Love of the Land - Gateway to Heaven
Selections from classical Torah sources
which express the special relationship between
the People of Israel and Eretz Yisrael
GATEWAY TO HEAVEN
One who prays outside of Eretz Yisrael should face in the direction of Eretz Yisrael, and one who prays in Eretz Yisrael faces in the direction of Yerushalayim.
Both of these directives are deduced from the prayer of King Solomon at the inauguration of the Beis Hamikdash, in which he appealed to Hashem to accept the prayers of His people in all places and all circumstances. Should they be taken away from their land into foreign captivity because of their sins, he asked that their repentful "prayers directed to Hashem through their land" be accepted (Melachim I 8:48). Should they be engaged in war in their own land, he asked that their prayer for heavenly help "directed to Hashem through the city You have chosen" be accepted (Melachim I 8:44).
Although King Solomon was referring to particular circumstances placing Jews outside their land and their city, he set the guidelines for how Jews in all times must direct their prayers to Heaven through the holy land and the holy city where the holy house of Hashem stood.
Written by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach, Dean, Ohr Somayach Institutions
General Editor: Rabbi Moshe Newman
HTML Production: Eli Ballon
HTML Design: Michael Treblow
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