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Parshat Bereishit

By: Mrs Michal Porat-Zibman

"Vayishalchehu Hashem Elokim Migan Eden...Vayigaresh et haAdam vaYashken  miKedem liGan Eden..." Bereishit 3: 23-4

"And G-d sent (Adam out of) the Garden of Eden.  And he exiled man, who went out of the Garden of Eden"

The Sfat Emet (19th century Poland, Chassidic Master) comments on this pasuk- that the term 'G-d sent' seems somewhat unnecessary, as the verse right after states that G-d exiled man. Clearly if he was exiled- then he was sent out!


In order to solve this, he comments that the word "Vayishalchehu" has significance beyond just the verb implying mans exile.  He advises to look at the root of the word 'Shalach"= sent- and read it as "Shlichut"- mission.


When man was sent out of Eden and exiled, he wasn’t just sent out and ordered to start anew. But rather, he was sent out with a mission. The Sfat Emet says, that once man knew the 'flavor' of the Garden of Eden, he knew what we should be striving towards. Once you’ve tasted from the holiness of the Garden of Eden, you know where you need to be returning to. So G-d did not just exile man, but rather, he needed to be exiled, and G-d sent him with a mission. With the power of the Garden of Eden, of Paradise, in you, Adam, you have the ability to bring Tikun Olam. To heal the world, to repair what needs to be fixed. You are now on a mission to bring people back to that Paradise. I think a similar idea can be said with regard to when one leaves Eretz Yisrael. Many of our dear alumnae, who have spent time in the Gan Eden of this world, Eretz Yisrael, return to Chutz LaAretz afterwards. (We are, Baruch Hashem, privileged to have many of our alumnae living in Eretz Yisrael as well.)


Perhaps, the proper way to look at 'leaving' the land of Israel, is to know that you are returning to the Diaspora, not detached from the Aretz, not separated from the Aretz, but on a mission from the Aretz. You, who have been so privileged to spend time in Eretz Yisrael, now know the flavor of Torat Eretz Yisrael. Now know the beauty of Eretz Yisrael. When you leave, you leave with a mission. You leave on Shlichut. Your goal is to do what you can, to bring more Jewish people back to the Land of Israel. Your goal is to share with others, the Torah of Eretz Yisrael. Your goal, is to speak to others, of the beauty of Eretz Yisrael. Your goal, is never to forget, that you were once part of Eretz Yisrael, and when the time is right IY"H, you will be part of it again as well.


As we end off this period of holidays, the Sfat Emets words should serve to strengthen you in all that you do in Chutz LaAretz. Remember that you are on a mission, remember what that mission is, and remember to come home soon.




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