People of The Land #5
PEOPLE OF THE LAND
Selections from classical Torah sources
which express the special relationship between
the People of Israel and Eretz Yisrael
AVRAHAM - A SENSE OF THE LAND
When Hashem commanded Avraham to abandon his home, land and his family, He did not reveal to him what his destination would be, only that he should head for "the land which I will show you" (Bereishet 12:1).
Rabbi Levi (Midrash Rabbah Bereishet 39:8) says that when Avraham traveled through Aram Naharaim and Aram Nachor (the lands north of Israel roughly corresponding to Iraq and Syria of today), he saw their inhabitants eating, drinking and frolicking. Seeing how unproductive they were, he exclaimed that he hoped that these were not the lands Hashem intended for him. When he arrived in Eretz Canaan, however, he saw the people involved in productive agricultural work and exclaimed, "Would that my portion should be in this land!" At that moment Hashem told him "I shall give this land to your posterity (Bereishet 12:7).
Ramban, in his commentary on Torah, suggests that Avraham at the outset sensed that Eretz Canaan was what Hashem would grant him because of its sacred nature and he therefore traveled in the direction of that land when he left his homeland.
Written by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach, Dean, Ohr Somayach Institutions
General Editor: Rabbi Moshe Newman
HTML Design: Binyamin Rosenstock
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