Parshat Nitzavim-Vayelech by Rabbi Moshe Goodman, Kollel Ohr Shlomo, Hebron בס"ד
Discover the Holy Presence in the Holy Land
Mutual Responsibility and Multiple System Bodily Connection
In the past, we have shown how the mutual responsibility to our fellow Jew, as in the saying ‘all Israel are cohorts (‘areivim’) to each other’, is essentially tied to Israel’s connection to the Zion. The Talmud Sanhedrin 43b interprets the verse in this parsha, (Dvarim 29, 28), ‘the hidden is to HaShem our God,’ said just before Israel’s entrance into the Land. The Torah marks numbers of letters in this verse with dots. According to all opinions in the Talmud, the dots are interpreted to narrow the mutual responsibility for the sins of our fellow Jew to begin only at the entrance to the Land of Israel in the era of Joshua, while opinions differ in regard to the difference between ‘hidden’ sins versus ‘revealed’ sins in regard to this mutual responsibility. The concept of ‘mutual responsibility’ between Jews is halachically grounded not just in regard to sins but also positively in regard to the ability to benefit another Jew by reciting a blessing for them, after which the fellow Jew answers Amen and is thereby exempted from pronouncing this blessing himself, for example. Just as mutual responsibility begins with the Land of Israel, so too mutual responsibility and unity of Israel is enhanced continuously in this Land as the Zohar (3, 93b) teaches us that Israel is considered ‘one People’ only in the Land of Israel, as the verse says and as we say at the Amida of Mincha of Shabbat ‘[Israel are] one Nation in the Land’. Indeed, in regard to the laws of erroneous rulings of the High Jewish Court, the Sanhedrin, we clearly see that the concept of ‘kahal’, community, in the Torah, is unique to the People living in The Land (Rambam Shgagot 12, 1). Aside from the proof-texts for this provided in the Talmud, we can explain, on a logical level, that it is specifically in the national home of the Jewish People, i.e the Land of Israel, that Israel is truly considered one complete “communal” unit.
In medicine we find that the even various systems of the human body are interconnected, not to mention the various components of each system, which of course are closely interconnected. For example, in Multiple organ dysfunction syndromes (MODS) separate systems of the body are affected by the same syndrome. According to the Arizal, each soul comes from a different place/organ of the Grand Man/First Man. Therefore, here too we see how all souls of Israel are interconnected in this “Grand Man.” As we are in the midst of Elul and approach the Days of Repentance this is an opportune time to “return” to our souls, i.e our “Grand Communal Soul,” and realize our great responsibility for our fellow Jew. This is the time also to return to our devotion towards our Holy Land, Land of the Holy Presence, for through our return to this Land our personal return becomes ever more a national return. Therefore, it becomes obvious why this parsha links repentance with returning to our Land, in the famous “parshat Hateshuva.” In Hebron, the City of Unity, Beacon of the Holy Land, all this is so natural, for Hebron inspires us with its uniting Light (hibur=Hebron, emanating from uniting Light of the Holy Presence in our Holy Land.
From now till the Days of Awe, when we pray to be written in the “Book of Life,” we will relate real stories that demonstrate Hashem being the “King of Judgment” through stories of the afterlife, near-death experiences, etc. Also, Maarat Hamachpela is considered a “channel” to the afterlife: At one yeshiva in Jerusalem there was an incident in which a cat came into the Beit Midrash during the shiur of the Rosh Yeshiva, and immediately after the shiur the cat would leave. The students tried to banish the cat, but the cat would not agree to budge until the end of the shiur, when it left immediately. When this incident occurred a number of times, the students decided to follow the cat, and to their surprise, instead of going to the closest dumpster as typical for city-cats, the cat kept walking for a long distance till it entered a specific neighborhood in Jerusalem. Then, the students asked Rabbi Kaduri (zt”l) about this phenomenon. Rabbi Kaduri then asked that he visit the yeshiva with the request that all students in the yeshiva that are meant to say kaddish on a relative deceased be present and say kaddish after the shiur. Rabbi Kaduri indeed came to the yeshiva’s shiur, and the cat once again reappeared. At the end of the shiur, all these fore-mentioned students recited kaddish. Suddenly, the cat jumped and encircled the “bima” at the center of the yeshiva, and then died. After this, Rabbi Kaduri summoned all those who said kaddish to talk with him privately. Finally, one of these students admitted that this instance that Rabbi Kaduri ordered all to say kaddish, was the first time he said kaddish on his deceased father. After his father, who used to live in the fore-mentioned distant neighborhood of Jerusalem where this cat had walked, died, his son refused to say kaddish for him, since he wanted to punish his father for his ill-treatment of him and his mother. However, when Rabbi Kaduri ordered that all say kaddish, he felt he could not refuse, and here it was seen that this kaddish raised the soul of his father, ending his reincarnation as a cat.
Source: “Ta’am Hatorah” Parshat Ki Tetze