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An End to Wandering
Migration is one of the most fascinating natural phenomena. Birds fly thousands of kilometers to their nesting grounds on faraway shores. Grasshoppers and locusts migrate towards new feeding grounds, and fish migrate to spawn. One spectacular, closely followed migration is that of the wildebeests and zebras in eastern Africa. Each year millions of animals make the trek of 1800 miles from the Serengeti plains in Tanzania to the Masai Mara Natural Reserve in Kenya. Tourists converge on both locations to witness the migration in action. These animals feed on grasses, and the timing of their migration is determined by the seasonal rains.
Recently, however, there has been a shift in migration patterns. Fewer and fewer animals from Tanzania make the trip to Kenya each year, and when they do it’s for a shorter period of time before they return. Tourists will wait in vain in Kenya for a glimpse of the massive herds. The migration patterns of birds and fish are also being altered due to climate change.
The Baal Shem Tov taught that everything that one sees or hears is a lesson in our Divine service. The remarkable change in animal behavior currently taking place reflects a global change in spiritual conditions. We are coming home. Case in point: the Jewish people. We are quite schooled in wandering from place to place, but after many generations we are finally returning to our land. This is a preparation for the final Redemption, when all the exiles will be gathered up and brought back to Israel.
Animal migration is guided by the seasons, driven by a search for food and shelter. The return of the Jewish people to Israel is a modern economic miracle: from a devastated, impoverished country populated mainly by refugees, Israel has become a marvel of technological advancement. We are witnessing the fulfillment of G-d’s promise, “And I will give the rains on time and the earth will give forth its produce.”

The economic growth will continue and the land will flourish, in keeping with Maimonides’ description of the time of Redemption:

“There will be no jealousy or competition, because all good things will be in abundance and all delicacies will be freely available like dust.” Our wanderings will cease, and all the Jewish people will dwell securely in our land, with the complete nation, complete land and complete Torah. Most importantly, G-d’s presence will be revealed in all its glory, never to depart again.

 

 


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