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Shabbat Rosh Hashana - Haazinu 5774

Ein Ayah: Zion and Jerusalem

(condensed from Ein Ayah, Berachot 9:330)

Gemara: [We now bring the final installment on the gemara about the delegation from Eretz Yisrael that objected to the setting of the calendar outside the Land]. Why did they need to go that far [in their opposition]? Because it says, “For from Tziyon (Zion) will come forth Torah and the word of Hashem from Yerushalayim (Jerusalem)” (Yeshaya 2:3). 

 

Ein Ayah: Tziyon and Yerushalayim are two parallel names that capture different aspects of the city’s characteristics. Tziyon relates to the element of Israel as a nation that is secluded from the nations of the world, keeping to its own characteristics, reaching special spiritual heights that give them prominence. Yerushalayim represents the element of a holy city to which many nations will stream, enabling the spirit of Hashem that is upon Israel to enter the internal world of far-flung societies.

It is a foundation of our belief that the broad spirit of Hashem cannot extend from Israel to the nations unless it is assured in Israel. For this, special conditions are needed, consisting of all the ways and details of the Torah, which enable Israel to remain in its Land and maintain its lifestyle. Corresponding to this idea, the navi said: “For from Tziyon will come forth Torah,” referring to the detailed laws that apply to Israel. Fulfilling the above enables the prophetic dream of the general spirit of the law emerging from Yerushalayim and serving as a light for the whole world.

This difference between the details of the Torah and its spirit, those that are kept within the confines of one nation and those that are to spread throughout the world, find expression in the two elements of setting the calendar: setting the number of days in the month and the number of months in a year. The setting of the year, which revolves around the sun’s cycle relates to the nations of the world, whereas the months relate to the moon, which hints at the Nation of Israel.

In relation to preserving the character of Israel, upon which all the Torah is based, and preserving the light that is hidden in the Torah for the whole world requires that the spiritual advantages of the Torah will be recognizable. This will be accomplished by showing that the Torah is a blueprint for a life full of significance that enables the Nation of Hashem to remain eternally in a proper life in its Land. From this position, they will be able to produce endless good things for which we hope and pray, whose value is immeasurable.

Based on all the above, whoever lowers the value of the observance of the Torah to a religion for individuals limits its greatness to that which a fine individual can reach in his grasp of the divine. Compared to what can be achieved on a national level, one who does so wastes the great potential of the Torah and weakens Israel’s strength. This situation must be reversed, as the navi says: “On behalf of Tziyon I will not be still, and on behalf of Yerushalayim I will not be silent, until its righteousness comes out like a bright light and its salvation will burn like a torch. And nations will see your righteousness, and all kings will see your honor” (Yeshaya 62:1-2). This refers to the more general spirit of the Torah. The continuation, “and you will be called by a new name, which will be uttered by Hashem” (ibid. 2) refers to the special Torah of Tziyon, which relates to the unique characteristics and sanctity of Israel, which they get from their own hard work and from the legacy of the forefathers. “Fortunate is the nation that is such; fortunate is the nation for whom Hashem is their G-d” (Tehillim 144:15).
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Dedication

Refuah Sheleimah

for

Rabanit Itah bat Chana

Ehrenreich

&

Mr. Eliyahu ben Sara Carmel

amongst the sick

of Klal Yisrael

 

This edition of
Hemdat Yamim

is dedicated
 to the memory of
R' Meir
 ben

Yechezkel Shraga Brachfeld

o.b.m

 

Hemdat Yamim

is endowed by

Les & Ethel Sutker

of Chicago, Illinois
in loving memory of
Max and Mary Sutker
and

Louis and Lillian Klein, z”l

   

Hemdat Yamim
is dedicated
in memory of
Shmuel Rozenhak
o.b.m
who passed away
Iyar 6, 5773

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