Rabbi Milevsky's Thought of the Week: Emor

In Parshat Emor the Torah lists Mitzvot of holiness and purity that are to be observed by the Kohanim. The precepts were given to the descendants of Aharon since they play a significant function as the educators and spiritual guides of the people of Israel. I believe that all people who consider themselves to be Torah Jews also have a unique task in our extraordinary era. This coming Monday night the State of Israel and Jews throughout the world will be celebrating Yom Haatzmaut, the national independence day of Israel, commemorating the declaration of independence in 1948. Yet as we thank the Al-mighty for the gift and miracle of a Jewish state, we must bear in mind that the War of Independence is unfortunately not over yet. We remain surrounded by enemies who do not believe in our right to exist. Some say it explicitly; others have learned the art of deception. What remains clear to all alert beings is that defending our beloved state must continue. Yet Torah Jews have an additional responsibility. We must remind ourselves and others that our connection to the land is divinely ordained. By being mindful of the great value of the land - the home given to the nation of Israel by Hashem - we will develop a love, not just for the land, but for the people of Israel. It is our task and mission to be like the Kohanim and call out with conviction that the land of Israel is for the people of Israel to live and prosper there according to the Torah of Israel.

Yom Haatzmaut Sameach!

Shabbat Shalom.