Love of the Land

For the week ending 16 June 2012 / 25 Sivan 5772

Tel Aviv- The Gateway to Eretz Yisrael

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
Library Library Library

The emblem of this city, officially known as Tel Aviv-Jaffa, is a lighthouse and a gate, symbols of the citys historic role as the gateway from the sea to Eretz Yisrael. Jaffa ("Yafeh" in Hebrew means "beautiful") is mentioned as a port in the Book of Yonah, which is read at Mincha on Yom Kippur. Jews began returning to this port in 1840 and subsequent immigration led to the development of colonies in the area.

The climax of this growth was the establishment in 1908 of Tel Aviv, the major urban center of modern Israel. Tel Aviv was the name of a city in Babylon where exiles from Eretz Yisrael had gathered (Yechezkel 3:15) but its Zionist founders gave the new city this name because it was the title of the Hebrew translation of Herzl's "Altneuland".

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