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Beit Midrash Torah Portion and Tanach Emor

Parashat Emor

United Children of Israel

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"... But I will be hallowed in the midst of the Children of Israel; I am the Lord who hallows you" (Leviticus 22:32).

My father once commented that this verse teaches us that true sanctity can be achieved only "in the midst of the Children of Israel," and only when the People are united. One who separates him/herself from the People cannot achieve true sanctity.

Our verse is followed by others which present the holidays, thereby teaching us that man is obligated to sanctify himself and only afterwards to sanctify time, because only after man has sanctified himself does he have the power to sanctify time as well.

There is a third realm of sanctity, that of place. As the Mishna teaches us, Eretz Israel is holier than any other land (Kelim 1:6). Our Sages understand the verse "And who is like Your people, like Israel, a nation one in the earth" (II Samuel 7:23) to mean that it is the Land of Israel which truly and fully unites the Children of Israel. Rambam cites, as a halacha, our Sages’ comment that one who dwells outside the Land Israel is as if he is an idolater (Hilkhot Melakhim 5:12). Thus, our ability to sanctify ourselves and to sanctify time ultimately depends upon the People of Israel being in its own land.

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