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Acharei Mot-Kedoshim

By: Simita E. Barrocas, Boca Raton, Florida

I want to dedicate this Dvar Torah to a very close family friends daughter who was killed this past week due to a horrific car accident. Shoshana Rochel Bat Elimelech, may her neshama have an Aliyah! 

In this week's פרשה  of אחרי מות  there are several mitzvot that we are commanded to keep that are applicable to ארץ ישראל specifically.

אבן עזרא  links the prohibition against עריות with living in Israel, noting that Yaakov married two sisters when he lived in Charan, and Amram married his aunt in Egypt. However אברבנל stresses that neither of them had to observe these laws as they lived before the time of מתן תורה . רמב״ן  expands on the idea of the אבן עזרא and explains that the prohibition is one that applies solely to a person and not dependent on the land. Deposit that fact, ארץ ישראל doesn't tolerate idolaters or sexually immoral people and therefore vomits them out of the land, whereas other countries do not have this significant quality.

Although everything essentially pertains to Hashem, what remains outside of the land of Israel lacks complete tahara, holiness. In ארץ ישראל , Hashem  is referred to as אלוקי הארץ "God of the land" which is the inheritance of Hashem, and that is the reason why ארץ ישראל cannot tolerate the tumah of other nations.
The ספת אמת  conveys that Bnei Yisrael are simply suitable, by their נשמות , to live only in ארץ ישראל due to our attachments to Hashem and the amount of קדושה which is inherently instilled within us.

With that being said, this ties into the following פרשה of קדושים where Hashem commands us to be קדוש because He too, is קדוש . The word  קדוש is noted for meaning "holy" or "different" yet perhaps it too implies separate. Though Hashem is omnipotent and separate from the world, he is nevertheless not divorced from it as is still very much involved in it. This is in essence the task of Bnei Yisrael, to exist in the world, but not be engulfed by it. The  כתב סופר teaches that if one separates himself from other people to perfect his own soul, and doesn't put forth the effort to deal with others is not fulfilling how Hashem wants us to קדוש . Actually, the exact opposite is what is expected of Bnei Yisrael to emulate Hashem. One must invest himself on trying to manage a way to be a benefit to others and to guide them in order to increase their זכויות .

The  חתם סופר perceptively points out that the word used in פסוק to describe Bnei Yisrael publicly gathering together is הקל , meaning to assemble, and from this we learn out that this פרשה of קדושה has no place in isolation, but must be among the people and with the people. That's the meaning of Jewish קדושה .Just as Avraham, though he was exalted by those in his generation, was still involved and made it his  purpose to bring people closer to Hashem. The Jewish way of קדושה is not so much so to be different, but to sanctify oneself in the midst of life, not outside it. Furthermore, we Jews should not withdraw from the world due to despair, but rather immerse ourselves and find pleasure in the world by reciting ברכות of appreciation in order to be sanctified by the קדושה of Hashem.