Torah Tidbits

20 April 2014 / 20 Nisan 5774
Issue 1042
Shabbat Parshat Emor
April 25, 2013

Chizuk and Idud

CHIZUK and IDUD for Olim not yet Olim respectively

In this week’s parsha we read (Vayikra 23:2,3): “These are the holidays of G-d which you shall declare as holy - these are my holidays. For six days you shall perform work and on the seventh day Shabbat”... You might wonder, together with Rashi, how Shabbat gained entrance to the list of the holidays? Clearly, Shabbat is a holy day, a palace in time, just like the Chagim. The important difference between them being , that whereas the holiness of Shabbat is embedded in Creation from the beginning of time, the sanctity of the chagim is dependent on Man. It is the Sanhedrin which declares when the new month commences, thereby determining when the holiday will occur.
A similar distinction can be found in regard to holiness in space, M’komot K’doshim. Since the holiness of M’kom HaMikdash and of Yerushalayim were initiated by the Almighty, by the presence of the Shechina, they are everlasting. Nonetheless, here too, the Sanhedrin has a role to play in that they can decide to increase the borders of Jerusalem thus adding more kedusha. (Rambam, Hilchot Beit HaBechira 6:10)
What is true for time and space, is also true for the last in the triad - “Olam, Shana, Nefesh” literally: universe, year, soul, or more figuratively: space, time and man. Man is imbued with a Divine soul, a “chelek eloak mima’al”, which is an everlasting portion of godliness from above. Just as with space and time, man can add sanctity to his being, expanding upon the already existing kedusha. This is true when one safeguards the mitzvot classified as Bein Adam LaMakom as well as those which are Bein Adam L’chavero (between Man and G-d and between Man and Man). However, continuing the idea outlined above, it is very interesting to focus on a third classification of Mitzvot, those which are Bein Adam L’Artzo (between Man and his Land). The halakhic discussion of the geographical borders of the Land in which we are required to keep these Mitzvot, distinguishes between areas conquered by Olei Mitzrayim (the Jews who came into Eretz Yisrael from Egypt led by Yehoshua), and territories populated by Olei Bavel (exiles who returned to Eretz Yisrael with Ezra). It is amazing to consider the fact that Olei Bavel, those who chose to return home from the Babylonian exile, determined via their own Aliya the future obligations of generations of Jews for thousands of years to come. They were simple Jews, not necessarily the social elite of their time, and yet by choosing to come back to Israel, they imbued the land with holiness which remains till this day.
Your choice to come home will definitely expand the kedusha in your own life, and perhaps leave a mark which will be felt by future generations as well!

Rabbi Yerachmiel Roness, Ramat Shiloh, Beit Shemesh

TORAH THOUGHTS as contributed by Aloh Naaleh members for publication in the Orthodox Union’s ‘Torah Insights’, a weekly Torah publication on Parshat HaShavu’a

In This Issue of Torah Tidbits

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