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Acharei Mot-Kedoshim. Holy Land?

This week we celebrate Yom Haatzmaut. Our Parsha also speaks of the Land of Israel.

Let us begin with a question to get the discussion rolling: Israel is sometimes known as the “Holy Land”.

  • What is a Holy Land?

  • Can stones and soil be holy?

  • What is it that makes the land of Israel in some manner “Holy”?

  • Is this an accolade, an opportunity or a liability?

And now to a fascinating passage in our parsha. After detailing a litany of sexual violations, the Torah continues, by warning that these sins can engender national displacement - exile:

“Do not defile yourselves in any of these ways, for it is by such that the nations that I am casting out before you defiled themselves. Thus the land became defiled; and I called it to account for its iniquity, and the land spewed out its inhabitants. So let not for defiling it, as it spewed out the nation that came before you.” (Lev. 18:24-28)

In a similar vein regarding the issue of murder. The Torah states:

“You shall not pollute the land in which you live; for blood pollute