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Shabbat Parashat Emor| 5763
From the works of Hagaon Harav Shaul Yisraeli zt”l - “Longevity of the Second Sanctification”- Eretz Hemdah I, 3:7
There is a machloket among the Tanaim whether the kedusha shniya, the sanctification of Eretz Yisrael at the time of Ezra, ended with or survived the destruction of the second Beit Hamikdash (Arachin 32b). R. Yossi, who says that kedusha shniya is permanent, learns from “…which your fathers possessed, and you shall possess” (Devarim 30:5), that the two historic possessions of the Land of halachic impact are the only ones which will occur. Therefore, the second one must be permanent.
The Rambam (Beit Habechira 6:16) paskens that kedusha shniya is permanent. He explains that the first kedusha, which was initiated by conquest ceased when the Land left Jewish control, but the second kedusha, which was through chazaka (assuming control), continues even when the Land was taken away. The Rambam’s commentators had difficulty understanding the Rambam’s distinction, which assumes that chazaka is stronger than conquest.
The Radvaz (Terumot 1:5) explains that the kedusha rishona was accomplished only physically, whereas the kedusha shniya was done with an oral sanctification by Sanhedrin. Tosafot Yom Tov (Eiduyot 8:10) says that that which was gained by our capture could be counteracted by capture. However, the kedusha shniya, which resulted from settlement with the permission of the sovereign Persian Empire, could not be undone by capture. The Roman conquest was actually theft of land and had no halachic impact. But shouldn’t Yehoshua’s permission from Hashem be at least as effective as the Persians’? Tosafot Yom Tov concedes, but says that the Babylonians had Divine permission to destroy the first Beit Hamikdash, as stated in the Prophets, whereas the Roman conquerors of the second did not. However, this reasoning is difficult, because the Roman conquest was no less Divinely destined than the Babylonian one, with the only difference being that prophecy had ceased. Certainly, the Babylonians did not capture Eretz Yisrael out of a desire to fulfill Hashem’s will. This explanation also does not address the Rambam’s distinction between kedusha begun by chazaka versus conquest.
It would seem that the Rambam’s distinction stems from the Yerushalmi [which we brought last week] that Hashem promised that the kedusha shniya would be more simply accomplished. The kedusha rishona could only be done by conquest and thus could be similarly undone. Kedusha shniya had the opportunity to use chazaka. Roman conquest primarily affected Jewish sovereignty and independence, not the ability to inhabit the Land, as a large Jewish population remained and, thus, chazaka continued.
On second thought, we can explain the Rambam that the Jewish control attained in the time of Ezra occurred when the Land was quite desolate, enabling chazaka without conquest. At the time of Yehoshua, when conquest was the key, practically and halachically, conquest by non-Jews removed the kedusha.
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