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How Does Living in Israel Atone for Sins?

This week’s Torah portion: what does Moshe’s song of Haazinu teach us about Zionism?

The last Posuk of Moshe’s song of Haazinu is very illuminating: “He will bring retribution upon his foes and he will atone for His Land and His People.”

Rashi says, “He will pacify His Land and His People for all the suffering which both endured at the hand of Israel’s enemies.” The Ramban says “He will grant atonement for our sins for His name’s sake.” According to the Ramban the redemption of Bnei Yisrael will occur no matter what.

This is an explicit assurance of our Redemption. The Bechor Shor goes further and says that the Posuk implies that G-d Almighty will cause the Land to atone for His People. That is why there is no conjunctive  “Vav” between the words “Land” and “People”. They are intertwined.

This point is driven home by Rav Moshe David Vali. According to Rav Vali the Land of Israel is the “Body” and the Jewish People are the “Soul.” The Posuk above in Haazinu makes this clear by connecting the Land directly with the Jewish People.


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