Beit Midrash

  • Torah Portion and Tanach
  • Bechukotai
To dedicate this lesson

The Torah study is dedicated in the memory of

Hana Bat Haim

Parashat Behukotai

Komemiyut

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Rabbi Carmi Horowitz

5766
The verses that immediately precede the tokheihah conclude with the words: "I the Lord am your God who brought you out from the land of the Egyptians...who broke the bars of your yoke and made you walk with your heads held high (va’oleikh etkhem komemiyut)."

Is komemiyut a form of pride, and if so why does the Torah promise it as a reward? The term komemiyut may be understood as alluding to the radical change that has transpired in the history of the Jewish people in modern times with respect to their relationship to Eretz Israel. Whereas in the past people made aliyah as individuals who felt themselves as mere guests in the land, the twentieth century saw the establishment of the new yishuv and the State of Israel where the attitude towards the mitzvah of yishuv Eretz Yisrael was one of komemiyut, i.e. dignity, nobility and self-esteem.

Komemiyut is not pride that contradicts and contravenes the idea of yir’at shamayim, fear of God. A proper appraisal of God’s miraculous intervention in the establishment of the State should stimulate yir’at shamayim; our gratitude to the Creator for this miracle, together with the realization that we can now live behatzrot beit hashem, in the courtyards of the house of God, are both profound sources of yir’at shamayim. We are indeed blessed that we have this unique opportunity to experience komemiyut by actually living in Eretz Israel in the State of Israel.

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