People of The Land #4
PEOPLE OF THE LAND
Selections from classical Torah sources
which express the special relationship between
the People of Israel and Eretz Yisrael
Those who wish to enjoy the wealth of material which appeared in previous "Love of the Land" features can do so on our website, www.ohr.edu.
SHEM – KING OF THE RIGHTEOUS CITY
When Avraham returned from his triumph over four mighty kings, he was welcomed by "Malki-Tzedek, King of Shalem, who brought forth bread and wine" (Bereishet 14:18).
Malki-Tzedek is identified by our Sages as Shem, son of Noach, and the city he reigned over is Yerushalayim. The literal translation of Malki-Tzedek is "King of Righteousness," which means that he ruled a city that makes its inhabitants righteous. In Yerushalayim there was no possibility for a person to stay overnight with a sin to his account, as the Prophet Yeshaya says that this was a city "in which righteousness slept over night."
The commentaries explain that the daily morning sacrifice offered in the Beit Hamikdash atoned for all the sins committed during the night, and the one brought towards evening atoned for the sins of the day. This endowed the Holy City with the righteousness that found expression in the name of its king.
Written by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach, Dean, Ohr Somayach Institutions
General Editor: Rabbi Moshe Newman
HTML Design: Binyamin Rosenstock
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