Coming Home

We are told in the beginning of the parsha ;

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)

Rashi asks the classical question;” Ma Inyan Shmitta Eitzel Har Sinai ?,What has the sabbatical year to do with Mount Sinai? He continues to ask ”Were not all the commandments given on Sinai? But, he explains, the verse wishes to tell us 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 taught and revealed on Mount Sinai.

Yet clearly we are also to learn that there is a deep connection between the revelation at Mount Sinai and the land of Israel. The entering into the latter seems to be a fulfillment of the experience of the former.

The Modzitzer Rebbe , Reb Shaul Yedidya Elazar explained 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) teaches us that “when you come into the land “ then G-d will give you your “Ani”, your “personhood”, 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 in fulfillment of the words spoken at Mount Sinai.

Yet there is a deeper level as well .

It is clear that the connection between Exile and Shmitta ( the sabbatical year) is strong and dramatic.

27. And if, despite this, you still do not listen to Me, still treating Me as happenstance, 28. I will treat you with a fury of happenstance….. 32. I will make the Land desolate, so that it will become desolate [also] of your enemies who live in it.33. And I will scatter you among the nations, and I will unsheathe the sword after you. Your land will be desolate, and your cities will be laid waste. 34. Then, the land will be appeased regarding its sabbaticals. During all the days that it remains desolate while you are in the land of your enemies, the Land will rest and thus appease its sabbaticals.35. It will rest during all the days that it remains desolate, whatever it had not rested on your sabbaticals, when you lived upon it. ( Leviticus 26:27-35)

Perhaps then we can now understand that the words “Asher Ani Noten Lachem may be referring not only to our personal Ani but rather to the ultimate Ani as well. “Ani Hashem Elokeichem-I Am the L-rd your G-d.”

The prophet Ezekiel teaches us a frightening truth. He declares that when we remain in Exile , the name of G-d is desecrated.

“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( Ani HaShem ), says Hashem Elokim. “( Ezekiel 36:20)

There are many reasons one can imagine why now may not be the right time to make aliya. Those reasons include family issues, livelihood concerns and fears regarding personal security .Yet there is one main reason amongst many why every one of our brothers and sisters need to be take that very step.

That reason is very simply the necessity to sanctify G-d’s name.

The people of Israel are obligated to return G-d’s glory ( Kevod Hashem) to the land. They are empowered and commanded to liberate HaShem’s name from the desecration it endures as His people continue to dwell in exile.

Ma Inyan Shemitta BeHar Sinai- What has the sabbatical year to do with Mount Sinai?. Mount Sinai is the beginning of a voyage that comes to fruition in the land. When HaShem’s people come home to their Father’s house they simply change desecration to sanctification.

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