Love of the Land

People of The Land 26

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

KALEV AND OTHNIEL -
A TALE OF TWO BROTHERS

Kalev ben Yefuneh appears in the Torah as the spy who together with Yehoshua bin Nun who brought back to the people a positive report about Eretz Israel in defiance of the slander perpetrated by their fellow spies. He reappears over forty years later as the head of the Tribe of Yehuda involved in the conquest of that promised land being led by Yehoshua.

In his efforts to drive out the Canaanites who inhabited the part of the land awarded to his tribe, Kalev ran into a serious challenge from the city of Kiryat Sefer. In order to motivate someone to meet this challenge Kalev offered the conqueror of the city the hand of his daughter, Achsah, in marriage. It was Kalev's half-brother Othniel ben Knaz, who succeeded in conquering Kiryat Sefer and marrying his extraordinary niece.

The Talmudic interpretation of Othniel's triumph ascribes to him the success of restoring to his people, through his scholarly talents, the 1700 halalchic issues which were forgotten upon the passing of Moshe. The name Kiryat Sefer, literally translated as the "City of the Book", supports this interpretation of what Othniel achieved in order to marry his brother's daughter.


Love of the Land Archives


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