A chosid once asked the Tzemach Tzedek for a brocha to go live in the Holy Land so that he could devote his life there to Torah study and avodas Hashem; the Tzemach Tzedek replied, “R’ Hillel (Paritcher, a legendary chosid called by the Rebbeim “half a Rebbe”) doesn’t lack Eretz Yisroel. Make here Eretz Yisroel.”
In this week’s Dvar Malchus the Rebbe connects this story with the description in parashas Pinchas of the distribution of Eretz Yisroel among the 12 tribes and how it relates to our individual avodah in the last moments of exile.
The purpose of our exile (individual and collective) is to refine and elevate the world at large, transforming it into the level of the Land of Israel, our part in the words of the midrash that in the Time to Come the land of Israel will spread out to all the lands. However, at the same time Yerushalayim will spread out to all of the land of Israel (Israel remaining on a higher level than the rest of the world) and thus Moshiach will come to gather every Jew and bring him to Eretz Yisroel.
Given this, one might think that “making here Eretz Yisroel” is only an intermediary step to bring the Geulah, when we will leave “here” and go to Eretz Yisroel itself. One could come to diminish the importance of “making here Eretz Yisroel” because he has his eyes on the future when he will go with Moshiach to the Geulah in the true Eretz Yisroel. In fact, this would be a big mistake, explains the Rebbe. Because the preparations for something must be done with the same complete focus, energy, and desire as we feel for the final goal.
Thus, devoting ourselves totally and completely to the task of “making here Eretz Yisroel” becomes a vessel to receive the desired goal: the true and complete Geulah! In fact, the Rebbe refers to this as “making ourselves accustomed” to the Geulah even while we are still in exile. This complete effort while still in exile is in fact what brings the Geulah.
More than this: although each one has the obligation to make “here” (where he is, physically as well as spiritually) into Eretz Yisroel (“the land which wanted to do her Creator’s will”), we find that in Eretz Yisrael each portion contains within it all the other portions. So, too, by each individual Yid–he contains within himself the entire world, and by doing his avodah completely, he is able to rectify the entire world, including all previous incarnations. One little Jew can bring Geulah to all the world and all generations!
Although we must strongly feel that “we want Moshiach now”–right now!–the Rebbe guides us how to proceed when still find ourselves in golus:
Since the Geulah still didn’t come in this moment,and by Divine Providence we are still found “here”, in this time and place — without a doubt we need to capitalize on this and fulfill the instruction to “make here Eretz Yisroel”.
Thus, it is our task to publicize the injunction to “make here Eretz Yisroel” and to fulfill it in a complete manner, and through this we will actually bring the Geulah in revealed actuality.