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Which song is the Prophet Isaiah describing in the above verse? The Prophet continues his prophecy with the lyrics to the song that will be sung in the land of Yehuda (Judea): “Open the gates, and let a righteous nation enter a nation that keeps faith.” (Isaiah 26:2) Israel’s first Chief Rabbi, Rabbi Abraham Isaac… Read more »

The Prophet Isaiah speaks speaks of an idyllic time in the future when the earth is calm. Calm may not be one of the first words that one would use to describe the future redemption. The Bible however, does use the calm numerous times as a positive character trait as well as a desirable state… Read more »

Hashem (God) created the world for both man and animal to prosper. Had Hashem desired that only the animals roam the world, there would have been no need for of mishpatecha (משפטיך), ‘your justice’. Man, with the capacity to veer from evil and to become educated, was set on the land to fulfill Hashem’s will…. Read more »

In the Bible, the word Tzion (Zion) often refers to Yerushalayim (Jerusalem). Reflecting upon the significance of the holy city, Holocaust survivor and Nobel prize winner Elie Wiesel said, “Jerusalem must remain the world’s Jewish spiritual capital, not a symbol of anguish and bitterness, but a symbol of trust and hope. As the Hasidic master… Read more »

Tzion (Zion) is often used as another name for Yerushalayim (Jerusalem). The name Tzion is first found in II Samuel 5:7 in reference to a mountain near Yerushalayim. A Jebusite fortress stood on this mountain and was conquered by David and later renamed City of David. The term Tzion came to designate the entire Jerusalem… Read more »

The Hebrew word for rest in this verse is damee (דמי), which also means ‘silence.’ Interestingly, the same Hebrew word, dam (דם), means ‘blood.’ Commentators explain the connection in light of Ezekiel 16:6, “Live in spite of your blood.” The hidden meaning behind the verse is, ‘by your silence you shall live.’ In relationships, the… Read more »

In the verse above, the Prophet Yeshayahu (Isaiah) speaks of a peaceful future in which the Land of Israel will be devoid of violence and Yerushalayim will shine its light onto world. Chaim Weizman, the first President of the State of Israel, explained the illumination that Yerushalayim would provide for the world: “Jerusalem holds a… Read more »

Throughout the Bible, Hashem (God) is compared to a bird shielding His young. One of the more common birds mentioned in the Bible is the eagle. Eagles, who fly higher in the sky than other birds, carry their young on their backs rather than dangling down from their claws. Since eagles fly higher than other… Read more »

The book of Isaiah begins with a description of the devastation caused to Yehuda (Judea) during the Assyrian invasion of 701 BCE. Only through Hashem’s (God) kindness and mercy, and not through their own merit and strength, do the Jewish people merit to remain in the land. Our generation is so blessed to see the… Read more »

In the Bible, there are many instances of dance being used as an expression of joy and thanksgiving. One of the most famous instances of dance in the Bible is Miriam and the Israelite women dancing in jubilation after their deliverance from Egypt. The book of Psalms also speaks of dance as an expression of… Read more »

Chronicles is the final book of the Hebrew Bible. The book is divided into two sections and is traditionally attributed to Ezra the scribe. The second section of the book reviews the events detailed in the books Kings and Samuel, starting with the death of Shaul (Saul) and focusing on the kingdom of Yehuda (Judea)…. Read more »

In times of great danger, David escaped to the wilderness. At the end of Shmuel I chapter 23, having almost met his demise at the hands of Shaul (Saul), David flees to a fortresses in the hills above Ein Gedi, located in the Judean desert. The desert is a place of solitude and shelter. Shaul… Read more »

The Hebrew word for ‘peaceful’ in this verse is shalva (שלוה), rather than the more common word shalom (שלום). What is the difference between shalom and shalva? The 19th-century commentator Malbim explains that shalom refers to external peace. Shalva, on the other hand, refers to inner harmony. This verse teaches that the inhabitants of the… Read more »

At Hashem’s (God) instruction, following the death of King Shaul (Saul), David departs for Chevron (Hebron). There, he is anointed king by the people of Yehuda (Judea). Though the Prophet Shmuel (Samuel) had already anointed him, his anointment by the people demonstrates their acceptance of his reign. King David ruled from Chevron for seven and… Read more »

In the above verse, David assembled the leaders of Israel to announce the building of the Temple in Jerusalem. This was a momentous announcement with significant ramifications on the course of Jewish history. Similarly, a historic announcement was made by David Ben Gurion at Independence Hall, pictured above. On May 14, 1948 , the leaders… Read more »

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