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Friday, Iyar 5, 5782 (20th day of the Omer)/ May 6, 2022


This week’s Parsha in Israel is Emor. In the Diaspora we will read Parshat Kedoshim.


The following are quotes from the teachings of our sages about our Holy Land, the Land of Israel – the eternal land of the Jewish people.


Q.   Why did G-d choose to give the Land of Israel to the Jewish people?


A.   From the Midrash: The Holy One said to Moshe, “The Land is precious to Me, and Israel is precious to Me.  I shall bring Israel who is precious to Me into the Land that is precious to Me.”


Q.  Why does the Torah begin with the Story of creation?


A.  Midrash: Rabbi Isaac said, “G-d wanted to proclaim to His people the power of His works.  For, should the people of the world say to the Jewish people, ‘You are robbers, for you conquered the lands of the seven nations.’  Israel will be able to reply, ‘The entire earth and whatever is on it belongs to the Holy One.  He created it and He gave it to whomever seemed right to Him.  When He wanted, he gave it to you and when He chose us He gave it to us!”


The following is a story of four Talmudic sages: Rabbi Yehuda ben B'teira, Rabbi Masia ben Cheresh, Rabbi Chanina and Rabbi Yochanan were leaving Israel to settle abroad.  When they came to Platus and remembered the Land of Israel they lifted their tear filled eyes, and recited the verse, “You shall possess it, and dwell in it, for in it you can observe all the laws” (Deut. 11:31).


Then they turned around and went back, saying, “Living in the Land of Israel is equivalent to performing all the commandments in the Torah!


Q.   Why is the holiest city and capital of Israel, called Yirushalayim (Jerusalem)?


A.  Our sages say that the name is a combination of two words; "Yireh" and "Shaleim.


When G-d told Abraham to bring his son Isaac as a sacrifice on Mount Moriah, which is where the Holy Temple was later built in Jerusalem, Abraham named the place "Yireh"; "And Abraham called the name of the place ‘Hashem Yireh’" - “The L-rd will see” (Genesis 22:14).


Earlier in the Torah (Genesis 14:18) the Torah tells us that when Abraham returned from waging war with the four kings he was greeted by Shem the son of Noah.  The Torah refers to Shem as, "Malki Tzedek, King of Shaleim." "Shaleim" say our sages was the name of the city (of Jerusalem) at that time. In honor of Shem and Abraham, the city is called Yirushalayim - combining the names. "Yireh" and "Shaleim,"




Montreal candle lighting time: 7:49 / Shabbat ends: 9:00