27 Kislev 5782 / Wednesday, December 01, 2021 | Torah Reading: Mikeitz
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The Purpose of the Holy Land    

The Purpose of the Holy Land

Anybody who loves God recognizes the Jewish People as the sole owners of the Land because only we can give the Holy Land it’s Holy Purpose.


In Hebrew, the word “Adam,” is directly related to the word “adama.” The first means, man, the next means earth.  


God chose the Jewish People as His chosen nation among men. He gave us the Land of Israel as His chosen Land among the earth.  He gave us the Shabbat as His chosen portion of time reserved to renew the eternal bond with His People 


Just like He separates space and time, God separates the Jewish People among the nations of the earth.  


Every seventh day, the Jewish Nation is commanded to stop all earthly activities and recall Who created the heavens, the earth, the seas, and everything inside them.  


A non-Jew can watch television on Saturday. He can buy a gallon of ice cream. But he cannot observe Shabbat like a Jew. Even if he is in the process of conversion, he must intentionally break one of the laws, like turning on a light, to hold the law that as long as he or she is a non-Jew, he cannot accept Hashem’s gift to His holy people.  


The Land of Israel 


For a Jew, every seventh day is a Shabbat. For the Land of Israel, every seventh year is a Shabbat.  


This year, we are celebrating the Shmitathe seventh year of the agricultural cycle. Jews are forbidden from working the Land of Israel for an entire year 


If you are not Jewish and you own a plot of Land here, you can continue to grow your crop. The biggest source of cucumbers in Israel, which make up half of the famous Israeli Salad, comes from Jenin. Right after the Six Day War, families in the north of Israel, all farmers, would come to Jenin to purchase produce.  


But if you are Jewish and live in the Land of Israel, you cannot grow new crops during the Shmita year. A farmer dedicates this year to learning Torah, having faith that Hashem will provide him with everything his family will need.  


Anyone can walk into his orchard and take all the fruit he wants. The farmer watches his fields while the poor, the orphan, the widow, the convert, and just about anyone else can pick whatever they want and put it in a basket.  


There is no other land on earth that this commandment applies to. There are no other nations on earth that G-d asks to perform such an act.  


Stating the Obvious 


This is the bond we enjoy with our Maker. This is the bond our Land enjoys with our Maker.  


This is the special bond we enjoy with the Land of Israel. A bond established and furthered by our Creator.  


Only a Jew can bless the Land of Israel with Shabbat. Only a Jew can redeem the Land by living here. Only a Jew can grant Shabbat to the Land itself.  


If a tourist from Nova Scotia were to climb Mount Masada, he would get a great workout. If a protester from UCLA were to march on Jerusalem, she would get some fresh air. If a Palestinian plants a lemon tree in Ramallah, he can make lemonade.  


When a Jew climbs Masada, it is a Holy Act. A Jew who walks four steps in the Land of Israel is performing Hashem’s Will and fulfilling a commandment. A Jew marching to Jerusalem is making a pilgrimage. Only the Jewish People are commanded by the Creator of the universe to go to Jerusalem – three times every year.  


The Land of Israel belongs to the Jewish People because only the Jewish People can transform the Land into a mechanism to serve God.  


Anybody who loves God recognizes the Jewish People as the sole owners of the Land because only we can give the Holy Land it’s Holy Purpose.  



Based on the Sichot of Rabbanit Yehudit Rosenberg of Ma’asim Tovim, the Chabad House of Afula. 

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