Love of the Land

Love of the Land - Unchallengable Claim

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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

The Ohrnet feature "Love of the Land," which brought so much enlightenment and enjoyment to so many thousands of subscribers and surfers during the past three years, is being renewed in a different format and with a new subtitle: People of the Land. People of the Land will present brief sketches of people mentioned in Tanach, Talmud and Midrashim as having a special relationship with Eretz Yisrael. An effort will be made to present them in chronological order.

Those who wish to enjoy the wealth of material which appeared in previous "Love of the Land" features can do so on our website,


When Hashem created Adam He took as His raw material dust from the entire world. From Eretz Yisrael came the material for Adam's head, from Babylon his torso, and from the material for his limbs came from the rest of the world.

Rashi explains this in topographic terms. The land of Israel is higher and more important than all other lands and is represented by the highest and most important part of the human anatomy. The depths of Babylon's topography symbolize the impression made when material was taken from there for Adam's torso.

Maharsha, however, takes a different approach. Since the entire world was created for the sake of man, it was necessary that he be formed from every part of that world. It was logical, then, that the head, which contains the mind with its intelligence and soul power, should be formed from the soil of Israel; for Israel is the land most suited for wisdom, in the spirit of our Sages' statement that "the very air of the Land makes one wise," and in Israel is located Jerusalem which the Torah describes as "the gateway to Heaven." The torso, which contains the vital organs and the lifeforce of the heart, was formed from the soul of Babylon which is also conducive to wisdom, and it was because of this quality that the Jews were exiled to that land. The limbs which are but instruments to serve the head and torso were formed from the other lands which are of secondary importance to the Land of Israel.

Love of the Land Archives

Written by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach, Dean, Ohr Somayach Institutions
General Editor: Rabbi Moshe Newman
HTML Design: Michael Treblow
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