home court advantage

Yosef sent animals (the blessings of Egypt) to Yaakov Avinu who was still in Eretz Yisrael, because Egypt represented the dark side, and it's easier to rectify the dark side in Eretz Yisrael, because of its inherent holiness. (Noam Elimelech - end of פרשת וישב)
We learn so many things from this simple, yet profound, teaching. Two things being the most important.
  1. Living in Israel allows you to grow spiritually at a very accelerated pace. (because of the inherent Kedushah of the land) The yetzer just doesn't have the same power here. (He's the away team.)
  2. The ability to live in Eretz Yisrael is a huge blessing in itself. HaShem is giving us an open-ended ticket to do all that we are capable of and more. For this reason, it doesn't matter whether God has given us the land back officially, whether we are still in galut, as long as the possibility exists for us to live in Israel, how could we live anywhere else? Essentially choosing to live elsewhere is living a life of spiritual sludge, of slow and plodding growth, fighting just to live. Here (in Israel) we live, here we were meant to live, here we have the home-court advantage!
Remember that even in galut, our prayers should always be in Israel, in Yerushalayim, on Har HaBayit, in the Beit HaMikdash, in the Kodesh HaKodashim. In our prayers, we always have the home-court advantage.


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