Section: Galus & Geula   Category: Eretz Yisroel
Rav Yitzchok Hutner Didn't Suffer Enough
Hashem said to Avraham, “Go for yourself from your land, from your relatives, and from your father’s house to the land that I will show your.” (Bereishis 12:1) Avraham Avinu had to tear himself away from his land and his family to travel to a land that Hashem did not even name for him. Shortly after he arrived in Eretz Canaan, there was a famine and he was forced to travel to Mitzrayim in search of food. Avraham’s suffering in acquiring Eretz Yisrael was passed down to his descendants. In fact, Eretz Yisrael can only be acquired through suffering. The Gemara in Brachos says, “Rav Shimon Bar Yochai says, “Three wonderful gifts Hakadosh Boruch Hu gave to Yisrael and all of them are given only with suffering, and they are Torah, Eretz Yisrael and Olam Haba.”

The Maharal says that advancing in ruchniyus is impeded by physical luxuries. When one indulges in gashmiyus, his ruchniyus suffers, and the opposite is true as well. The Maharal says that the three things mentioned in this Gemara are three levels of kedushah. Eretz Yisrael is the most kodesh place on earth. Torah is a higher level of kedusha, and Olam Haba is the absolute goal of ruchniyus. It’s impossible to attain these goals without physical suffering or deprivation. The suffering weakens the yetzer hara, and humbles the person, which empowers his neshama to attain his goals in ruchniyus.

Rav Yitzchok Hutner, z’tl, the legendary Rosh Yeshiva of Yasehivas Rabbeinu Chaim Berlin, lived in Eretz Yisrael when he was first married. When he left, he wrote that he had not experienced suffering and therefore felt that he had not been Koneh it (R’ Matis Greenblat).

You can pass on Eretz Yisroel because of the suffering, but if you pass on Torah and Olam Haba also (which according to the Maharal requires even more suffering), what is left?