web analytics
December 20, 2014 / 28 Kislev, 5775
 
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
8000 meals Celebrate Eight Days of Chanukah – With 8,000 Free Meals Daily to Israel’s Poor

Join Meir Panim’s campaign to “light up” Chanukah for families in need.



Q & A: They Live In The Land (Part V)

QuestionsandAnswers-logo

The Torah Temimah (Parshat Re’eh ad loc.) questions this statement. Why should living in the Land of Israel be equivalent to all the other commandments? He suggests that it is impossible to fulfill all the mitzvot of the Torah except in Israel since there are a number of mitzvot whose performance is conditional on being in Israel. Thus, the Tosefta’s statement (that living in Israel is equivalent to all the mitzvot of the Torah) means that only in Israel is there the potential to perform all the commandments.

The Ramban, in his Mitzvot Asei (LeDa’at HaRamban), quoted in the first volume of the Rambam’s Mishneh Torah, lists settling in the Land of Israel as one of the positive precepts of the Torah. The Rambam, on the other hand, does not include it in his enumeration of the mitzvot asei.

The Ramban bases himself on Numbers 33:53 (Parshat Mas’ei): “Ve’horashtem et ha’aretz viyshavtem bah, ki lachem natati et ha’aretz lareshet otah – You shall inherit the land and dwell in it because I have given the land to you so that you inherit it.” The Ramban uses this verse as the source of the mitzvah rather than the verse in Parshat Re’eh that we quoted previously.

In his commentary to the verse in Parshat Mas’ei, Rashi notes that this verse teaches us that we should first inherit the Land of Israel from its occupants and then dwell in it. If we do so, then, and only then, will the Jewish people, be able to survive in the land. Thus, inheriting the land and actually living in it are intrinsically intertwined.

Ketubot 110b greatly expands on the Tosefta we cited earlier: “A person should at all times live in Israel even in a city where most of the inhabitants are idolaters, but one should not live outside the land even in a city where the majority are Jews because one who lives in Israel is considered as if he has a G-d and one who lives outside the land is compared to one who has no G-d, as it states in Parshat Behar (Leviticus 25:38), ‘Ani Hashem Elokeichem asher hotzeiti et’chem me’eretz mitzrayim latet lachem et eretz canaan lih’yot lachem l’Elokim – I am Hashem your G-d, who has taken you out of the land of Egypt to give you the land of Canaan, to be your G-d.’ ”

The Gemara’s assumption is that upon entering and settling Israel one automatically acknowledges G-d, and conversely, one who does not live in Israel does not automatically acknowledge G-d (and thus may be compared to an idolater).

In this light, continues the Gemara, we may also read the statement by David made before King Saul (I Samuel 26:19): “Ki gershuni hayom mehistape’ach benachalat Hashem leimor, lech avod elohim acherim – For they have chased me away this day from joining the inheritance of G-d, saying, ‘Go serve other gods.’ ” (Indeed, we find in I Samuel [infra chap. 27] that David flees to the land of the Philistines which, though it was part of the land promised by G-d to Abraham, was nevertheless inhabited by the Philistines and, for all practical purposes, sojourning there was akin to sojourning outside the land of Israel.)

The Gemara observes that we are not informed that anyone told David to worship other gods; therefore, he must be teaching us that living outside the land is like worshiping idols.

The Maharsha asks what the meaning of this Gemara is. He notes that Hashem is surely the G-d of the whole world. How does living outside Israel make one an idol worshipper? Although Hashem is referred to as “the G-d of the Land” – meaning the land of Israel – one who lives outside Israel cannot be referred to as being without a G-d since Hashem is the G-d of the whole world.

What the Gemara means, rather, is that someone living outside of Israel is considered like an idolater who does not accept Hashem as his G-d – just like the nations of the many lands who worship idols. This was what David meant when he said that he was told to serve other gods; Saul had forced him to live outside Israel, in a place of idolatry.

About the Author: Rabbi Yaakov Klass, rav of Congregation K’hal Bnei Matisyahu in Flatbush, Brooklyn, is Torah Editor of The Jewish Press. He can be contacted at yklass@jewishpress.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Q & A: They Live In The Land (Part V)”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Posted to Twitter in Ferguson, MO by St. Louis County Police: "Bricks thrown at police, 2 police cars burned, gun seized by police. Tonight was disappointing."  Their motto is, "To protect and serve."
Prosecutor in Ferguson Case: ‘Witnesses Lied Under Oath’
Latest Judaism Stories
Parsha-Perspective-Logo-NEW

To many of our brethren Chanukah has lost its meaning.

Parsha-Perspective-Logo-NEW

This ability to remain calm under pressure and continue to see the situation clearly is a hallmark of Yehuda’s leadership.

Torah-Hakehillah-121914

It would have been understandable for these great warriors to become dispirited.

Torah-Hakehillah-121914

The travail of Yosef was undoubtedly the greatest trauma of Yaakov’s life, which certainly knew its share of hardships.

Yosef, in interpreting the first set of dreams, performed in a manner that was clearly miraculous to all.

Chazal teach us that we need to be “sur may’rah v’asei tov,”avoid bad and do good.

When we celebrate the completion of learning a section of Torah, we recite the Hadran.

Fetal Immersion?
‘The Fetus Is A Limb Of Its Mother’
(Yevamos 78a)

Yosef proves he is a true leader; He is continually and fully engaged in the task of running Egypt

When the inability cannot be clearly attributed to either spouse, the halacha is the subject of debate among the Rishonim.

Those who reject our beliefs know in their souls Jewish power stems from our faith and our prayers.

He stepped outside, and, to his dismay, the menorah was missing. It had been stolen.

Though we Jews have deep obligations to all people our obligation to our fellow Jew is unique.

In a way that decision was the first in a series of miracles with which Hashem blessed us.

Question: If Abraham was commanded to circumcise his descendants on the eighth day, why do Arabs – who claim to descend from Abraham through Yishmael – wait until their children are 13 to circumcise them? I am aware that this is a matter of little consequence to our people. Nevertheless, this inconsistency is one that piques my curiosity.

M. Goldman
(Via E-mail)

Exploring the connection between Pharaoh’s dreams and the story of Joseph being sold into slavery.

More Articles from Rabbi Yaakov Klass
QuestionsandAnswers-logo

Question: If Abraham was commanded to circumcise his descendants on the eighth day, why do Arabs – who claim to descend from Abraham through Yishmael – wait until their children are 13 to circumcise them? I am aware that this is a matter of little consequence to our people. Nevertheless, this inconsistency is one that piques my curiosity.

M. Goldman
(Via E-mail)

Question: If Abraham was commanded to circumcise his descendants on the eighth day, why do Arabs – who claim to descend from Abraham through Yishmael – wait until their children are 13 to circumcise them? I am aware that this is a matter of little consequence to our people. Nevertheless, this inconsistency is one that piques my curiosity.
M. Goldman
(Via E-mail)

Question: If Abraham was commanded to circumcise his descendants on the eighth day, why do Arabs – who claim to descend from Abraham through Yishmael – wait until their children are 13 to circumcise them? I am aware that this is a matter of little consequence to our people. Nevertheless, this inconsistency is one that piques my curiosity.
M. Goldman
(Via E-mail)

Question: If Abraham was commanded to circumcise his descendants on the eighth day, why do Arabs – who claim to descend from Abraham through Yishmael – wait until their children are 13 to circumcise them? I am aware that this is a matter of little consequence to our people. Nevertheless, this inconsistency is one that piques my curiosity.

M. Goldman
(Via E-mail)

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/ask-the-rabbi/q-a-they-live-in-the-land-part-v/2013/11/07/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: