Cleaving to the Holy Presence in Our Holy Land
This Good Mountain and the Lebanon
“Blessed are You HaShem Who comforts Zion with the building of Jerusalem.” In continuation of our previous discourse on ways of rectifying the sin of the spies of antiquity and the expulsion of Gush Katif in the present, we shall now discuss a method of rectifying this matter on what pertains to man’s relationship to his fellowman. It seems that a method of rectifying the cruelty and hatred apparent in these previous episodes (according to the Zohar the spies deliberately tricked the people because they knew that they would be replaced by different leadership when the People enter the Land) is by greatening love and compassion to help our people to become more greatly aware of the great value, materially and especially spiritually, of our Holy Land. Although we could remain abhorred by the level of cruelty measured upon our people by our very own people, it is important to realize that this abhorrence is not the method of rectification itself. Rather, our feelings should be directed towards ourselves, to realize how great is the lack of knowledge and spiritual commitment to our Holy Land amongst our People, bringing us to compassion for the so many who have not merited to learn and internalize this topic in depth. This compassion should lead us to take action by, one deepening our own understanding of the Holy Land, and two sharing this depth of understanding with as many others as possible. Therefore, we call out to you, our dear readers, to take part in this great endeavor, by “spreading the word” to as many as possible about these divrei Torah and similar Torah about our Holy Land, which will undoubtedly bring great blessing unto our People and Land on all levels. In this week’s parsha Moshe Rabeinu prays to enter the Holy Land and see “this good mountain and the Lebanon”, as in our title quote. Our Sages interpret these terms to refer to the Temple Mount – “the good mountain”, while “the Lebanon”, derived from the root “laban” – “white”, refers to the Temple which “whitens”/cleanses the sins of Israel. We could also contemplate that white is also the least absorbent/”receiving” “color”, and therefore represents the attribute of giving (in contrast to receiving) and kindness. Indeed, the Kabbalists tie the “color” of white to kindness. Therefore, we may also say that this “cleansing” of the Temple also reflects God’s kindness, mercy, and forgiveness towards us. Our Sages also teach that although homiletics is important, it is also important to understand the simple meaning f the verses. Therefore, “Lebanon” can also literally mean the Lebanon of the North, which is considered to be part of the Land of Israel just like Tel Aviv, Haifa, etc. according to the Torah’s borders in parshat Masei. It could be that this location is called Lebanon after the white snow on the peaks of its mountains. This snow is also a source of kindness of God, for from this snow come the streams of water and vitality to the Land of Israel, the Jordan, the Kineret Lake, etc. Essentially, when we take on this attribute of kindness, especially through Torah of Kindness, by “spreading the word” of God, especially about His Holy Land, we follow in the footsteps of Avraham our Father of Hebron who “discovered” God’s Presence through this Holy Land (Zohar Noah/Lech Lecha) and disseminated this “discovery” to all mankind from his spiritual center in “Elonei Mamreh”/Hebron – “For from Zion (acc. To Arizal this term also refers to Hebron) Torah shall be delivered, and the word of God from Jerusalem”.
Real Stories from the Holy Land: “I was put in IDF prison for abandoning my security post before receiving full permission to leave. I thanked God for this situation with faith that it is for my best. Soon after, I was freed entirely from my sentence in prison, for no explainable reason…”