egypt and wandered for 40 years in the desert. We finally reached the land of Israel and settled there for a prolonged period (850 years). However, this stage of relative tranquility ended abruptly when we were exiled to Babylonia. We returned to Israel after 70 years, but a few hundred years later we were exiled once again to Rome, and from there we were scattered to all parts of the globe.

Thank G-d, sixty years ago a historical opportunity opened for Jews to return to our home, the Land of Israel. But for the most part we are still scattered. We cannot say that the Jewish nation has finally attained its ultimate state of stability and tranquility.

Why? Why is it our destiny to wander continuously?

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The answer to this question is bound up with the essential purpose of the existence of our nation. We live in a world where good and evil are intermixed. G-d sends us to earth with the mission of filtering out the good from the bad, with the ultimate aim being the eradication of all evil.

G-d could have completed this task on His own; however, for reasons known only to Him, He has chosen to make us partners in creation. He chose us, the children of Israel, to carry out this task. Towards this goal, He has given us the Torah and the mitzvot. Through Torah study and fulfillment of mitzvot we complete a spiritual process of refining the good from the evil. For the most part, this process goes on without our conscious awareness--yet, whenever we do a mitzvah, this is what is being accomplished.

When this process will be completed, we will be able to appreciate the benefits with our physical senses. We will witness the absolute annihilation of evil in all its forms. This, in essence, is what we mean by the "true and complete Redemption"--a period in which the Divine good will permeate this world in an open and revealed manner

Therefore, it has been ordained that we must travel and wander the world over. In each place we must accomplish our mission, to "elevate" the very soil of the land through fulfilling Torah and mitzvot.  

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Had we merited, this spiritual process would have been completed during our initial settlement of the Land of Israel, and there would never have been a need for us to go through this lengthy exile. However, due to our sins it was decreed that we would need to be scattered to all ends of this earth to complete this mission.

Our mission is now complete. We are approaching the final resolution, when evil will finally be eradicated completely. The Lubavitcher Rebbe, with his spiritual vision, has prophesied that the process of "refinement" is complete and we are at the cusp of the final Redemption.

Our wanderings are at their end. Very soon the entire Jewish people will be reunited and will return to Israel, after which there will be no more upheavals or wandering. All Jews together will settle on our land, forever.

 

 


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