Love of the Land

Love of the Land - Tiberia (Teveriya)

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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

TIBERIAS (TEVERIYA)

This famous city on the shores of Lake Kinneret, sometimes referred to as the Capital of Galilee, has an interesting history surrounding both its name and its destiny.

There are different versions in our classical sources regarding the source of the name Tiberias. The Midrash (Bereishis Rabbah 23:1) attributes it to the Roman Emperor Tiberius who named it in his honor. In the Talmud (Megilah 6a), however, the city's original name is given as Rakkat and the explanations offered for the Hebrew name Teveriya are that it is in the tabur - navel - of the land (for after the destruction of Jerusalem the main Jewish community was in Galilee) or that it is tovah riyasah - a beautiful sight.

Teveriya was the seat of great yeshivos and was the last station in the ten wanderings of the Sanhedrin. Our Sages (Rosh Hashana 31a) state that this represented the lowest point in the history of this august body (corresponding perhaps to its below sea-level depth) and that the redemption of Jewry will begin with the reestablishment of the Sanhedrin there before it returns to Jerusalem.

Modern Teveriya is a thriving Jewish community that attracts many local and foreign Jewish tourists who come to the Kinneret or to visit the tombs of Rabbi Meir, Maimonides and other distinguished tzaddikim.


The Love of the Land Archives

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