Settling the Land of Israel as in the Days of King Solomon

In Parshat Vayikra (Vayikra 4:13-15) we read:

If the entire congregation of Israel erred and the matter was concealed from the eyes of the community and they did transgress one of the commandments of God that should not be done, they icur guilt. When they realize the sin which they committed, the community shall bring a young bullock as a sin offering and they shall bring it to the front of Ohel Moed, the Tent of Meeting. The elders of the congregation shall lay their hands on the bull’s head before God and he shall slaughter the bullock before God.

Rav Assi teaches in the Talmud, Horayot 3a:

In regard to the sacrifice brought for an erroneous ruling (the communal bull) follow the majority of the inhabitants of the Land of Israel and do not take account the Jews living in the Diaspora. For it stated in Melachim I 8:65 “And Shlomo (King Solomon) instituted at that time the celebration and all of Israel was with him, a huge congregation from the approach to Chamat until the River of Egypt, before God…”

Rav Assi explains that we learn from here that only those Jews who live within the borders of the Land of Israel are referred to as the “congregation” but those Jews who live elsewhere are not referred to as “congregation.”

The Rambam states that the people of Israel are called “congregation” and God called them the entire congregation even if there were only ten men living there.

We see from here the power of those who settle the Land of Israel. The fact that even small groups of Jews lived in the Land of Israel throughout the ages still made them count as the entire congregation.

Now that we are living at a time where the State of Israel is open to immigration we are able to build large and impressive congregations throughout the Land of Israel from the north to the south the same way that the land was settled in the days of King Solomon.

About the Author
Sharona holds a BA in Judaic Studies from Stern College and an MS in Jewish Education from Azrieli Graduate School, Yeshiva University. Sharona was the first Congregational Intern and Madricha Ruchanit at the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale, NY. After making aliya in 2004, Sharona founded Torat Reva Yerushalayim, a non profit organization based in Jerusalem which provides Torah study groups for students of all ages and backgrounds.
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