A few days ago, I played at a simcha, and had the chance to rent a car. On my way home, I was driving through Ramat Bet Shemesh Bet, and I picked up a chossid to give him a lift. He noticed I was American, and asked about my feelings toward Eretz Yisrael. He explained that to someone who lives here and has never known anything else, it is hard to sense the extra kedusha.
He proceeded to tell me a story about the Rizhiner rebbe, who evidently lived outside of Israel. One time, one of his chassidim made a pilgrimage to Eretz Yisrael. On his return, he came to the rebbe and told him that although he had been to the Holy land, he had not really sensed anything especially holy about it.
The rebbe responded with the following mashal. He said that a blanket is meant to provide warmth and comfort. The degree of warmth that it can provide, however, is dependant completely on the heat of the person being covered. Thus, if a dead person is covered with a blanket, it will not warm him.
The same thing is true about Eretz Yisrael. If one comes to Eretz Yisrael and does not sense the kedusha, it suggests the fact that there is a spiritual coldness that pervades his life. One who comes here and feels the warmth can be assured that the fire burns within him, and is rekindled in the right surroundings.
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