Shabbat Parashat Emor| 5768
The Torah and the Land – part I
A midrash says: “Had Moshe entered Eretz Yisrael (=EY), the Beit Hamikdash would not have been destroyed and no nation would have had dominion over
The conquest of Yericho, the first in EY, was unique in two ways: 1) It was accomplished in a super-natural manner; 2) There was a ban on the spoils and a prohibition on building the city. Why were these steps necessary?
The entry into EY after 40 years in the desert marked a sharp change in lifestyle, going from constant miracles to a lifestyle that appeared natural. The main means of sustenance in the desert was mann. The mann experience included daily revelation of Divine Presence in several aspects: The daily falling of the mann enabled a great nation to survive in desert conditions. The manner in which everyone collected a fixed amount that he needed to consume was miraculous as was the double portion that fell on Friday and the lack of mann on Shabbat. All of these showed clearly the Hand of G-d watched over them on an individual basis according to the needs of each and that He was the Creator who finished His work on the seventh day.
Then they entered an inhabited land and the mann stopped. The need to tend to daily subsistence for whole families arose. The first priority was to remove the inhabitants from the Land and to settle it. Natural living had begun, like the surrounding nations, struggling to secure the Land and to extract bread from the earth with hard work and sweat. However, the Divine Will was not for the House of Israel to be like all the nations. Rather, within the, ostensibly natural, conditions of life one must recognize that Hashem is the cause behind all causes. On one hand, one must remember it is Hashem who gives him the strength to attainments. All is in Divine Hands, whether success or failure. On the other hand, everything is an outcome of the extent of fear of Heaven and acceptance of Divine Dominion in all of a person’s actions and behavior.
That is why the conquest of Yericho was done miraculously. They circled the city for seven days with the
In order to see if nation absorbed the lesson of Yericho and to engrain the practical outlook that all comes from Above, Yehoshua declared a ban on Yericho. Heaven forbid that the plentiful spoils would impact on those who experienced 40 years of rationing in the desert, wearing the same clothes as when they left
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This edition of Hemdat Yamim is dedicated in loving memory of
R ' Meir ben Yechezkel Shraga Brachfeld
Hemdat Yamim is endowed by Les & Ethel Sutker of
Max and Mary Sutker
and Louis and Lillian Klein, z”l.