Friday, October 31, 2014

Parsha: Double Your Pleasure

Rav Cohen

In this weeks parsha there is a beautiful insight by the Kli Yakar that relates to the unique qualities of Eretz Yisrael. In two separate pasukim, Hashem describes to אברהם אבינו the process of acquiring Eretz Yisrael.  The two pasukim are similar, yet contain subtle differences. 

In the first pasuk, Hashem tells אברהם אבינו to look at the land.  What he sees will become his possession. The pasuk also mentions that ownership of the land will not only be for אברהם אבינו, but  will also be for all of his future generations - לזרעך עד עולם. 

In the second pasuk, ה׳ tells אברהם to acquire Eretz Yisrael by walking on it and along it׳s borders. The pasuk also implies that this will only be for Avraham - לך אתננה - and not for his children. 

What is the reason for these differences?

The Kli Yakar explains that there are two different elements of Eretz Yisrael that need to be acquired.  The first element is spiritual, as this is the place of Hashem's שכינה and the future home for the Beit Hamikdash.  The second element is physical.  

Accordingly, the  pasuk that says  the land can be acquired through "seeing" refers to acquiring the spiritual element of Eretz Yisrael. The קדושה of the land is something intangible, and therefore is not subject to the regular rules of acquisition. More specifically, the kedusha of the Beit Hamikdash's location is intrinsic and unconditional.  It is never removed.  Therefore, it is an also an acquisition for Avraham's descendants.  For this reason, every Jew yearns to stand in the old city and peer out at the spot of the Beit HaMikdash.

The pasuk that speaks about walking on the land refers to physical elements of the land. Walking on the land is a standard form of kinyan, discussed in the Gemara. The physical element of the land is conditional upon the way that that Am Yisrael acts. Ownership is only retained if we follow the Torah and mitzvos, which will allow us to merit living in Eretz Yisrael.

May we all be zocheh to acquire, and enjoy, both aspects of Eretz Yisrael and through our performance of mitzvos bring the Beit Hamikdash speedily in our times.
שבת שלום

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