16 The heavens belong to Hashem, but the earth He gave over to man.
טז הַשָּׁמַיִם שָׁמַיִם לַיהֹוָה וְהָאָרֶץ נָתַן לִבְנֵי־אָדָם׃
115:16 But the earth He gave over to man
Though the heavens remain Hashem’s domain, He bestowed the earth to man, in order to spread His holy name. Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Kotzk, a nineteenth century Hasidic leader, explains beautifully: “The land was given to man to raise it up to the lofty level of the heavens.” This is especially true in Eretz Yisrael. The Bible warns that there is a higher standard for one’s behavior in the Land of Israel, as it says in Sefer Vayikra 18:26-28 “You must keep My laws and My rules, and you must not do any of those abhorrent things… So let not the land spew you out for defiling it, as it spewed out the nation that came before you.”