Inside View Sep/Oct 2017
On our spring Up to Jerusalem tour, we made a stop at the headquarters of The Jewish Agency for Israel in Jerusalem to deliver funds donated to help Jewish people in other parts of the world make Aliyah. “What is Aliyah?” you ask. In Hebrew, it means “to go up,” and it refers to the process of Jewish people returning to their ancestral Promised Land.
The Jewish Agency is the quasi-governmental organization that oversees the return and immersion of the Olim, the Jewish people who return to Israel. It is quite a process to integrate someone into the language, culture, and economy of a new country. Yet Israel receives these people with open arms and helps them adapt to their new homeland.
Danielle Mor, The Jewish Agency vice president of Israel and Global Philanthropy, hosted our group in Chaim Weizmann Hall, where Chaim Weizmann was sworn in as the first president of Israel in 1948. Yehuda Sharf, director of the Aliyah, Absorption and Special Operations Unit, spoke to our group; and then I presented the gift to Yehuda and Danielle.
They were extremely touched. “You are more than friends of Israel. You are family!” Yehuda told us, and then he gave me a big hug. It was a moving moment. Danielle then presented me with a beautiful framed plaque in recognition of the gift. It commended The Friends of Israel for its support, which facilitates the successful return of Jewish people to the land of Israel.
Included on the inscription of the plaque is a verse from Jeremiah 32:41: “I will rejoice in doing them good, and I will plant them in this land in faithfulness, with all my heart and all my soul.” Danielle pointed out that in all of the Hebrew Scriptures, this is the only place where God says He will perform something with all of His heart and soul.
In Deuteronomy we are commanded to love and serve the Lord our God with all of our hearts and souls (11:13; 30:6). It is natural that God instructs us to give all of ourselves—heart and soul—to loving and serving Him. God asks for our very best effort, and He doesn’t want us to give ourselves to any other god. As the Creator of this universe, He is right to expect nothing less. When we give our hearts and souls, we hold nothing back, demonstrating our total commitment to the Lord.
But what does it mean for God to say He will do something with all of His heart and soul? It indicates that He is committed to the task with everything He has. Such commitment reveals the importance God places on the promised event. It is a certainty that He will faithfully fulfill His promise.
In the context of Jeremiah 32:41, the Lord declares that He will gather the Jewish people from the places where He has scattered them and return them to the land of Israel. After returning them to the land, God promises to give them a new heart and an everlasting covenant, and He promises not to turn away from doing good for them. He will plant them in the land of Israel, never to be uprooted again.
God’s declaration that He will perform these tasks with all of His heart and all of His soul shows the importance He places on bringing the Jewish people back to the Promised Land and planting them there. He regards it as a work of highest priority.
I believe we are fortunate to be witnessing and supporting the gathering and return of the Jewish people to the land of Israel. God has not rejected the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Israel’s future is secure because the Lord has promised to make it secure, and He has done so with all of His heart.