<I>Emor</i>: The Sanctification of Man, Time and Space

A Jew who separates him- or herself from the People of Israel cannot achieve true sanctity.

Aloh Naaleh,

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Arutz 7
"...but I will be hallowed in the midst of the Children of Israel; I am the Lord who hallows you." (Leviticus 22:32)

My father once commented that this verse teaches us that true sanctity can be achieved only "in the midst of the Children of Israel," and only when the people are united. One who separates him- or herself from the People of Israel cannot achieve true sanctity.

Our verse is followed by others that present the holidays, thereby teaching us that man is obligated to sanctify himself and only afterwards to sanctify time. Only after man has sanctified himself does he have the power to sanctify time, as well.

There is a third realm of sanctity - that of place. As the Mishnah teaches us, Eretz Israel is holier than any other land (Kelim 1:6).

Our sages understand the verse "And who is like Your people, like Israel, one nation in the earth" (II Samuel 7:23) to mean that it is the Land of Israel that truly and fully unites the Children of Israel. Rambam cites, as a Halacha, our sages' comment that one who dwells outside the Land Israel is as if he is an idolater (Hilkhot Melakhim 5:12).

Thus, our ability to sanctify ourselves and to sanctify time ultimately depends upon the People of Israel being in its own land.
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David Magence writes from Jerusalem.

The foregoing commentary was distributed by the Aloh Naaleh organization.



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