Vayichi – Blessings of the Land

Chazal state: All of the blessings, goodness, and consolations that the Holy One Blessed be He bestows upon the Jewish people, He brings from Zion.

THE BLESSINGS OF THE LAND

Rabbi Moshe D. Lichtman (https://toratzion.com/about)

Before Ya’akov Avinu passed on to the next world, he gave his grandsons, Efrayim and
Menasheh, the following blessing: May the angel who redeemed me from all evil bless the lads,

and may my name be called upon them, and the names of my fathers Avraham and
Yitzchak; and may they multiply greatly in the midst of the land (48:16).
The Gra points out a “problem” with this blessing: seemingly, it did not come true! If one
studies the various censuses in the Torah, one does not find that the tribes of Efrayim and
Menasheh were more populous than any other tribe. What happened to Ya’akov’s blessing
And may they multiply greatly?
The Gra answers that the blessing did come true, exactly as Ya’akov Avinu intended. He
blessed his grandsons that they should multiply specifically in Eretz Yisrael, as it says, May
they multiply greatly in the midst of the Land. And that is exactly what happened.
Immediately after the Jews conquered Eretz Yisrael at the time of Yehoshua, the verse says,
The children of Yosef spoke to Yehoshua saying, “Why have you given me an inheritance of
[only] one lot and one portion, when I am a numerous people, for the Lord has blessed me so
much (lit., until now – עד אשר עד כה ברכני ה')” (Yehoshua 17:14). In other words, they said: In
the short time “until now” (עד כה) that we have been in Eretz Yisrael, God has blessed us so
greatly that we need more land.
How did Yehoshua respond to their request? If you are such a numerous people, ascend to
the forest… (ibid. 17:15). Chazal comment: “He [Yehoshua] said to them, ‘Go and hide in
the forests, so that the evil eye will have no control over you’ ” (Bava Batra 118a). That is,
Yehoshua was afraid that such a quick and wondrous proliferation would provoke the “evil
eye” to take action against them. Therefore, he advised them to hide in a place where the
“evil eye” has no dominion. All of this, says the Gra, was a result of Ya’akov’s blessing: May
they multiply greatly in the midst of the Land. (Found in Itturei Torah, vol. 2, p. 439.)
This is yet another example of Ya’akov Avinu’s efforts to ensure that his descendants do
not become too complacent in exile. By making their blessing contingent upon Eretz Yisrael,
he was forcing them (to some degree) to long for their true homeland. We, too, should long
for Eretz Yisrael for the same reason. After all, Chazal state:
All of the blessings, goodness, and consolations that the Holy One Blessed be He
bestows upon the Jewish people, He brings from Zion: Torah [comes] from Zion, as
it says, For out of Zion the Torah will go forth (Yeshayah 2:3). Blessing [comes] from
Zion, as it says, May the Lord bless you from Zion (Tehillim 128:5). [God] appears
from Zion, as it says, Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God appeared (ibid. 50:2).
Support [comes] from Zion, as it says, And from Zion He will support you (ibid. 20:3).
Life [comes] from Zion, as it says, Like the dew of Chermon that descends upon the
mountains of Zion, for there the Lord has commanded the blessing, eternal life (ibid.
133:3). Greatness [comes] from Zion, as it says, [God is] great in Zion (ibid. 99:2).
Salvation [comes] from Zion, as it says, O, that Israel’s salvation would come out of
Zion (ibid. 14:7). (Midrash Tehillim 14:6)

Why would anyone want to live anywhere else?

Share:

Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest
LinkedIn

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

On Key

Related Posts

Father of the Settlements – Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda Kook

“HaRav Tzvi Yehuda made it clear that in any discussions with non-Jews about Eretz Yisrael, the starting point must be that the other side acknowledge, without any room for negotiation or compromise, that the entire Land of Israel belongs to the Jewish People for all eternity.”

Terumah – HaRav Dov Begon

Our national home, as well, the State of Israel, was established with G-d’s help, through the good will displayed by large segments of the people. They united together at an auspicious moment and established the Jewish State despite the Arab’s attacking us and despite the enormous difficulties.

Aliyah and Mashiach

Aliyah is not only seen as a personal choice but also as a collective responsibility. It is believed that the return of Jews to the land of Israel contributes to the spiritual and physical revitalization of the Jewish people and the land itself. By actively participating in the process of Aliyah, individuals and communities play a role in bringing about the Messianic redemption.

Mishpatim – HaRav Dov Begon

Above all else, we have to strengthen recognition and faith amongst the myriads of G-d’s people, Israel, that the Land of Israel belongs to them and that it cannot and must not be divided with a foreign people. Jewish control over the Land does not just serve to benefit the Jewish People, but to bring goodness and light to the whole world, as the Prophet Isaiah said (2:3), “For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of G-d from Jerusalem.”

Yeshivat Machon Meir

By encouraging the move to Israel and offering a deep dive into Hebrew, the Machon Meir Yeshiva is helping shape a generation ready to contribute their own chapters to the ongoing story of the Jewish people.