In this week's Parasha we are commanded to honor our parents. The Torah promises a reward for those who will fulfill the commandment. The reward is to have longevity in the land of Israel. Why is it different in the land of Israel than out of the land?
The p’sukim that introduce the presentation of the Ten Commandments at Sinai (Shemot 19:3-9) caused the commentaries to work very hard. The order is as follows: Moshe went up the mountain, where Hashem told him the significance of Bnei Yisrael accepting the Torah and becoming a special nation. Moshe told the elders the words (devarim) of Hashem. The nation accepted the matter and Moshe informed Hashem (pasuk 8). Hashem told Moshe that He would be coming to speak to him in front of the people so that the people would believe in Moshe. It ends off: “Moshe told (vayaged) the words of the nation to Hashem” (pasuk 9).
The midrash (Bamidbar Rabba 15:18) connects the pasuk, “Assemble for me seventy men” (Bamidbar 11:16) to “He built the Heavens level upon level, and His congregation He founded on the land” (Amos 9:6). The midrash comments that, as hard as it is to say so, Hashem’s throne in the Heavens is stable only if Israel forms a cohesive congregation. What is the great significance of this unity? The midrash (Bereishit Rabba 38:6) says on the pasuk, “There is a connection in Ephrayim through idols; leave him” (Hoshea 4:17) that even if the people are idol worshippers, if they are connected to each other, Hashem will leave them unscathed. What possible positive element can come from the binding together of wicked people?
The midrash (Bamidbar Rabba 15:18) connects the pasuk “Assemble for me seventy men” (Bamidbar 11:16) to the pasuk in Amos (9:6): “He builds upper chambers in the heavens, and His aguda (binding together) He founded on the earth.” The midrash takes this to mean that, kav’yachol, Hashem’s throne in the heavens is only firm if Israel is bound together in unity. Another powerful midrash along this line says that even when the Northern Kingdom of Israel was guilty of idol worship, Hashem left them intact because they were connected to each other (Bereishit Rabba 38:6). What is so positive about the unity between sinners?