רעך ורע אביך אל תעזב - ואהבת לרעך כמך זה כלל גדל בתרה
Love your friend like yourself This is a general rule of the torah
Your friend and the friend of your father , do not forsake
We read the parshios of achare mos and kedoshim between Pesach and Shevuos.Achare mos prepares us for our national mission to be a 'Kingdom of Priests' while Kedoshim prepares us to be a 'Holy Nation', to bring that elevated service into our worldly ways, to sanctify our daily lives.
Beginning with the service of Yom Kippur which unifies and purifies our people, we tremble remembering the sons of Aharon who were consumed with 'ahavas haShem' and came too close.We mourn them for all time.
Kedoshim is taught to us with all the people together -'b'hakhel,' a preperation for the unity we had when we accepted the torah.
Rabbi Akiva , who taught 'to love your friend as yourself is a general principle of the torah' , exemplified that attribute.While being the leader of his generation in torah, so that he was considered the 'Honour of torah', and could unearth fountains of wisdom in every line, he also was the gabbai tzedeke and collected for the poor.
Perhaps that is why the middas hadin was so severe with his talmidim who died between Peasch and Shevuos and whom we mourn in these days.We love every fellow jew whose neshema is a 'chelek eloka mimaal' - a portion of haShem above.But it is only with the torah that we can recognize this which raises above all wordly matters.With love for each other , we become one people; with honour for each other's torah and understanding we can grow in our own torah.
Israel is now going through a self searching process looking for antional identity.A new bill tabled by Likud ,according to jpost, states that “the State of Israel is the national home of the Jewish people, in which it realizes its aspirations for self-determination according to its cultural and historic traditions. The realization of national self-determination in the State of Israel is unique to the Jewish people.”
There is plenty of opposition from the left who call it apartheid and anti democratic, and ,of course, the extreme chareidi,won't accept the idea of 'self determination.'And ,we living here in the golah , can't escape the issue.How do we relate to Israel which is the focal point for all of us, who accept Sinai in our lives, and how do we relate to our fellow jew,right here.
HaShem is 'Moshel b'Goyim' - rules the nations, but Melech b'Yisrael- a king in Israel.The Gaon from Vilna explains the dfference.Kingdom is a loyalty given by the people, whereas a ruler, rules by force.
If we truly love every jew and we truly believe in our mesorah, there is no other way; it has to come from the people - after all, we lost our right to the Land twice because we didn't live there with the torah and its ideals.We believe that our people have a unique mission in this world , to bring it to its completion , and tikkun, but that can only be when we live as a holy nation , by definition , holy- seperate, in the holy land.When we merit that time, the peoples of the world will want that too.
Actually , this site reflects those ideals.We call it a 'virtual kehilla', but only because the old European style kehilla, not only unified, but also excluded certain elements.We can't do that today.So we try to fulfill many of the functions of the old kehilla, though it is open to all.