Love of the Land

For the week ending 25 June 2011 / 22 Sivan 5771

The Wiser Sages

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll

The special quality of learning Torah in Eretz Yisrael finds expression in a number of places in Talmud and Midrash.

"The gold of that land is good" writes the Torah about Eretz Yisrael in its description of the area surrounding one of the rivers flowing from the Garden of Eden. This gold refers to the words of Torah, which are more precious than gold, and this description teaches us that there is no Torah like the Torah of Eretz Yisrael, and no wisdom like the wisdom of Eretz Yisrael.

After arriving in Eretz Yisrael after many years in Babylon, Rabbi Zeira reconsidered a position he had in a legal dispute with a colleague. "This is conclusive proof, " he exclaimed, "that the very air of Eretz Yisrael makes one wiser."

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