Beit Midrash

  • Torah Portion and Tanach
  • Pinchas
To dedicate this lesson

The Torah study is dedicated in the memory of

Yaakov Ben Behora

Parashat Pinchas

Klall Yisrael Has an Address

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Rabbi Dr. Aharon Adler

5766
Often, we use the term, "Klall Yisrael", while referring to the sum total of the Jewish people residing throughout the world. We speak of the Jewish people today consisting of those currently living in Eretz Yisrael, along with our brethren located elsewhere in the Diaspora. Sociologically, this may be correct. However, from the Halachic standpoint, this is far from being the case.

Our great Rebbe, HaRav Yosef Dov Soloveitchik zt"l quoting his father R' Moshe zt"l distinguished between two categories of Mitzvot that are Eretz Yisrael bound. The first group all of the agricultural variety of Mitzvot demand, as a necessary Halachic prerequisite, that the Land be in a "sanctified" state. Practically, the map of Eretz Yisrael for this purpose is the reduced map operative during the Second Temple era until this very day (according to the dominant opinion voiced by the Rambam). However, a second category all of non-agricultural concerns also demands Eretz Yisrael as the only Halachically-approved location for the performance of such Mitzvot. In this category, it is the expanded map as explicitly described in various Torah sections that form the relevant and binding borders of Eretz Yisrael (including the Gush Katif area!).

Three central Mitzvot of this latter category are referred to in Parshat Pinchas.

1. The very Mitzvah of residing in Eretz Yisrael (including owning land, followed by either cultivating it or building upon it) is the core issue revolving around the daughters of Tzlofchad's demand to receive their deceased father's land section in Eretz Yisrael.

2. The formal act of "Semicha", that of granting Halachic authority to the next generation, is pioneered by Moshe giving over that authority to his prime student, Yehoshua. This formal granting of the "Semicha" of old, linking the recipient -genereation to generation back to Moshe, can only take place in Eretz Yisrael

3. The Musaf sacrifices for Rosh Chodesh and for all the festivals, are described in great detail. None of these special calendar dates would enjoy any sanctity whatsoever unless the appropriate sanctification of the moon and leap year adjustments were incorporated into the calendar in Eretz Yisrael. Rambam goes so far (Positive Mitzvah #153) as to suggest that even today, the calendar owes its Halachic energy to the mere fact that a Jewish community exists in Eretz Yisrael.

Rambam's overall understanding is that the Halachic "address" for Klall Yisrael is Eretz Yisrael and only Eretz Yisrael. The remaining Jewish population throughout the world is somehow "related" to the authentic Klall Yisrael in Eretz Yisrael.

Any Jew abroad willing and interested in (re)joining the authentic Klall Yisrael, and perhaps has difficulty in directions, should immediately consult one's local El Al timetable for the next available scheduled flight home to Eretz Yisrael.

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