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In this week’s parsha, Parashat Acharei Mot, we read about the ritual of Yom Kippur. G‑d warns us against entering into the special chamber of the Miskan called the Holy of Holies, following the death of Aaron's two sons, Nadav and Avihu. Aaron is then told that only he himself and the Kohen Hagadol (“high priest”) may enter, once a year, on Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year. The Parshah of Acharei Mot also warns us against bringing korbanot (animal or meal offerings) anywhere but in the Holy Temple, which forbids the consumption of blood, and details prohibiting incest. 

At the end of this parsha in the Torah it says, “For the people of the land who preceded you, did all of these abominations, and the land became defiled. And let the land not vomit you out for having defiled it, as it vomited out the nation that preceded you” 

The land of Israel “vomits” corrupt societies. We are warned to avoid the ways of the nations which were expelled from the Land of Israel. Living in the holy land of Israel is not by right and should not be taken for granted. We need to be morally worthy.

The first and second Temples were destroyed and the Jews exiled because they became corrupted as a society, committing idol worship, murder, adultery and Sinat Chinam - baseless hatred. 

Last week we celebrated the Israel Independence Day - Yom Ha'atzmaut, and it is extremely important to remember that our presence as a nation in our homeland demands a standard of behavior.

This parasha teaches us that nothing in life comes easy. We might be on top of the world for a moment, but if we don't continuously work hard, dedicate ourselves to helping others and persevere in overcoming challenges, we may fall and lose everything we have worked so hard for. 

At this time of year with exams not that far away, we need to work hard and dedicate ourselves to achieving our personal best, and support others along the way. .

Thank you and Shabbat Shalom,

Amit, Grade 11