Kenneth Cohen

Righteous Israelis

There are certain instances in a person’s life, when his slate is cleaned of all his previous sins. The wedding day is such an example, when there is a fresh start.

The Torah also gives people a new start when the Sabbatical year arrives. All debts are forgiven, which allows a person to get out of financial difficulties.

There is reference to the fresh start that one is given when he moves to Israel from Parshat Kedoshim. The positioning of a verse that speaks of atoning for a specific sin, is adjacent to the verse that speaks of, “when you shall enter the Land.”

The Rabbis derive from these two verses that one who lives in Israel, will achieve atonement for all previous iniquities. There is another reference that implies that one who lives here, is a Tzaddik.

This is derived from the double mentioning of the words, “And the Land shall not vomit you out.” Those who are not worthy are not tolerated by this holy place, and they do not achieve the special merit of being able to live in Israel.

We must repeat regularly that we are so blessed to have been given the gift of the State of Israel. And those of us that live here, need to constantly give thanks that they are able to be part of this Jewish dream.

About the Author
Rabbi Cohen has been a Torah instructor at Machon Meir, Jerusalem, for over twenty years while also teaching a Talmud class in the Shtieblach of Old Katamon. Before coming to Israel, he was the founding rabbi of Young Israel of Century City, Los Angeles. He recently published a series of Hebrew language-learning apps, which are available at
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