In the blessings that open our parasha, Hashem promised: “I will place my Sanctuary in your midst” (Vayikra 26:11), and Chazal identify this as the Beit Hamikdash (Sifra, Bechukotai 1:3; Rashi). In order for the people to begin their preparations to accept this blessing, first the location of the Beit Hamikdash had to be decided based on prophecy (see Devarim 12:5). The Torah does not state where this place was to be, and this uncertainty continued for more than 400 years after the Exodus from Egypt.
“If you follow my statutes … I will send rain in its time… and you will live securely in the Land” (Vayikra 26:3-5). The Midrash commenting on this pasuk explains that fulfilling the statutes brings a person to the World to Come. The pasuk (Yeshayahu 4:3) states: “Those who remain in Zion and are left in Jerusalem, all who are inscribed for life in Jerusalem shall be called holy.” This refers to one who delves into Torah, which is the tree of life as it says: “It is the tree of life for those who cleave to it” (Mishlei 3:18). Rav Elazar commented: The sword and the book were given wrapped together from Heaven. Hashem said: “If you keep what is written in this book, you will be spared from the sword, but if not, you will be killed.” This is learned from: “He drove man out and stationed the cherubim east of the Garden of Eden, the fiery ever turning sword, to guard the way to the tree of life” (Bereishit 3:24). The way refers to derech eretz and the tree refers to Torah (Vayikra Raba, 35:6).
On Yom Ha’atzmaut we celebrated the establishment of the State of Israel, which became a reality, to a great extent, by our miraculous success in the War of Independence. In Hebrew that war has a few names – including, Milchemet Hakomemiyut. The word komemiyut is a mila yechida’it – a word that is found only once in the Torah. In this case, it is found in our parasha: “I am Hashem who took you out from the Land of Egypt from being slaves, and I broke the staves of your yoke, and I led you komemiyut” (Vayikra 26:13). I refrained from translating the word, and for good reason. One of the ways commentators and translators know how to explain a word is by comparing it to its other appearances in Tanach, including some in which the meaning is clear by context. Since we cannot do that for komemiyut, we will use other methods: context in our pasuk, analyzing the root, along, of course, with looking at our classical commentators.