Love of the Land

For the week ending 7 February 2004 / 15 Shevat 5764

The Land That Has Everything

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
Library Library Library

Eretz Yisrael is described as a land "in which nothing is missing" (Devarim 8:9).

This outstanding feature of Eretz Yisrael is hinted at again when the Torah prohibits the eating of the fruit of a tree in the first three years of its life. This rule, we are told, applies to "every food-producing tree whose fruit must be shunned as orlah" (Vayirka 19:23).

There seems to be a redundancy here, notes the Talmudic Sage Rabbi Meir (Mesechta Brachot 36b), since mentioning fruit once obviously identifies it as a food-producing tree. His conclusion is that "food-producing" is a reference to the kind of tree whose wood has the same taste as its fruit and is intended to teach us that even such a rare tree is to be found in the land that has everything.

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