Israel and Sinai

Moshe KempinskiSinai

We are told in the beginning of the torah portion of Behar ;

“And HaShem spoke to Moshe on Mount Sinai ( Behar Sinai) saying, Speak to the children of Israel and you shall say to them: When you come to the land that I am giving you, the land shall rest a Sabbath to the Lord. (Leviticus 25:1-2)”

Why do we need to be told that this happened at Mount Sinai? In the words of the great commentator Rashi ;” Ma Inyan Shmitta Eitzel Har Sinai? What has the sabbatical year to do with Mount Sinai? He continues to ask ”Were not all commandments given on Sinai?

On one level Rashi offers the answer that this is to teach us that “ that just as with the sabbatical year both the general principle and its minute details were ordained on Mount Sinai, so, too, was it with all the commandments–their general principles as well as their minute details were ordained on Mount Sinai”.

Yet the question remains why the laws of the sabbatical year were used to teach us this lesson as opposed perhaps to the laws of Shabbat.

Perhaps because the laws of Shabbat and kashrut could be fulfilled anywhere on the globe. The laws of shemitta could only be fulfilled in this land.

Mount Sinai finds its fulfilment in Israel.

It is here that the ultimate relationship with Hashem becomes established and solidified. It is here that the commandments achieve their highest purpose.
There is no greater and higher expression of G-d in this world than when His people are returned to his land. Otherwise as the prophet Ezekiel says G-d’s name is desecrated in the world.

“And I will say, ‘It is not for your sake that I do this, House of Israel, but for the sake of My Holy Name that you have desecrated among the nations. And I will sanctify My great Name that is desecrated among the nations, and the nations will know that I am G-d, says Hashem Elokim. And I will take you from the nations and I will gather you from all the lands and I will bring you to your Land.”( Ezekiel 36:20)

Therefore our entering into the land and our performance of Hashem’s commandments become the ultimate sanctification of G-d’s name. That perhaps is the deeper meaning of the verse” When you come to the land that I am giving you, the land shall rest a Sabbath to the Lord. (Leviticus 25:1-2)

Reb Shaul Yedidya Elazar The Modzitzer Rebbe , explained that the words in the verse in the following way ;

“When you come to the land that I am giving you, / Asher Ani Noten Lachem (Leviticus 25:2) That is “ when you come into the land that I ( ANI ) am giving you,”, teaches that in this land G-d will give you your “Ani”, your identity ,your “ I ”.

It is only in the land of Israel that you will discover your inner purpose and destiny. It is only there that you will be able to truly fulfill the “Ani”, the “I “that you were commanded to be.

Furthermore it is only in our living in this land that G-d achieves His most elevated revelation. Man is the language of G-d in this world. We become His highest expression unless we go against His will. Then we become a desecration of His name ( G-d forbid). This is another insight revealed in the verse;

The words “When you come into the land the G-d will give you your “Ani” is referring to another “Ani” as well.

Which “ Ani” is that?

The same Holy “ Ani” that declared “Ani Hashem Elokeichem. I am the lord your G-d”

When the people returned to the land it is more than just the language of G-d, it becomes a revelation .

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