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Beit Midrash Series Ein Ayah

based on Ein Ayah, Shabbat 14:4

Connection in Blood

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Gemara: [We continue with the story of Rav moving from Eretz Yisrael to Bavel (a critical event that changed the balance between the two communities). We are in the midst of Karna’s questioning of Rav, at Shmuel’s behest.] How do you know that blood (regarding nida) is red? It is as it says: "Moav saw opposite them that the water appeared red like blood" (Melachim II, 3:22).

Ein Ayah: Karna wanted to hint that Eretz Yisrael is beloved. Not only is it very holy so that the Torah can only cling to pure material in the Holy Land, but Karna also wanted to remind Rav of the natural love that the nation has for the Land. This finds expression in the spilling of the blood of the brave soldiers of Israel over the generations. They did this with great zealousness in battles when the enemy wanted to destroy, take the Land, and expel the Jews from it.

This red blood demonstrates the natural clinging to the Land due to eternal love for it, which causes the willingness to sacrifice one’s life. This connects one to the covenant regarding the Land, to the extent that nothing can break the holy bond.

It is cause for concern when the circumstances cause a weakening of the connection between the Land and the nation, so much so that the generation’s greatest scholar was forced to leave the Land. That is why Karna stressed the connection to the Land of our Heritage, both on the level of sanctity and of natural feeling toward it. Therefore he asked how we know that blood is red and creates the powerful and unbreakable connection between the nation and the Land.
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