Emor 2020 by: Rabbi Moshe Goodman, Kollel Ohr Shlomo, Hebron בס"ד
Discover the Holy Presence in the Holy Land
You Shall Call Liberty in the Land
The Torah commands that on the Jubilee year that we “call Liberty in the Land,” meaning that servants are freed and that lands return to their previous owners. Just as the Jubilee year is the fiftieth year, so too we receive a small taste of the nature of this year on Shavuot, the fiftieth day, every year. Shavuot is the day of the Giving of the Torah, which gives freedom, as our Sages learn, do not say carved [on the Two Tablets of the Torah] – “harut” – but rather “herut” – freedom, for no one is truly free, save from those who study Torah. Similarly, just as the shofar was heard at the Giving of the Torah so too it is to be sounded on Yom Kippur at the beginning of the Jubilee year. One of the primary themes of Yom Kippur is repentance, and repentance is also a tremendous kindness of Hashem towards freedom from iniquity. Here too, just as “teshuva” means to return, so too on Jubilee year lands return to their original owners, and servants are returned to their original state of freedom. In fact, the themes of Shavuot – The Day Of the Giving of the Torah – and Yom Kippur – the Day of Repentance – are very closely linked as the requests for Torah wisdom and Repentance in the Amida are juxtaposed, and also Shavuot represents the Giving of the First Tablets, while Yom Kippur is the culmination of the Giving of the Second Tablets.
We can see an inter-connectedness between the freedom of servants and the “freeing” of lands of the Holy Land to be returned to their original owners, through the following law: A servant who flees from the Diaspora to the Land of Israel is to be freed on entry, regardless if this is done on a Jubilee year or not (Rambam Avadim 8, 10). This law shows the principle of the Holy Land being the Land of Freedom. Also, based on this principle and the principle of the freedom inherent in the Torah we can more deeply understand the verse: “For from Zion emanates the Torah and the word of Hashem from Jerusalem.”
As the more Jews come to the Land of Israel, allowing the majority of worldwide Jewry to reside in this Land, we come closer to the Jubilee year to become reality, according to halacha. Therefore, we also come closer to the following claim before Hashem: “Hashem, you commanded us that on the Jubilee year even lands in Your Holy Land that were willingly sold are returned to their previous owners, and this should be even more so in regard to those who were taken by force from their land. Now, as we come closer to fulfilling the Jubilee year may You have compassion on your children, Your People Israel, sons of our Patriarchs to whom You originally promised this Land, who have been forced out of the Holy Land, and return them to redeem Your Holy Land entirely./”
In Hebron, Beacon of the Holy Land, we live this ideal, strongly attached to our People’s original settlement of the Holy Land, stemming from our holy Patriarchs of antiquity and looking forward towards the redemptive future with the blow of the emancipating shofar as we learn: “At that time (the “end of days”) the three Patriarchs will adjoin with might, and Truah, Shvarim, Tkiah will be sounded, and with them, the “the earth shall shake”, and this will be in the “end of days”, and all these miracles will be in the Land of Israel, for there is Hebron where the Patriarchs are buried.”(Tikunei Zohar 13, 28b)
Miracles from the Holy Land:
Yom Kippur War: In 1973, while the entire country of Israel fasted for Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement), one hundred thousand Egyptians invaded Israel from the south and over 1,400 Syrian tanks invaded Israel from the north. Although one can say that every war is a miracle, Israel surviving, let alone winning this war, is arguably more miraculous than most of her other war victories. With a significant portion of the Israeli military either in their homes or synagogues, Israel was nearly defenseless. Not only was Israel caught completely off guard and outnumbered, now the vast majority of her soldiers were at their weakest. Initially, Syria was gaining territory, and logic dictates that Israel should have lost this war, but by the end of the Yom Kippur War, Israel somehow managed to come out on top and her weakened troops managed to reach 20 kilometers into Syria!