Devotionals

Despite the predictions of punishments that will befall the children of Israel, Amos ends his prophecy with a message of hope. He proclaims that the day will come when the people will return to the Land of Israel, build houses, plant vineyards and trees, and enjoy their fruits. The Israel Bible notes that this prophecy… Read more »

This is the only time the Bible tells us how Hashem (God) “spends His time.” From the beginning of the year until the end, it says, the Creator of the universe focuses “His eyes” and attention on Israel. If we combine this idea with that mentioned in verse 22 instructing us to walk in Hashem’s… Read more »

Psalm 126 speaks of Tzion (Zion), one of the Bible’s names for Yerushalayim. This name is related to the word m’tzuyan, special. Hashem’s (God) holy city is more than a location. Hashem created a special place on earth which is primed for spiritual growth. The word Tzion describes not only where we live, but how… Read more »

The above verse refers to Hashem (God) comforting the Children of Israel following the destruction of the first and second Beit Hamikdash (Holy Temples). Thousands of years after Isaiah spoke these words, they continue to provide comfort and hope to the Children of Israel. In times of sorrow, the Jewish People seek comfort in the… Read more »

Both in the Bible and in modern times, the Children of Israel battled to take possession of the Land of Israel. Moshe (Moses) led the Children of Israel in battle against Sihon and Og in the capture of Gilead and Bashan which became the geographic inheritance of the tribes of Gad, Reuven, and half of… Read more »

As the Children of Israel prepared to enter the Promised Land, Yehoshua (Joshua) instructs them to sanctify themselves, as Hashem (God) is about to perform the miracles of parting the Yarden (Jordan River) and the conquest of the Land of Israel. In our own era, Hashem has continued to perform miracles resulting in the rebirth… Read more »

In the days of Yehoshua (Joshua), Hashem fulfilled His promise to the People of Israel by bringing them into the Promised Land. There are three aspects to the Jewish People’s obligation regarding the Land of Israel. The Jewish People are commanded to live in the Land, to build up the Land through strengthening it’s Jewish… Read more »

For thousands of years, the Jewish people have been waiting for the fulfillment of Yeshayahu’s (Isaiah) promise of a redeemer coming to Tzion (Zion). Jewish tradition believes that as long as Tzion lies in ruins, the redeemer has not yet come. This belief implies that for the redeemer to come, Tzion must not be neglected…. Read more »

In the Bible, Hashem (God) is often described using animal characteristics. In the above verse, Hoshea (Hosea) compares Hashem’s anger at the Children of Israel to that of a mother bear whose cubs have been stolen. Mother bears are known to be particularly nurturing and protective of their cubs and would be inconsolable if separated… Read more »

The first Israelites lived in the central mountain region of Israel, the Biblical heartland of Judea and Samaria. Avraham (Abraham) traveled from the north of the country through the Samarian hills down to Chevron (Hebron) the city in which he and his wife Sarah are buried. Yitzchak, (Isaac) Yaakov (Jacob), as well as King David… Read more »

Wheat, the first of the seven agricultural species of the Land of Israel (Deuteronomy 8:8), has been one of the world’s most important crops since Biblical times. The first mention of wheat in the Bible is Genesis 30:14: “Once, at the time of the wheat harvest, Reuven came upon some mandrakes in the field.” When… Read more »

Wheat, the first of the seven agricultural species of the Land of Israel (Deuteronomy 8:8), has been one of the world’s most important crops since Biblical times. The first mention of wheat in the Bible is Genesis 30:14: “Once, at the time of the wheat harvest, Reuven came upon some mandrakes in the field.” When… Read more »

Visiting the Land of Israel brings the Bible to life. The country is filled with landmarks and locations mentioned explicitly in the Bible. Psalm 89 praises Hashem (God), acknowledging that He is the Creator and Master of the world and draws attention to two of Israel’s great mountains, Tavor and Chermon. Mount Tavor is the… Read more »

Like the other prophets of the Bible, Yoel (Joel) prophecies of the final redemption. In the final chapters of the book, Yoel uses pouring rain as a metaphor for an outpouring of Hashem’s (God) spirit among the people as the “day of Hashem”, judgement day, approaches. Jewish tradition believes that Yoel’s prophecy applies only to… Read more »

The prophet Hoshea (Hosea) prophesied to the last generation before the Assyrian destruction of the northern kingdom of Israel in 722 BCE. In the above verse, Hoshea describes how the nation’s troubles stem from the bloody manner in which the ruling dynasty, the house of Yehu, achieved power. The Yizrael (Jezreel) valley runs through the… Read more »