This is my bar mitzva parsha, Bechukotai. My bar mitzva took place 2.5 weeks before the establishment of Israel.
This is the parsha predicting punishment, suffering and admonition, but it ends with G-d saying that he has no intention of breaking His eternal covenant with Israel and will not destroy them, will not reject them. He will remember the covenant with our forebears and how we were taken out of Egypt.
The Meshech Chachma, Rav Meir Simcha of Dvinsk, wrote a long sermon on this parsha that used to be quoted constantly and is hardly mentioned today. He tells us the plan and gives us an insight into how it is that the Jewish people survived, writing in the 19th century:
"The Jews will wander...until the time the Divine decides that it is the end of the wandering...the heart doesn't tell the mouth..the Divine Wisdom thought of ways to see to it that we are not totally assimilated...the leaders of our people made boundaries to keep us from being lost...the great tidal waves did not drown us...mighty and powerful winds will batter us....Yaakov our forefather saw what was going to happen, he brought only 70 people to a giant foreign culture and so he established rules: don't change your clothing, your language, your names - and that he must not be burried in Egypt.
Had Yaskov been buried in Egypt, that would have been the end of the Jewish people. We have to always remember the graveyards of Europe, but our focus must be right here, at the Temple Mount, and on all the kivrei tsadikim (graves of thte righteous) at the Mount Herzl military cemetery.
Rabbi Shalom Gold is a household name to Anglos in Israel. His love of and devotion to Eretz Yisrael has accompanied him throughout his entire life.
Since making aliya in 1982, he has built and served as the Rav of Kehilat Zichron Yoseph in Har Nof, and in 1984 founded the Avrom Silver Jerusalem College for Adults, which merged with the Israel Center in 2002, where Rabbi Gold, as Dean, is teaching Torah today.
For the past decades, Rabbi Gold has been at the forefront of the struggle for Eretz Yisrael. He was one of the founders of the Ichud Harabanim L’maan Eretz Yisrael V’am Yisrael , under the guidance of the Chief Rabbis Avraham Shapira z”l and Mordechai Eliyahu z”l.
His shiurim have been an inspiration to many, including the countless families whose decision to make aliya was a result of listening to “Rabbi Gold’s Tapes.”