21 Av 5780 / Tuesday, August 11, 2020 | Torah Reading: Re'eh
dot  Add to favorites   dot  Set as homepage  
    Create an account    |    Sign in
    My Account     Orders History     Help
  My Country:  
  United States   
   My Currency:  
  US Dollar   
Home Page Torah Portion Spirituality and Faith Foundations of Judaism Inspirational Stories Family Holidays and Fast Days Israel and Society
   Heart of the Parsha     Chassidic Pearls     Chana’s Blessing     Parsha Beams             
David's Harp  
HomeTorah PortionDavid's HarpKi Tisa: Too High for Them
  Advanced Search

Ki Tisa: Too High for Them    

Ki Tisa: Too High for Them

The nations of the world claim the Land of Israel, only because we are not yet living on the spiritual level expected of us...


Towards the end of our weekly reading, the Jews are commanded concerning the three yearly festivals: Pesach (Passover), Shavuot, and Succot. Three times a year all of the males are required to make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem to visit the Holy Temple. There is an obvious technical problem with this requirement. If all of the men are going to ascend to Jerusalem, who’s going to protect the women and children? Even if we leave small units of guards, the risk of attack would still be very great.
No problem. The Torah guarantees safety with the following words: “No man will covet your land when you go up to appear before Hashem, your G-d, three times a year.” (Exodus 34:24). Rabbi Zev Leff, one of the outstanding Torah speakers and writers of this generation, asks a wonderful question on this claim. If the Torah had promised, in the face of these serious risks, that Hashem will provide Divine protection for the land, it would be understandable. Obviously, Hashem can protect His people in order for them to fulfill the Divine command of visiting the Temple. The difficulty with the verse is that it promises something very different. The Torah tells us that no man will covet the land. How can the Torah promise such a thing? Isn’t it more reasonable to assume that they will covet the land, but Hashem will protect us anyway. How could the Torah make such a claim?
There is a well-known Midrash, a teaching from our Sages, how Hashem offered the Torah to the other nations and how they refused. The Midrash explains that Hashem went to each nation and asked if they wanted to accept the Torah. Each nation responded negatively claiming that the requirements of the Torah went against their nature and would be impossible to fulfill. Hashem then went, so to speak, to the Jewish people with the same question, were they willing and interested in accepting the Torah. They then responded with the famous words: “All that Hashem says we will do and we will listen to”. Simply stated the Sages are teaching us that the nations didn’t want to accept the Torah because it is a hardship and inconvenience for them. Conversely, the Jews showed their excitement and willingness to perform the Divine will.
What is the purpose of the Land of Israel and why did Hashem give us this land? The Torah is Hashem’s guidelines how to connect Heaven and Earth, to incorporate the physical and the spiritual into one harmonious blend. The perfect location for that to occur is the land of Israel. The performance of Hashem’s Torah and commandments are ideally suited to a place saturated with both spiritual and physical blessings. The land of Israel is not like all other countries, it is a special place to accomplish a unique task, to live according to Hashem’s loving will.
The nations’ relationship to Torah and the land of Israel are parallel. In the same way that they didn’t want to accept the Torah since they weren’t interested in its lofty goals; they also really don’t want the land of Israel as the place to perform Hashem’s commandments.  Since the purpose of this special land is to fulfill the Torah, in truth, they don’t want either parts of the package, not the Torah and not the land.
The Torah promises that when we will go to the Temple three times a year, the nations won’t covet the land. When the Jewish people will reflect the majesty and greatness of living as a holy nation, the nations simply won’t be interested in this “demanding” life style. Just as they felt the Torah was too lofty for them back at the time of the receiving of the Torah, so too during the time of the Temple they also sensed that the land of Israel and its requirements are too elevated for them.
If today we see the nations do seem to want the Land of Israel, that is only because we are not yet living on the spiritual level expected of us. If they are coveting the land, it is because the land of Israel seems to be like any other country and then why shouldn’t they be interested? However, as soon as they see the Jewish people living as a holy nation and their holy land, they will no longer be interested in claiming the land.
This may sound like a bold claim but there really is no other way to test and understand it except to face the challenge of using the land the way it is supposed to be used. If we truly love our land and want an end to the fighting with our neighbors, the Torah tells us that we should live lives of Torah greatness. When the nations will see us living according to the Torah they won’t desire the land. They will realize how the land is the place in this world that reflects the special love between Hashem, His people, and His Torah. May we merit to fulfill this lofty mission.
* * *
Rabbi Dovid Charlop is on the teaching staff of the Neve Tzion Yeshiva in Telzstone, Israel. You can see more of Rabbi Charlop's articles here.

New Comment    New Comment
   See More Articles By Rabbi David Charlop
   Read more about David's Harp

Top of article    Top of article       Email This Article    Email This Article          Share to Facebook       Print version    Print version

 Join the distribution list Join the distribution list
If you would like to receive other related articles or Breslev.co.il features via e-mail, please enter your e-mail address here:


 Related Articles Related Articles

Mighty Matriarch               Tzav: Cycles of Our Lives               Partners With Hashem
 Mighty Matriarch  Tzav: Cycles of Our Lives  Partners With Hashem

  2 Talkbacks for this article    See all talkbacks  
  family still in galut
Anonymous,2/12/2014 11:13:44 AM
Lori2/12/2014 10:12:51 AM

Add Your CommentAdd Your Comment    Add Your Comment    

In Honor of:    In Memory of:
Like What You Read?
Help Breslev Israel spread the light of Rebbe Nachman
across the globe, and be a partner in making a better world.
Click here to support Breslev.co.il
 Products of the Day Products of the Day
Back  1 2 3  Next
Back  1 2 3  Next
 Most talked about Most talked about
Up  1 2 3  Down
 Most read Most read
Up  1 2 3  Down
 Facebook Facebook
 Mailing List Mailing List
Subscribe Here:   


open toolbar