The Uniqueness of the Land of Israel
The last section of this Torah portion deals with the unique status of the Land of Israel, and its relationship to the Jewish nation. There are three dimensions to this relationship, which is based on the nation’s adherence to the observance of both the positive and negative commandments of the Torah. The Land of Israel is essentially a gift to the Jewish People, a reward for their fidelity to the Torah. The first reward is the inheritance of the Land itself. The second reward is the permanence of that inheritance. The third reward is the ability of the Land to provide for the needs of its inhabitants.
The Torah makes it clear that the Land of Israel is unlike the land of Egypt that they had left, “Where you could plant your seed and water it on foot like a vegetable garden” (Devarim 11:10). The Land of Israel does not possess a constant and dependable source of water like the Nile River. Rather it is a land of hills and valleys, totally dependent on rainfall from above, “from the rain of heaven will it drink water” (Devarim 11:11). The word “heaven” is not just a reference to the clouds in the sky, but rather refers to
Even though the constancy of the water of the Nile in Egypt is also a product of
Finally, the reward for Torah observance is not simply adequate rainfall. Rather, the Torah makes it clear that the rainfall will occur at precisely the right times and in the right quantities to insure the maximum agricultural benefit. Furthermore, it will occur at night in order not to disturb the farmers working the Land.