Ha'azinu: 4 Cubits of Atonement

A big healthy smile!

Aloh Naaleh,

Arutz 7
This year we read the portion of Haazinu almost immediately after Yom Kippur. During these past few weeks we toiled by praying, fasting, confessing and crying to complete a process that culminated with HaShem granting us atonement from our sins.

This was somewhat similar to one who had neglected to clean his teeth properly for a long time and then was
These teachings are fittingly hinted at in this week's Torah portion.
forced to sit in the dentist's chair through much painful scraping and cleaning. One who lives in Eretz Yisroel, however, experienced this more like a person who brushes and flosses daily - only a little polishing was necessary; otherwise, a big healthy smile!

The Talmud in the tractate Ketuvot (111a) quotes as follows: "Rabbi Yirmiyah bar Abba in the name of Rabbi Yochanan said, 'Whoever walks four cubits in the land of Israel is assured to inherit the World to Come.' Rabbi Elazar said, 'Whoever lives in Israel lives without sin.'"

These teachings are fittingly hinted at in this week's Torah portion (Devarim 32:43): "v'nakam yashiv letzarav, v'chiper admato amo (He will bring retribution upon His enemies and He will appease his land and His people)." The word for "His land" in Hebrew, admato, is spelled aleph, dalet, mem, tav, vav. These very letters can be rearranged to spell dalet amot ("four cubits") - dalet, then aleph, mem, vav, tav. The word v'chiper that we translated as "appease", also means "to atone". In other words, through the dalet amot (four cubits) of Israel - walking here, being here and living here - the Jewish People merits atonement daily.
Rabbi Steven Ettinger lives with his family in Hashmonaim. He is the author of two books: "Torah 24/7" and "Connecting the Dates" (Devorah Publishing).

The foregoing commentary was distributed by the Aloh Naaleh organization.