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Beit Midrash Torah Portion and Tanach Achrei Mot

Parashat Acharei Mot

Holiness of Eretz Yisrael

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The Torah is replete with references to Eretz Israel, so much so, that the great sage Rav Meir Simcha HaCohen, author of the Meshekh Chokhma writes: There is no Sedra in the Torah wherein there is no mention of Eretz Israel. In our Sedra as well, in the concluding verses, the unique nature of the land is emphasized: For the inhabitants of the land who are before you committed all these abominations, and the land became impure. Let not the land vomit you out for having made it impure as it vomited out the nation that was before you (Leviticus 18:27-28).

Clearly, Eretz Israel cannot tolerate abomination because its holiness places it over and above every other place on the face of the earth. Furthermore, the Torah tells us that the holiness of Eretz Israel is so great that one who aspires to greater spirituality in his personal life, will be imbued with its holiness as well. Rav Kook, in his seminal work Orot, emphasizes that it is impossible for a Jew to be faithful to his complete self-realization anywhere other than in Eretz Israel. For only in the land of Israel can one achieve the lofty purity of thought and action (avira de Eretz Yisrael makhkim). To the believing Jew, this extraordinary emphasis on Eretz Israel should be a paramount reason for wanting to attach himself to the land. The Meshekh Chokhma concludes with this amazing statement: From the time that Jerusalem and Zion were chosen, David in his psalms, Isaiah in his visions, Jeremiah in his admonishments, and Yechezkel in his parables did not cease to extol the mitzvah of living and settling the land.

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