By Rabbi Moshe Goodman, Kollel Ohr Shlomo, Hebron
We see here Twelve tribes, six to the right and six to the left, allocated for the two mountains Gerizim and Eival, for blessing and cursing, respectively, as they are allocated in the Torah in this parsha. We see also twelve leaders of these tribes holding four species which represent the union of all parts of Israel, as our Sages taught that the etrog represents the righteous, the hadasim to those who have good and the aravot to the wicked. Also the Torah mandates that these species be taken with joy, a matter that can teach us that unity is achieved through joy and giving joy to others. Notice also that the Kohen-Levite is seen at the top as the 13th tribe. The blue color seen here as the garments of the leaders of tribes here seems to be hinting to the celestial level associated with the sky-like blue, as our Sages taught about the techelet-blue dye that it resembles the heavens and the Celestial/Heavenly Throne. This matter reflects how the ceremony at Mount Gerizim and Eival also represents Israel’s taking on the covenant with Hashem, taking on the responsibility of the mitzvot acknowledging that if they obey the commandments they will be blessed and if not, God forbid, they will be cursed. This covenant also highlights how they are a Divine Heavenly People.
Hebron the City of Unity – Hibur is also key in bringing unity to our People, as this city also carries our common ancestral roots, illuminating our souls with the bond of the Holy Land, as it says “who is like your People Israel one people in the Land.”