Love of the Land

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Love of the Land

Selections from classical Torah sources
which express the special relationship between
the People of Israel and Eretz Yisrael

The Ohrnet feature "Love of the Land," which brought so much enlightenment and enjoyment to so many thousands of subscribers and surfers during the past three years, is being renewed in a different format and with a new subtitle: People of the Land. People of the Land will present brief sketches of people mentioned in Tanach, Talmud and Midrashim as having a special relationship with Eretz Yisrael. An effort will be made to present them in chronological order.

Those who wish to enjoy the wealth of material which appeared in previous "Love of the Land" features can do so on our website,


Noach shared something very special with the Land of Israel — both were survivors of the Deluge that destroyed the rest of the world and all of its land inhabitants outside the Ark.

The survival of Noach and his family is clearly recorded in the second parsha of the Chumash. But where is it indicated that the flood waters did no damage the Land of Israel?

The answer lies in the olive leaf which the dove brought back to Noach as evidence that the flood waters had receded. Where did this bird manage to find a leaf in a world whose animal life and vegetation had been so completely devastated? Rabbi Levi, in Midrash Rabbah (Vayikra 31:10) supplies the solution to this mystery by revealing that the olive leaf came from a tree on the Mount of Olives in the Land of Israel. The devastating rains which destroyed all vegetation elsewhere did not descend upon this land, and the flood waters which did reach there covered its trees but did not destroy them.

This survival of the land, say our Sages, finds expression in the prophecy of Yechezkel (22:3) who was told by Hashem that “it was not rained upon in the day of fury.”

Love of the Land Archives

Written by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach, Dean, Ohr Somayach Institutions
General Editor: Rabbi Moshe Newman
HTML Design: Michael Treblow
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