Love of the Land - The Great Lover of the Land
Selections from classical Torah sources
which express the special relationship between
the People of Israel and Eretz Yisrael
THE GREAT LOVER OF THE LAND
In his plea to the Chief Butler to intercede on his behalf, Yosef asked him to remember him to Pharaoh to release him from this prison "for I was stolen from the land of the Hebrews." (Bereishis 40:14-15)
What was the point of Yosef mentioning to the Chief Butler his land of origin?
Yosef was not motivated to seek a release from prison for the sake of achieving personal freedom. From a spiritual point of view he was more secure in this isolation from human temptations, just as saintly men throughout history sought the refuge of caves for spiritual security. What concerned this great tzaddik was that the spiritual perfection he strove for could be achieved only by a return to the holy land from which he was stolen.
It was this unique passion for Eretz Yisrael which gained for Yosef a privilege not accorded even to Moshe Rabbeinu: To have his bones interred in the Land he loved.
(Rabbi Yonason Eybshutz in "Ya'aros Devash," Drush 14)
Written by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach, Dean, Ohr Somayach Institutions
General Editor: Rabbi Moshe Newman
HTML Production: Eli Ballon
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