Love of the Land

People of The Land #18

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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

A Reason to Return

After interpreting the dream of his fellow prisoner, the Chief Butler, as one that foretold his release and reinstatement, Yosef asked him to intercede with the king on his behalf.

While it is understandable that Yosef protested his innocence of any guilt that would justify his imprisonment, it is somewhat puzzling why he found it necessary to mention that he "was stolen from the land of the Hebrews" (Bereishet 40:14-15).

Rabbi Yonatan Eybshutz, in his classic "Ya'arot Dvash" (Drush 14) offers the observation that Yosef's motivation for seeking a release from prison was not the desire for mere physical freedom. On the contrary, he could view his isolation in prison as an escape from human temptations in the manner that saintly men throughout history sought the refuge of caves for spiritual security. What concerned Yosef was his sense that the spiritual perfection he longed for could only be achieved by a return to the holy land from which he was stolen.

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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