Love of the Land

Love of the Land - The Promised Land

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Love of the Land
Selections from classical Torah sources
which express the special relationship between
the People of Israel and Eretz Yisrael


This week's Torah portion, Lech Lecha, will introduce a new dimension of this column - a focus on individual cities in the Promised Land. As an appropriate introduction we offer this perspective of the promise itself.

Four Divine promises to Avraham are mentioned in Parshas Lech Lecha regarding the "Promised Land," and they form a fascinating pattern. As Avraham reaches a higher level in his relationship with Hashem, there is a corresponding increase in the level of the promised prize.

"I shall give the land to your posterity" (Bereishis 12:7) is a limited promise which could mean only a small part of the land which Avraham had traveled until that point - the site of Shechem.

As Avraham's merits increase, he is told to lift his eyes and look in all directions. All those lands would be his, the gift would be an eternal one and his posterity would be as numerous as the dust of the earth.

(Bereishis 13:14-16)

In the historic covenant which previewed the special relationship of Avraham and his posterity with Hashem through the sacrificial service in the Sanctuary, the promise is expanded to include the "Greater Land of Israel," and a guarantee that the sins of posterity will not forfeit this promise. (Bereishis 15:18-21)

In the covenant of circumcision, Avraham's bonding with his Creator is rewarded with a promise that his posterity will return to their promised land even after they are exiled from it, and they will have a special, intimate relationship with Hashem. (Bereishis 17:8)

(Based on the Commentary of Nachmanides)

The Love of the Land Archives

Written by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach, Dean, Ohr Somayach Institutions
General Editor: Rabbi Moshe Newman
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