Love of the Land - The Loftiest Level
Selections from classical Torah sources
which express the special relationship between
the People of Israel and Eretz Yisrael
THE LOFTIEST LEVEL
Adam and Noach were not given more than seven commandments by Hashem. If these were sufficient for them to achieve spiritual perfection, why was it necessary for the Jewish Nation to be commanded so many hundreds more, and for Jews living in Eretz Yisrael to be required to observe all of the 613 mitzvos?
The answer is supplied by the Torah in these words:
"Every mitzvah which I command you today you shall observe and fulfill in order to live and prosper, and to inherit the land which Hashem has vowed to give to your forefathers." (Devarim 8:1)
Spiritual perfection has different levels. The level achieved through the seven Noachide commandments is a successful, disciplined life in both the relationship to G-d and to man. But in order to prosper spiritually and achieve a level which transcends time and place, it was necessary for Jews to be given the mitzvos of the Torah which prepare them for eternity and an intimacy with Hashem. To achieve the loftiest level, they must also fulfill those special mitzvos connected with Eretz Yisrael so that they will inherit the land whose spiritual power makes possible prophecy, the constant presence of the Shechina (Divine Presence) and a miraculous existence. This is what Hashem promised the first of the patriarchs when He vowed (Bereishis 17:8): "I will give you the land...and I shall be your G-d."
(Rabbi Leibish Meir Malbim - Parshas Eikev)
Written by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach, Dean, Ohr Somayach Institutions
General Editor: Rabbi Moshe Newman
HTML Production: Eli Ballon
HTML Design: Michael Treblow
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