Love of the Land

People of The Land #24

The Color of HeavenArtscroll
Love of the Land

PEOPLE OF THE LAND
Selections from classical Torah sources
which express the special relationship between
the People of Israel and Eretz Yisrael

YEHOSHUA -
THE PASSING OF A GIANT

Two unusual features are associated with the burial of the spiritual leader who brought his people into Eretz Yisrael.

One is the Heavenly reaction to the deficiency of proper eulogies for Yehoshua upon his passing. His burial site is described (Yehoshua 24:30) as "north of the volcano". Our Talmudic Sages (Mesechta Shabbat 105b) explain this as a reference to the nearby mountain in Har Efraim that threatened to erupt, as a sign of Heavenly disapproval of this lack of proper tribute to so great a Jew.

The second feature is the tombstone placed on his grave at Timnat Serach. This site is identified elsewhere as Timnat Cheres, which translates as "Picture of the Sun" - a reference to the drawing of the sun on Yehoshua's tombstone. The purpose of this drawing was to recall the miracle of Yehoshua stopping the sun to enable him to complete his rout of the five Emorite kings he battled (Yehoshua 10:12-13). Those who passed by his tomb would thus be aroused to reflect on the tragedy of death coming to one who had accomplished such a supernatural feat.


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Written by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach, Dean, Ohr Somayach Institutions
General Editor: Rabbi Moshe Newman
Web Production: Binyamin Rosenstock
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