Love of the Land

People of The Land #13

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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

Fulfillment of a Vow

When Yaakov was about to leave Eretz Yisrael for the house of Lavan, he made a vow that if Hashem would bring him back safely to his father's home he would dedicate himself to Hashem with special service (Bereishet 28:21-22).

When he finally returned to Eretz Yisrael, writes Seforno, he did not wait until he actually reached his father's home, but immediately built an altar at Shechem in fulfillment of this vow.

But why did he wait even to enter Eretz Yisrael?

To answer this question Seforno quotes the words of the Levites recorded in Tehillim (137:1-4). The Levites responded to their captors' demand to "sing for us from the songs of Zion" by "sitting and weeping alongside the rivers of Babylon" and protesting: "How can we sing the song of Hashem in a foreign land?"

Yaakov, too, felt that he could not sing the song of Hashem through building that altar while still in a foreign land.

Love of the Land Archives

Written by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach, Dean, Ohr Somayach Institutions
General Editor: Rabbi Moshe Newman
Web Production: Binyamin Rosenstock
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