Parshat Bo

Eretz Yirsrael

“יא: “וְהָיָה כִּי יְבִאֲךָ יְ־הֹוָ־ה אֶל אֶרֶץ הַכְּנַעֲנִי כַּאֲשֶׁר נִשְׁבַּע לְךָ וְלַאֲבֹתֶיךָ וּנְתָנָהּ לָךְ:יג
“And it will be that when Hashem will bring you into the land of the Canaanites, as He swore to you and your forefathers and He will give it to you.”

Once the pasuk already says that Hashem will bring Bnei Yisrael into Eretz Yisrael, the phrase “and He will give it to you” seems superfluous? Rashi comes and explains that the Land, Eretz Yisrael, should be considered in your eyes as if it has been given to you on that very day. The same is said about the mitzvot when it says in פרשת ואתחנן ו:ו and is said in shema every day.
“”,וְהָיוּ הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי מְצַוְּךָ הַיּוֹם עַל לְבָבֶךָ “And these words, which I command you this day, shall be upon your heart”. Rashi also comes there and says that Torah should not be looked at as ancient which no one cares about but looked at as new in which everyone runs to read and learn. Rabbi Yeruchum Levovitz says one might assume that the excitement for the Land and the excitement for Eretz Yisrael is the same. However it is not because Rashi adds on about |Eretz Yisrael that it shouldn’t be looked at as inheritance. What is the difference? Israel is not a land that will be handed on a silver plate. It is a land that one has to earn and work hard for. The Torah is coming to tell us that we shouldn’t look at the land as something that comes to us automatically but as something that must be deserved. How may one earn Eretz Yisrael? By doing mitzvot every day and keeping to the Torah ways.

When a person will go up to shemayim after 120 it is said in Gemara Shabbat says that he will be asked four questions. The first being did he deal with business honestly. The question of did he have a set time to learn Torah will be asked afterwards. Then he will be asked if he was involved in the fulfillment of “פרו ורבו” – the mitzvah of raising children. And last but not least he will be asked if he yearned for the redemption. It’s not enough to believe in the redemption but one must also anticipate it and desire it. One must think the world I live in now is not enough and I want it to change and only then will Hashem be able to bring the redemption.

How can one desire something he has such little knowledge of? In Midrash Rabba in Shir Hashirim explains “דומה דודי לצבי” that it is said that a deer appears and goes back into hiding and then again appears and then goes back into hiding and continues this repeatedly just like Hashem . An example of this is Moshe Rabeinu, when he first came to Bnei Yisrael in Egypt he gave them a slight taste of redemption and then he left them for three months and then returned to Bnei Yisrael. When a person gets a taste of something it leaves him wanting more. Once he has been exposed to it it begins to sound better and better.

The Shem Mishemuel says this is what we do at the seder on pesach. כרפס is eaten and only until later is the Matzah broken and we are able to eat a full meal. כרפס is positioned in this way so that the children ask and we can therefore answer them that we are reenacting gastronomically what happened in Egypt. כרפס is eaten in the beginning and we may only eat less than a כזית. This is a model for redemption. One should feel a longing, deep desire for the redemption. Hashem gave us Israel as our כרפס, to wet our appetite and leave us wanting more. On a normal Erev Shabbat in Israel there is traffic everywhere because everyone is rushing to make it home for Shabbat. The Netivot Shalom says the most dangerous thing is when a person is complacent with his life because then he will always be stuck in life and in the mindset that life the way it is and nothing can be done about it. We should take that כרפס and use it to bring the redemption. We should look at Israel and say this is isn’t enough I don’t just want a Jewish state I want a Beit Hamikdash with Leviim singing by the gates and Kohanim serving in the Miskan. I want more.

Girl studying in MMY