בקרובי אקדש ועל פני כל העם אכבד 1


בס”ד

לשכנו תדרשו

Calling Ourselves Closer to the Holy Presence in Our Holy Land

“בקרובי אקדש ועל פני כל העם אכבד”

“Our Father, our King! Reveal the honor of Your Majesty speedily… and ingather our exiles among the nations… and bring us to Zion Your city with rejoice…” (Musaf of 3 festivals) Thus, we call unto HaShem to bring us close to Him, and HaShem calls us closer to Him with love as we read in Shir Hashirim on Pesah: “I am to my Beloved and my Beloved is to me”. This week’s parsha teaches us the fine balance between love and fear of God, as HaShem calls us to come close to the Shechina in the inauguration of the Mishkan with love, while bidding us not to get close in an improper way as in the fear of the “foreign fire” of Nadav Avihu. Similarly, the caution in regard to dietary laws in the second part of our parsha, is also a call of closeness to God: “And you shall be holy for I am holy” (Lev. 11, 45). This is even truer with regard to the Land of Israel, Palace of our Father in Heaven. Rambam in Maachalot Asurot (ch. 10) spells out four categories of Biblical dietary prohibitions that, although some have similar ramifications outside the Land, all four have laws unique to the Land of Israel. The first of the four is the prohibition of Hadash, which we explained in parshat Vayikra as dependent on the “omer” barley specifically reaped in the Land. The second prohibition is the produce from a mixed/grafted vineyard (“kilei hakerem”) which is a Biblical prohibition only in the Land of Israel (Rabbinic in the Diaspora) (halacha 8). The third prohibition is “Orlah”, produce of a tree that was planted within three years. When this prohibition is in doubt, in the Land of Israel it is still forbidden, while in the Diaspora it is permitted (halacha 12).  The fourth prohibition is “Tevel”, all produce that Trumot and tithes have not been taken from it, and of course this prohibition regards only produce that grew in the Land of Israel. With the same token, just eating the produce of the Land properly indeed brings one very close to HaShem. The Bach, one of the foremost halachic authorities, explains (end of Orah Haim 208) the significance of saying in the after-blessing “to eat from its (the Land’s) fruits and be satisfied from its goodness”. He explains that eating properly from the fruit of the Land while maintaining the purity of the Land connects one to the Shechina. In regard to this purity we should remember our examination, in parshat Vayeshev, of Shaar Hehatzer’s statement that living in Hebron places one in a state of purity. It is in Hebron that we live our title quote: “I will be sanctified with those that are close to Me”. By connecting to those close to HaShem, our Holy Patriarchs and Matriarchs, we purify ourselves, sanctify ourselves, sanctify HaShem among us, make ourselves ever-closer to HaShem, and receive HaShem’s Countenance upon us. “This You shall do, for today HaShem shall appear unto you” (beginning of this week’s parsha).

Real Stories from the Holy Land #12: “One week my wife forgot our apartment (in Kiryat Arba) keys on two separate days. This never happened before, especially since my wife is a very organized person. I decided to check what significance I can gather from this episode by checking the parsha, for the Shla says that what happens during the week is hinted in the parsha. I found that the only parsha in the Torah that has the letters מפתח ביתו, was in that week’s parsha (Bo) that this episode happened. These words literally meaning “from the entrance of the house”, but also can mean “keys of his house” when vowels are changed.


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

One thought on “בקרובי אקדש ועל פני כל העם אכבד