Love of the Land - Tel Aviv - Jaffa
Selections from classical Torah sources
which express the special relationship between
the People of Israel and Eretz Yisrael
The harbor on which this city was built was the famous gateway to Eretz Yisrael. The cedars of Lebanon which Hiram, King of Tyre, sent to King Solomon for building the Beis Hamikdash and his palace were floated down the sea till they reached Jaffa. (Divrei Hayamim II 2:15)
The Sea of Jaffa, say our Sages (Sifra Devarim 33:19), is the repository of all the treasures of ships wrecked at sea, and in the hereafter it will yield these treasures to the righteous. The port of Jaffa was the departure point for the Prophet Jonah, whose futile flight from a Divine mission we read about at the Mincha service of Yom Kippur.
Jews began returning to Jaffa ("Yafe" in Hebrew means beautiful, and this may be the source of the city's name) in 1840. Subsequent immigration led to the development of colonies in the area, climaxing with the establishment in 1908 of Tel Aviv, which eventually became the major urban center of modern Israel.
Tel Aviv is mentioned (Yechezkel 3:15) as
a Babylonian city where exiles from Eretz Yisrael had gathered,
but its Zionist founders gave this name to the city because it
was the title of the Hebrew translation of Herzl's "Altneuland."
The emblem of Tel Aviv-Jaffa is a lighthouse and a gate, symbols
of the city's historic role as the gateway to Eretz Yisrael.
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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