Throughout the generations Bnei Yisroel have yearned for Eretz Yisroel. In one of the most famous and poignant Kinos, Reb Yehudah Halevi expressed his and his nation’s longing for its homeland, “Tzion, Halo Tishali Leshalom Asirayich.” Members of Bnei Yisroel have not only yearned, but have been willing to undertake long and arduous journeys over deserts and seas to reach Eretz Yisroel.
According to the Maharal, (Netzach Yisroel) this yearning is simply a rule of nature. An object prefers its natural state. Chazal say, “There is nothing that does not have its place.” A ball thrown upwards will obey the law of gravity and fall downwards. Bnei Yisroel’s natural state is to reside in Eretz Yisroel. When Bnei Yisroel are in galus outside Eretz Yisroel, it is in opposition to their natural state, and they gravitate towards Eretz Yisroel. Bnei Yisroel’s dispersal among the nations of the world is unnatural; Bnei Yisroel is a nation that belongs in its land.
This attraction comes from deep within. Eretz Yisroel is the place where we can be Mikayem more mitzvos than any other place in the world. The attraction is our neshama’s yearning for Shleimus, its yearning to fulfill the Mitzvos HaTeluyos BaAretz. The special set of mitzvos cannot be fulfilled in Chutz LaAretz.
But even this has deeper roots. Eretz Yisroel has more mitzvos because it is the land of Hashem. All the other nations have a Sar, a special minister in Shamayim that represents its land and all its inhabitants. Eretz Yisroel has no Sar. Hashem maintains direct control over Eretz Yisroel. It is the place on earth where we can come closer to Hashem than any other. Our neshama, which is a “Cheilek Elokai MiMa’al”, yearns to go back to its home.