search
Arie E. Pelta
Surgeon

The Material Benefits of Eretz Yisrael (part 8 of 14)

Tzanz Beach Netanya

95) Is there anything lacking in Israel that we need from the USA?

No! The true source of Eretz Yisrael’s material beracha is its spiritual beracha. When, G-d forbid, we do not live up to our spiritual רוחני obligations, then the Land of Israel withholds it physical גשמי rewards from us; this includes parnasah. G-d Himself, who created the entire universe, tells us that Eretz Yisrael is a good and bountiful Land. To see this bounty depends on our loyalty to Torah and Mitzvos; who has the Chutzpa to disagree with G-d?

Devarim 8: 6-11, Parshas Ekev

And you shall keep the commandments of Hashem your G-d, to go in His ways, and to fear Him. For Hashem your G-d is bringing you to a good land, a land with brooks of water, fountains and depths, that emerge in valleys and mountains,A land of wheat and barley, vines and figs and pomegranates, a land of oil producing olives and honey, A land in which you will eat bread without scarcity, you will lack nothing in it, a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose mountains you will hew copper. And you will eat and be sated, and you shall bless Hashem, your G-d, for the good land He has given you. Beware that you do not forget Hashem, your G-d, by not keeping His commandments, His ordinances, and His statutes, which I command you this day.

דברים ח: ו – יא, פרשת עקב

וְשָׁמַרְתָּ אֶת מִצְוֹת ה אֱלֹקיךָ, לָלֶכֶת בִּדְרָכָיו וּלְיִרְאָה אֹתֽוֹ: כִּי ה אֱלֹקיךָ מְבִֽיאֲךָ אֶל אֶרֶץ טוֹבָה, אֶרֶץ נַחֲלֵי מָיִם עֲיָנֹת וּתְהֹמֹת יֹֽצְאִים בַּבִּקְעָה וּבָהָֽר: אֶרֶץ חִטָּה וּשְׂעֹרָה וְגֶפֶן וּתְאֵנָה וְרִמּוֹן, אֶֽרֶץ זֵית שֶׁמֶן וּדְבָֽשׁ: אֶרֶץ אֲשֶׁר לֹא בְמִסְכֵּנֻת תֹּֽאכַל בָּהּ לֶחֶם לֹֽא תֶחְסַר כֹּל בָּהּ, אֶרֶץ אֲשֶׁר אֲבָנֶיהָ בַרְזֶל וּמֵֽהֲרָרֶיהָ תַּחְצֹב נְחֽשֶׁת: וְאָֽכַלְתָּ וְשָׂבָעְתּ,ָ וּבֵֽרַכְתָּ אֶת ה אֱלֹקיךָ עַל הָאָרֶץ הַטֹּבָה אֲשֶׁר נָֽתַן לָֽךְ: הִשָּׁמֶר לְךָ פֶּן תִּשְׁכַּח אֶת ה אֱלֹקיךָ, לְבִלְתִּי שְׁמֹר מִצְוֹתָיו וּמִשְׁפָּטָיו וְחֻקֹּתָיו אֲשֶׁר אָֽנֹכִי מְצַוְּךָ הַיּֽוֹם:

 

96) Where is the source of ALL blessing in the world?

Eretz Yisrael. It makes no sense to ever leave Israel and to go to Chutz LaAretz, especially for prayers. The source of all blessings, is here in Israel.

Midrash Tehillim 14:7

Who guarantees that Israel’s salvation will come out of Zion? [When Hashem shall bring back the exile of his people, Yakov shall rejoice, and Israel shall be glad] (Tehillim 14:7). Rabbi Levi said: “All of the blessings, goodness, and consolations and the Holy one, blessed be He, bestows upon the Jewish people, He brings them from Zion:

 Torah comes from Zion…כי מציון תצא תורה (ישעיה ב:ג)

Blessing comes from Zion…יברכך ה מציון (תהילים קכח:ה)

G-d appears from Zion…מציון מכלל יופי אלקים הופיע (תהילים נ:ב)

Support comes from Zion…ומציון יסעדך (תהילים כ:ג)

Life comes from Zion…כטל חרמון שיורד על הררי ציון, כי שם צוה ה את הברכה חיים עד

 העולם (תהילים קלג:ג)

Greatness comes from Zion…ה בציון גדול (תהילים צט:ב)

Salvation comes from Zion…מי יתן מציון ישועות ישראל (תהילים יד:ז)

 

97) In the prayer Aleiynu עלינו at the end of every Tefilah, what does the word Tevel תבל  refer to?

In the second paragraph of Aleiynu we have the Tefilah written by Achan after the fall of Yericho; it’s call “Al Kein”  על כן . In this prayer is the line  יכירו וידעו כל ישבי תבל . For some strange reason modern translators try to hide all references to Eretz Yisrael in our prayers. Maybe it’s because these translations are written in Chutz LaAretz and some leaders have an agenda to keep us there? The word Tevel תבל refers to Eretz Yisrael.

Sifrei, Parshas Eikev 1-2

Eretz Yisrael, which is more beloved than all other lands, was created before all other lands, as it says עַד לֹ֣א עָ֖שָׂה אֶ֣רֶץ וְחוּצ֑וֹת וְ֜רֹ֗אשׁ עַפְר֥וֹת תֵּבֵֽל, “when He had not yet made the land and the outsides and the beginning of the dust of Tevel”.…Tevel תבל  refers to Eretz Yisrael (Mishlei 8:26).  Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai says Tevel תבל refers to Eretz Yisrael, as it says מְשַׂחֶקֶת בְּתֵבֵ֣ל אַרְצ֑וֹ וְ֜שַׁעֲשֻׁעַ֗י אֶת־בְּנֵ֥י אָדָֽם, “playing in Tevel of His Land, and [having] my delights with the children of man” (Mishlei 8:31). Why is it called תבל? Because it is spiced  מתובלת with everything…But Eretz Yisrael lacks nothing, as it says, A Land in which you will eat bread without scarceness; you will lack nothing there (Devarim 8:9) ארץ ישראל אינה חסרה כלום שנאמר “לא תחסר כל בה” …

…G-d gave all the other lands servants to attend to their needs…Eretz Yisrael is different, the Jews sleep in their beds while Hakadosh Baruch Hu brings down rain for them…

98)  What does the word Eretz ארץ refer to in the Torah and our Prayers?

Eretz Yisrael! It’s again strange that modern translators in Chutz LaAretz consistently mistranslate Eretz as generic land or the world. In fact the Torah and Parashas Shemos and Devarim make twelve references to the word “Eretz” to describe the twelve portions of Israel given to the Twelve Tribes.

Sifrei, Parshas Ekev 3,6

But the Land into which you cross over to possess it, is a Land of mountains and valleys (Devarim 11:11)  והארץ אשר אתם עוברים שמה לרשתה ארץ הרים ובקעות …The fact that Eretz Yisrael is blessed with different types of land each with its own unique qualities is derived from the following: It says, “Thus said Hashem, This is Yerushalayim I have placed her among the nations and all around her are lands (Yechezkel 5:5) כֹּ֚ה אָמַר֙ אֲדֹ-נָ֣י ה זֹאת יְר֣וּשָׁלִַ֔ם בְּת֥וֹךְ הַגּוֹיִ֖ם שַׂמְתִּ֑יהָ וּסְבִֽיבוֹתֶ֖יהָ אֲרָצֽוֹת. Elsewhere, the Torah calls the area surrounding Yerushalayim “land” [ארץ או ארצות?]. How can these two verses be reconciled? Eretz Yisrael is a Land that contains many types of land , tracts of soil, tracts of sand, and tracts of earth…

Rav Shimon bar Yochai says, Twelve types of Land were given to the Jews, corresponding to the twelve tribes of Israel…These are the twelve lands: Devarim (11:10) the Land הארץ into which you possess it, (11:11) But the Land והארץ into which you cross over, (11:11)  a Land ארץ of mountains, (11:12) A Land ארץ Hashem your G-d seeks out, (8:7) G-d brings you to a good Land ארץ,  (8:7) a Land ארץ of water streams, (8:8) a Land ארץ of wheat and barley, (8:9) a Land ארץ of olive oil, (8:9) a Land ארץ  you will eat bread without scarceness, (8:9) a Land ארץ  whose stones are iron, (8:10) the good Land ארץ that He gave you, Shemos (3:8) a land ארץ flowing with milk and honey.

99) Why do Jews of the USA donate money to institutions in Israel? Why does the USA give money to Israel? Why do many international companies invest in Israel?

G-d decreed that that the money from Chutz LaAretz  will pour into Israel. Some people in the USA lament how Israel relies on American donations and many Israeli families rely on their American family money. This is just a fulfillment of G-ds promise in the Torah to shift the monetary wealth  from Chutz LaAretz to Eretz Yisrael.

Sifrei, Parshas Ekev 3,6

Another explanation of the pasuk [from the Shema prayer] “You will gather in your grain, your wine, and your oil (Devarim 11:14) וְנָֽתַתִּ֧י מְטַר־אַרְצְכֶ֛ם בְּעִתּ֖וֹ יוֹרֶ֣ה וּמַלְק֑וֹשׁ וְאָֽסַפְתָּ֣ דְגָנֶ֔ךָ וְתִירֽשְׁךָ֥ וְיִצְהָרֶֽךָ. Eretz Yisrael will be filled with grain, wine and oil and all the other lands will pour דובאות money into it, to fill it with silver and gold, just like it says Yosef gathered all the money that was found in the land of Egypt… (Bereishis 47:14).

 

 

100) What is the difference between eating fruits of Israel versus Chutz LaAretz?

Eating the produce of Eretz Yisrael one ingests the physical nutrients but also imbibes Kedusha and nourishes his soul.

Bayis Chadash (Bach, Ohr Chayim 208)

…there are those who say [in the Mein Shalosh Blessing] “Let us eat of its [Eretz Yisrael] fruit and be satisfied from its goodness” ונאכל מפריה ונשבע מטובה…for the holiness of the Land, which is influenced by the holiness of the supernal Land הארץ העליונה  , is influenced also in its fruit, which absorb some of the sanctity of Shechina שכינה  that dwells inside the Land…if you defile the Land, the impurity also enters the fruits that receive nourishment from the Land…But now that they eat fruits that absorbed the impurity of the Land, the Shechina leaves them…Therefore it makes sense that we insert in this blessing, “Let us eat of its fruit and be satisfied from its goodness,” because by eating its fruit we get nourished from the sanctity and purity of the Shechina…ניזונים מקדושת השכינה ומטהרתה…

101) Why did the manna of the desert not continue to fall once the Jews entered Eretz Yisrael?

The manna did not cease to exist, it rather just changed its form. Now, Jews receive sustenance from G-d naturally  through the holy fruits of Eretz Yisrael instead of a miraculous fashion. The fruits of Eretz Yisrael are on the same level and serve the same purpose as manna from heaven!

Midrash Talpiot, Anaf Eretz Yisrael 1

…why should Eretz Yisrael be deprived of the spiritual manna?…Everything in the desert comes from external impure forces החיצונים והטמאים that grow in the lands of the nations – the domain of the angelic ministers. Therefore, their fruits are unworthy of receiving  sacred spirituality…Therefore, HaKodosh Baruch Hu gave the Jews manna from heaven which has absolutely no connection to the angelic ministers. The fruits of Eretz Yisrael however, come from holiness; and the spirituality that was fitting from the manna attached itself to these holy fruits…(Nahar 21, Ein HaAretz)  Chesed LeAvraham.

 

 

 

 

 

102) Why do we say in the blessing on bread the phrase “from the Land” המוציא לחם מין הארץ and not “from the ground” מן האדמה ?

Because, the blessing on bread refers to the Land of Israel. If there would be no bread in Eretz Yisrael, G-d forbid, there would be none throughout the world…

Imrei Noam (Chiddushim of the Gra), Berachos 35a

…On fruit of the land הארץ one says Blessed are You…who creates fruit of the ground האדמה. This is difficult. Why didn’t the Sages prescribe “Who creates fruit of the land הארץ as the blessing for fruit of the land?…then why don’t we say over bread: “Who brings forth bread from the ground מן האדמה ?…One can answer  these questions by saying that the word ארץ has 3 explanations: 1) ארץ includes everything  in the world, from the heavens to the depths…2) a specific country, as a whole is called ארץ…3) The Land of Israel is called ארץ distinctly…אדמה , on the other hand, is a place that is especially suited for planting…for fruit grows on special soil. Therefore, it is inappropriate to mention ארץ , which is a general term. On bread, however one says, “Who brings forth bread from The Land מן הארץ, because it refers to the Land of Israel. For the seven species that grow in Chutz LaAretz draw their sustenance primarily from Eretz Yisrael!...This is why we in Chutz LaAretz say “Give us dew and rain” ותן טל ומטר  during the winter months even if we don’t need rain, because if there would be no bread in Eretz Yisrael, G-d forbid, there would be none throughout the world…The influence goes from Eretz Yisrael to the rest of the world.

 

103) Why does  the obligation to recite Birkas HaMazon after bread apply all over the world and not only  in Eretz Yisrael?

The food of Eretz Yisrael does not draw a person into the pleasures of this world as much, and when he eats to the satisfaction, he IS able to fulfill the mitzvah of “You shall bless Hashem” וברכת את ה’  with greater ease.

Tzion Beis Chayeinu, vol. 1, p.47 (Rav Yoel Schwartz)

When you eat and are satisfied, you shall bless Hashem your G-d for the good Land that He gave you (Devarim 8:10) ואכלת ושבעת וברכת את ה’ אלקיך על הארץ הטבה אשר נתן לך…The biblical obligation to recite Birkas HaMazon applies everywhere in the world, not only  in Eretz Yisrael. Why then, does the Torah  state that we must bless G-d for the good land  ארץ הטבה ?…

The author of Sidduro Shel Shabbas (Rav Chaim Chernovitz 1760-1816, chassid, Be’er Mayim Chayim) explains…It is well known that the act of eating generally causes a person to become engrossed in the physical pleasures and defilement of this world. “A person rebels against G-d only when he is satiated” (Sifrei Devarim 11:16)…The produce of Eretz Yisrael is different. The food of the Holy Land does not draw a person into the pleasures of this world as much, and when he eats to the satisfaction, he IS able to fulfill the mitzvah of “You shall bless Hashem” with greater ease…

Tzion Beis Chayeinu, vol. 1, p.48-49

Eretz Yisrael is the place best suited for the task of sanctifying our physical actions. After all, every action that is beneficial to society , which is seemingly voluntary , is considered a mitzvah in Eretz Yisrael, for it is included in the commandment to settle the Land…Therefore, it is clear that Birkas HaMazon is especially relevant to Eretz Yisrael, more than any other mitzvah. Over such food that has been sanctified long before it was eaten, through the fulfillment of the land-related mitzvos, it is certainly fitting to recite a blessing and to serve HaShem through the strength of its holiness.

…concerning Moshe Rabeinu, “Did he need to eat of its fruits? Or did he need to satiate himself with its goodness?” and the formulation of Mein Shalosh blessing “To eat of its fruit and be satisfied from its goodness” לאכול מפריה ולשבוע מטובה…However, when one eats the fruit of the Land with a recognition of the sanctity of the Land and the sanctity of its fruit, when one’s love for the Land emanates from “Israel was commanded many mitzvos which can be fulfilled only in Eretz Yisrael” (Sota 14a), the holiness and purity קדושה ולטהרה that are contained in such an act of eating are incomparable.

 

About the Author
Arie E. Pelta, M.D., a Board Certified General and Colorectal Surgeon from the USA, made Aliyah with his wife and 7 children in 2013. He received his Rabbinical ordination in 1997. He is also an active Medical Corps Officer holding the rank of Captain in the IDF Reserves. Dr. Pelta is currently a full time Senior Surgeon practicing in Laniado Hospital (Netanya); specializing in the surgical care of all colorectal diseases.
Related Topics
Related Posts