Beresheit by Rabbi Moshe Goodman, Kollel Ohr Shlomo, Hebron בס"ד
Discover the Holy Presence in the Holy Land
The Force of Gravity and the City of Giants
Our Sages teach that only a married person can be truly called ‘Adam’, as our Parsha teaches that God called Adam and Hava, ‘them’, as one unit ‘Adam’. As we have noted before, the relationship between Israel and the Holy Land is compared to that of a husband and wife. Therefore, we may infer that only when Israel is in their Land can Israel be truly called ‘Adam’ on a national level, in the wholesome sense of this term. Therefore, specifically, when Israel is gathered unto the Holy Land and unto the Holy Temple, the Holy Presence of this Land and Temple is united with them, and thus the Holy Presence is ‘revealed’ unto them. Indeed, Adam, the First Man, was of gigantic proportions according to our Sages, while different parts of his body paralleled different parts of the earth, while the holiest locations such as the Holy Land and the Temple Mount, where the concentration of the Holy Presence is strongest, paralleled the upper sections of his body and his head, according to the Talmud and the Kabbalists. Avraham, who is a reincarnation of the ‘Adam,’ is also called the ‘giant of giants’. The fact that Hebron is the burial site of these two ‘giants’, may explain why here were three famous giants on a physical level, Ahiman,Sheshai, and Talmai.
In physics the greater the mass of an object or the more “giant” it is, the greater is the gravitational pull towards objects around it. Similarly, we may say that Hebron carrying this “giant” theme, therefore, is also a “pulling force” of our People towards their common ancestral roots and common Land, “pulling” our entire People together into a united – “Hebron – unity (lehaber)” whole.
“It is true that the 10 Plagues, the Splitting of the Sea, and the Revelation at Sinai are unprecedented miracles in terms of transcending the laws of nature. Nothing compares. Nevertheless, the Ingathering of the Exiles transcends the laws of history in an unparalleled, extraordinary fashion. Nothing compares. Here’s why. The Ingathering of the Exiles in our times is greater than that of the Exodus in three ways: 1. the length of exile 2. geographic dispersion and 3. the vast cultural-linguistic differences among the returnees. Firstly, the Exodus came after 210 years whereas the return to modern Israel happened after almost 2,000 years of exile – almost 10 times longer. Secondly, all of the Jewish people were in one country, Egypt, whereas in the modern era Jews came from well over 100 countries, having been scattered literally to all four corners of the Earth. And from the most distant places, they have returned and continue to return. Thirdly and profoundly, Rabbi Tzvi Hirsch Chayot points out (Maharatz Chayot, Section 1, p. 74) that in Egypt, the Children of Israel were confined to both to a ghetto in Goshen and to a life of segregation and slavery, not allowing them to assimilate or integrate into Egyptian society. On the other hand, in the present Ingathering of the Exiles, the Jews spoke as many as 80 different languages! They were often unable to understand one another, and many had been assimilated or integrated into the cultural and ethnic environments of their host nations. As Rav Chayot suggests, it would require a separate remarkable miracle to unite so many culturally, linguistically disparate people into one functional society. Yet this is exactly what has happened in modern-day Israel.