About The Israel Bible

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Avraham is commanded to travel to a land unknown to him. To assuage his fears that he would not find friends or supporters in his new home, Hashem promises that He will remain on Avraham’s side by blessing those who bless him and cursing those who curse him. He concludes with the promise that Avraham… Read more »

In this verse, King David compares a righteous person to a ‘date palm’ tree, known in Hebrew as tamar (תמר). Just as the date palm produces numerous fruits, the deeds of a righteous person bear fruit. In addition, he enjoys a fruitful reward for his actions in both this world and the next. Honey from… Read more »

The Hebrew name for Jerusalem, Yerushalayim (ירושלים), incorporates the word shalom, ‘peace.’ And the root of shalom (שלום) is shalem (שלם), meaning ‘whole’ or ‘complete.’ People fight with one another because they are not whole, and are not at peace with themselves. Once one is able to achieve wholeness, he can find inner peace, and… Read more »

In this verse, Moshe encourages Yehoshua to be “strong and resolute” in settling the Land of Israel. Rabbi Naftali Tzvi Yehuda Berlin, known as the Netziv, explains the double language used in this verse. Yehoshua will need to be “strong” to face the Canaanite enemy, and he will need to be “resolute” when dividing the… Read more »

In his first vision, Yirmiyahu is shown an almond branch, makel shaked (מקל שקד) in Hebrew. Hashem explains that the branch symbolizes His watching over His word to perform it. The Hebrew word he chooses for ‘watch,’ shoked (שֹׁקֵד), also means ‘to hasten.’ Yirmiyahu deli­berately chose this word since it is similar to the word… Read more »

Man lives on earth in two different spheres: As an individual with his own personal struggles, and as part of something bigger; a family, community and a nation, each with its own dynamic. Psalms 146 and 147 present the individual and the communal praise of Hashem. In this psalm, the individual is confronted by the… Read more »

This verse refers to the celebration of the holiday of Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year and the first of the High Holidays. The story is told of a small, uneducated child who did not know Hebrew, and thus could not participate in the Rosh Hashana services. He desperately wanted to pray with the congregation… Read more »

In a speech given in 1944 to a gathering of youth groups in Haifa, Prime Minister David Ben Gurion referred to these words as an example of how Judaism serves as a paradigm of a society built on morality, peace and love: “Ours was a tiny nation inhabiting a small country, and there have been… Read more »

Just as grain must be left in the fields for the poor during the time of the harvest, so too fruit must be left on the trees. In describing the process of removing the fruit from the olive tree, the verse says “when you beat down the fruit of your olive trees.” In ancient times,… Read more »

King David’s psalms can be applied to every situation in a person’s life, capturing one’s joy and grief, disappointments and hopes. Since King David himself experiences the travails of every person and expresses his feelings through the verses of his psalms, a person can always find words to respond to his own experiences within Tehillim’s… Read more »

This short psalm praises Hashem’s connection to Tzion. In order to express God’s love for Yerushalayim, the psalmist writes: “Hashem loves the gates of Tzion, more than all the dwellings of Yaakov.” The wall currently surrounding Jerusalem’s Old City, built in 1538 by the Ottoman sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, has several gates around its perimeter,… Read more »

Grapes, like each of the other seven special agricultural species for which the Land of Israel is praised (Deuteronomy 8:8), are a symbol of the People of Israel. The Sages teach that the vine is the weakest and lowliest of trees, lacking even a trunk. To produce wine, which is served at royal banquets, grapes… Read more »

Jerusalem’s famous Holocaust museum, Yad Vashem (‘a monument and a name’), takes its name from this biblical verse. Yeshayahu articulates Hashem’s promise that even those who are unable to have sons and daughters will be memorialized in Yerushalayim by their “everlasting name.” According to its mission statement, the museum “safeguards the memory of the past… Read more »

As the People of Israel stand at the plains of Moab, ready to enter the Promised Land, Moshe leads them in reaffirming their covenant with Hashem for all generations. The Hebrew name for ‘plains of Moab,’ Arvot Moav (ערבות מואב), has a dual meaning, as the word Arvot is related to the term areivut (ערבות),… Read more »

During the Messianic age, non-Jews will play an essential role in helping the Jewish people settle the Land of Israel through agriculture, as this verse states, and they will also partner with the Jews in spiritual pursuits. Rabbi Israel Lipschitz (1782-1860), in his commentary Tiferet Yisrael, quotes this verse to prove that non-Jews will participate… Read more »

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