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Paul R.

Greater Israel

Williamson notes that a "close examination of the relevant promissory texts" supports a "wider interpretation of the promised land" in which it is not "restricted absolutely to one geographical locale". He argues that "the map of the promised land was never seen permanently fixed, but was subject to at least some degree of expansion and redefinition. On David 's instructions, Joab undertakes a census of Israel and Judah, travelling in an anti-clockwise direction from Gad to Gilead to Dan , then west to Sidon and Tyre , south to the cities of the Hivites and the Canaanites , to southern Judah and then returning to Jerusalem.

Ezekiel —20 provides a definition of borders of land in which the twelve tribes of Israel will live during the final redemption, at the end of days. The territory defined by these borders is divided into twelve strips, one for each of the twelve tribes. Hence, Numbers 34 and Ezekiel 47 define different but similar borders which include the whole of contemporary Lebanon , both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip and Israel , except for the South Negev and Eilat.

Small parts of Syria are also included. The common biblical phrase used to refer to the territories actually settled by the Israelites as opposed to military conquests is "from Dan to Beersheba " or its variant "from Beersheba to Dan" , which occurs many times in the Bible. It is found in the biblical verses Judges , 1 Samuel , 2 Samuel , 2 Samuel , 2 Samuel , 2 Samuel , 1 Kings , 1 Chronicles , and 2 Chronicles The 12 tribes of Israel are divided in 1 Kings In the chapter, King Solomon 's sins lead to Israelites forfeiting 10 of the 12 tribes:.

According to Menachem Lorberbaum ,. In Rabbinic tradition, the land of Israel consecrated by the returning exiles was significantly different in it s?

Ezekiel's Third Temple Vision

It ranged roughly from Acre in the north to Ashkelon in the south along the Mediterranean, and included Galilee and the Golan. Yet there was no settlement in Samaria.

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According to Jewish religious law halakha , some laws only apply to Jews living in the Land of Israel and some areas in Jordan , Lebanon, and Syria which are thought to be part of biblical Israel. These include agricultural laws such as the Shmita Sabbatical year ; tithing laws such as the Maaser Rishon Levite Tithe , Maaser sheni , and Maaser ani poor tithe ; charitable practices during farming, such as pe'ah ; and laws regarding taxation.

One popular source lists 26 of the mitzvot as contingent upon the Land of Israel. Many of the religious laws which applied in ancient times are applied in the modern State of Israel; others have not been revived, since the State of Israel does not adhere to traditional Jewish law. However, certain parts of the current territory of the State of Israel, such as the Arabah , are considered by some religious authorities to be outside the Land of Israel for purposes of Jewish law. According to these authorities, the religious laws do not apply there.

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According to some Jewish religious authorities , every Jew has an obligation to dwell in the Land of Israel and may not leave except for specifically permitted reasons e. There are also many laws dealing with how to treat the land.

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The laws apply to all Jews, and the giving of the land itself in the covenant, applies to all Jews, including converts. Traditional religious Jewish interpretation, and that of most Christian commentators, define Abraham's descendants only as Abraham's seed through his son Isaac and his grandson Jacob. It often surfaces in political debates on the status of the West Bank , which is referred to in official Israeli discourse as Judea and Samaria , from the names of the two historical Israelite and Judean kingdoms. Ideas about the need for Jewish control of the land of Israel have been propounded by figures such as Yitzhak Ginsburg , who has written about the historical entitlement that Jews have to the whole Land of Israel.


The Satmar Hasidic community in particular denounces any geographic or political establishment of Israel, deeming this establishment has directly interfering with God's plan for Jewish redemption. Joel Teitelbaum was a foremost figure in this denouncement, calling the Land and State of Israel a vehicle for idol worship, as well as a smokescreen for Satan's workings. During the early 5th century, Saint Augustine of Hippo argued in his City of God that the earthly or "carnal" kingdom of Israel achieved its peak during the reigns of David and his son Solomon. He goes on to say that the failure of the Hebrew nation to adhere to this condition resulted in its revocation [ citation needed ] and the making of a second covenant and cites Jeremiah —32 : "Behold, the days come, says the Lord, that I will make for the house of Israel, and for the house of Judah, a new testament: not according to the testament that I settled for their fathers in the day when I laid hold of their hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my testament, and I regarded them not, says the Lord.

Augustine concludes that this other promise, revealed in the New Testament, was about to be fulfilled through the incarnation of Christ: "I will give my laws in their mind, and will write them upon their hearts, and I will see to them; and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people". Other Protestant groups and churches reject Christian Zionism on various grounds.

Jewish religious tradition does not distinguish clearly between religious, national, racial, or ethnic identities. Religiously and culturally the area was seen broadly as a land of destiny, and always with hope for some form of redemption and return. It was later seen as a national home and refuge, intimately related to that traditional sense of people-hood, and meant to show continuity that this land was always seen as central to Jewish life, in theory if not in practice.

Having already used another religious term of great importance, Zion Jerusalem , to coin the name of their movement, being associated with the return to Zion. As originally stated, "The aim of Zionism is to create for the Jewish people a home in Palestine secured by law. These differences relate to the importance of the idea and its land, as well as the internationally recognized borders of the State of Israel and the Jewish State's secure and democratic existence.

Many current governments, politicians and commentators question these differences. The Biblical concept of Eretz Israel, and its re-establishment as a state in the modern era, was a basic tenet of the original Zionist program. This program however, saw little success until the British commitment to "the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people" in the Balfour Declaration of Among other things, he presented a plan for development together with a map of the proposed homeland.

The statement noted the Jewish historical connection with " Palestine ". These borders included present day Israel and the occupied territories , western Jordan, southwestern Syria and southern Lebanon "in the vicinity south of Sidon". Early in the deliberations toward British civilian administration, two fundamental decisions were taken, which bear upon the status of the Jews as a nation; the first was the recognition of Hebrew as an official language, along with English and Arabic, and the second concerned the Hebrew name of the country.

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He was aware that there was no other name in the Hebrew language for this land except 'Eretz-Israel'. At the same time he thought that if 'Eretz-Israel' only were used, it might not be regarded by the outside world as a correct rendering of the word 'Palestine', and in the case of passports or certificates of nationality, it might perhaps give rise to difficulties, so it was decided to print 'Palestine' in Hebrew letters and to add after it the letters 'Aleph' 'Yod', which constitute a recognised abbreviation of the Hebrew name.

His Excellency still thought that this was a good compromise. Salem wanted to omit 'Aleph' 'Yod' and Mr. Yellin wanted to omit 'Palestine'. The right solution would be to retain both. The compromise was later noted as among Arab grievances before the League's Permanent Mandate Commission. Consequently, in 20th-century political usage, the term "Land of Israel" usually denotes only those parts of the land which came under the British mandate. On May 14, , the day the British Mandate over Palestine expired, the Jewish People's Council gathered at the Tel Aviv Museum, and approved a proclamation , in which it declared "the establishment of a Jewish state in Eretz-Israel, to be known as the State of Israel.

When Israel was founded in , the majority Israeli Labor Party leadership, which governed for three decades after independence, accepted the partition of Mandatory Palestine into independent Jewish and Arab states as a pragmatic solution to the political and demographic issues of the territory, with the description "Land of Israel" applying to the territory of the State of Israel within the Green Line. The seed was sown in , when Menachem Begin of Likud brought his party to power for the first time in a stunning election victory over Labor. A decade before, in the war, Israeli troops had in effect undone the partition accepted in by overrunning the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Ever since, Mr. Begin had preached undying loyalty to what he called Judea and Samaria the West Bank lands and promoted Jewish settlement there.

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But he did not annex the West Bank and Gaza to Israel after he took office, reflecting a recognition that absorbing the Palestinians could turn Israel it into a binational state instead of a Jewish one. Following the Six-Day War in , the elections and the Oslo Accords , the term Eretz Israel became increasingly associated with right-wing expansionist groups who sought to conform the borders of the State of Israel with the biblical Eretz Yisrael.

Early government usage of the term, following Israel's establishment, continued the historical link and possible Zionist intentions. In —2 David Ben-Gurion wrote "Only now, after seventy years of pioneer striving, have we reached the beginning of independence in a part of our small country. It must now be said that it has been established in only a portion of the Land of Israel.

Even those who are dubious as to the restoration of the historical frontiers, as fixed and crystallised and given from the beginning of time, will hardly deny the anomaly of the boundaries of the new State. The creation of the new State by no means derogates from the scope of historical Eretz Israel".

Herut and Gush Emunim were among the first Israeli political parties basing their land policies on the Biblical narrative discussed above. The Land of Israel can provide both material and spiritual nourishment for all Jews. Although it is certainly true that the Jewish people and the Jewish religion managed to survive for many centuries without the land, it is no less true that they were sustained by the deep belief that they would someday return. The Jewish people never relinquished their claim to the land, and although it was settled by others, it somehow never yielded its best to them.

Only when the Jews returned did the desert bloom. It remained for them 'our land,' for which they never ceased to offer daily thanksgiving to G-d Donin, "To Pray as a Jew". Customs and Laws. Since the destruction of the Second Temple, the individual Jew's longing for Zion has been expressed in certain customs and laws, many of them serving to inject a measure of sadness into an otherwise joyful occasion-for with Zion destroyed, how can any member of the Jewish people feel complete happiness?

For those who would say that the establishment of the State of Israel has changed the situation, the reply would be a qualified "yes"- though we are once again sovereign in our own country, with Jerusalem as its capital, Jerusalem's final status is still in dispute; and in any case, the Temple has yet to be rebuilt. Therefore, these customs are still observed. Mourning for Jerusalem and the Sanctuary. Some people observed private fast days; others foreswore meat or wine. Rabbi Johanan said in the name of Rabbi Simeon bar Yohai: 'It is forbidden to a man to fill his mouth with laughter in these days. As the Sages searched for a suitable way to commemorate the Destruction, Rabbi Joshua offered words of moderation to his disciples: 'My sons, come and listen to me.

It is impossible not to mourn at all, since the blow has fallen; and it is impossible to mourn excessively, since one does not impose on the public more than most of them can bear. All together, the Sages instituted four fast days to commemorate the destruction of the First and Second Temples:. The 17th of Tammuz June-July commemorates the breaching of the walls of Jerusalem, preceding the destruction. During the three week period between the 17th of Tammuz and the Ninth of Av, additional customs of mourning are observed: no haircuts are taken, no weddings are celebrated, and no new clothing is purchased.

From the 1st of Av through the 9th, as mourning intensifies, additional strictures are observed. Additional Customs. Other customs developed which signified the prominent place of Zion in Jewish life, even as the exile continued. All over the world, Jews turn toward Jerusalem when they pray, and synagogues are built so that when the congregants face the Holy Ark, they will be facing Jerusalem. In the marriage ceremony, the bridegroom seeks to "elevate Jerusalem to the forefront of our joy" by breaking a glass under the wedding canopy.

But they ought to look upon themselves as living in a hostelry [temporary shelter], while their heart turns to the land of Israel. Prayers for rain must come, therefore, in their stated time' Abba Eban, "My People". Over the centuries, Jewish law took into account, and gave high priority to, the deep desire of individual Jews to visit Jerusalem and to live there, though it was not often practically possible to realize these hopes and dreams.