ISRAEL IN THE TORAH

IsraelThe significance of Israel in the eyes of the Torah and Jewish belief cannot be overestimated. The land of Israel is essential to the existence of the Jewish People.

Israel, especially the city of Jerusalem is called the chosen land and was allotted to the chosen People, the Jewish People, from the dawn of time.

Rashi, the foremost commentator of the Torah and Talmud, says this in his first comment on the Bible. “Really the Torah should have begun with the verse of Hachodesh which is the first commandment, why does the Torah begin with the narrative of the creation? So that if in future generations the nations of the world will accuse the Jews of taking another person’s land, we will say the entire world was created by G-d, He created it and gave it to the people of His choice, Jewish People.”

G-d promised the land of Israel to the Jews. There are at least 10 times mentioned in the Bible that G-d promised our forefathers to inherit the land.

e.g. “I will give you and your future children the exact land in which you are living , the entire land of Canaan, as an inheritance forever, and I will be their G-d”.(Genesis 17,8)

See also Genesis 12,7. Genesis 13,15 Genesis 13,17 Gennesis 15,7. Genesis 15, 18. Genesis 26, 3. Genensis 35,12. Genesis 48,4. Genesis 50,24.

One who lives in Israel is considered one whom I am his G-d. When one leaves Israel it is like one who leaves his G-d.

The presence of G-d is felt much more in Israel than in any other place on Earth. As the Torah verse says “G-d is continuously watching over the land from the beginning of the year until the end of the year”

There are 613 Mitzvas (commandments) in the Torah. Of these about 200 can only be done inside the land of Israel. Many codifiers believe that living in Israel is itself one of the 613.

King David established Jerusalem as the capital city of Israel. This was approximately 3000 years ago. After living in Israel approximately 1300 years as a sovereign nation, with kings and a judiciary of its own, it’s own currency and state regulations, the Jewish people were attacked by the Romans and were driven out of Israel.

Ever since then, we mention Israel numerous of times in our daily prayers. Every prayer is infused with a longing to return to Israel speedily in our days. At the conclusion of every Passover Seder (Passover meal) we say the following statement of hope and resolve “Next year we will celebrate Passover in Jerusalem”!