By: Rabbi Moshe Goodman, Kollel Ohr Shlomo, Hebron
Inviting the Holy Presence in Our Holy Land
Moshe Would Speak and Hashem Would Answer Him with a Voice
The Call of Sinai continues on through the generations through the Call of the Torah. Just as the Call of the Giving of the Torah emanated from Mount Sinai, so too the Call of Torah emanates from the place the Holy Presence rests. After Sinai, this place was the Mishkan, as it says that “Hashem spoke to Moshe from between the cherubs” in the Holy of Holies in the Mishkan. Afterwards, this place was the Mishkan built in the Land of Israel in such places as Shilo, Nov and other places. Finally, this place of revelation was fixed to the Beit Hamikdash in Jerusalem.
Although in absence of the Beit Hamikdash we are lacking this primary location of the revelation of Torah, nevertheless the Land of Israel remained and remains a remnant of the resting of this Holy Presence. For example this idea can be seen in the halachic ruling which maintains that the establishment of the Jewish calendar by the Beit Din (Jewish Court) may only take place in the Land of Israel. The prooftext given for this ruling is, “from Zion Torah shall be delivered, and the word of Hashem from Jerusalem” (Rambam Kidush Hahodesh 1, 8). Based on this halacha we can more deeply understand the gemara in Hagiga 5b which says that “once Israel have been exiled from the Land, there is no greater nullification of Torah than that.”
In the Tikunei Zohar our Sages teach that at the time of redemption calls of the Shofar will be sounded in the Land of Israel in merit of Hebron where the Patriarchs are buried. Similarly, the call of the Torah at Sinai was accompanied with the call of the shofar. Hebron also refers to Torah according to the Zohar (Shlach), for Torah scholars are called “haber.” Indeed, this is Hebron, the City of Torah, the Call of the Torah which heralds the future redemption.
Real Stories from the Holy Land #299
“When I studied in the (Habad) “Torat Emet Yeshiva” in Hebron, one lad had arrived from Cracow. This lad had been educated in the atmosphere of the Haskala and “Bund” Movements. He had known “Das Capital” of Marx by heart along with knowing its commentaries by prominent socialists. However, suddenly the Jewish spark burned intensely within him, and he decided to ascend to the Land of Israel. Initially, he migrated through various secular circles in Yafo and Jerusalem, but he still did not feel satisfied. Therefore, he decided to learn Torah in the Sephardic yeshivot in Jerusalem, and later on he continued in the Mussar Yeshiva “Or Hadash,” where he was also supported financially. Finally, he decided to move to Hebron. Immediately, when he arrived at the “Torat Emet Yeshiva” in Hebron, and he heard classes in Habad Hasidism, his soul was enlivened. One day, I saw him weeping intensely at the “Sahaduta” spring in Hebron (according to Arab tradition the witnesses of Avraham’s purchase of Maarat Hamachpela were buried there) within which the hasidim had the practice of dunking daily. When inquired, he explained to me that when he had entered the yeshiva’s bet midrash he felt that a new wind of inspiration had been imbibed within him, and that when he heard the tfila of the Habad mashpia, he felt the soul-pouring melodies of dvekut resonating from the great Habad-Hasidic masters evoking awe and a longing for the Almighty, calling even those who had been distanced from the ways of Hashem, to return to the pure faith and to be instilled with a “holy fire of longing” for the true life. Upon this pivotal moment the lad said: “only now do I know the great and hidden power of pure faith, I feel as if I have been born again, and for the small amount of time I have to live I shall know the true goal of life.” Indeed, his life was short, for he was sick with tuberculosis. He passed away and was buried in Hebron.”
Sefer Hebron p. 401
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