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The Land of Israel

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no creditA tale of two brothers
How to counter assimilation and alienation from Judaism.
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    Is it safe to live in Israel?
    Is it not endangering our lives to live in Israel, where terrorists try to kill us every day?
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    How can I see Israel's beauty?
    Israel is outstandingly beautiful in every physical and natural sense. However, its true beauty exists in the soul of the beholder.
  • More on Bonfires, Zionism, Torah, and Army
    We saw last time that Israel has those who celebrate with fire the light of Torah and others who sit around bonfires to emulate non-religious pioneers. We looked to unify the two, which we will get to this week.
  • On Bonfires, Zionism, Torah Learning, and IDF Service
    Shemitta, with which our parasha opens, is one of the land-based mitzvot, which give expression to the sanctity of the Land of Israel in comparison to other lands. Rav Kook (Shabbat Ha’aretz, intro. to ch. 15) cited the Radbaz’s question: If the pre-Shemitta sale of the land to non-Jews eliminates the Land’s sanctity in regard to Shemitta, how can one fulfill the mitzva of living in the Land? Rav Kook answered that the Land’s sanctity is not a result of the possibility to fulfill the mitzvot related to it. Rather, the kedusha of the Land and the mitzva to live in it exist even when laws such as Shemitta do not apply. The gemara (Chagiga 5a) posits that exile of the Nation of Israel from its Land caused the greatest undoing of the Torah. Just as with the greatness of Torah, the basic level exists independently of the ability to fulfill the mitzvot commanded in it, so too the Land of Israel maintains its core value even if certain of its mitzvot are not in force.
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    Walking in Israel
    What are the parameters of the idea that every 4 amot one walks in Eretz Yisrael is a mitzva? Is it only to new places? Does one have to walk on foot?
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