Our Jewish Homeland of Israel

From Congregation Iyr HaMelech and Rabbi Bill S. Tepper, in response to what is unfolding in our Jewish homeland of Israel 

In his beautiful short novel, In The Heart of the Seas [1948], the great Israeli author S.Y. Agnon wrote: 

Once while he [Rabbi Alter] sat studying in the tractate Ketubot, about marriage contracts, it occurred to him that after all the Land of Israel is a marriage contract between Israel and the Holy One…and it is an accepted principle that one should never be without her/his marriage contract.  Whereupon he [Rabbi Alter] felt that as long as he continued to dwell outside the Land he would have no rest.  So ceased his studies, dispersed his students, sold his house and set of Talmud and commentary and went and inscribed himself in the list of those going up to the Land.  [p. 18] 

Few terms better encapsulate the relationship between the Jewish people and Israel than ketubah –  Hebrew for ‘marriage contract.’  Because Israel is more than a physical/geographical entity, and more than the sum of all her citizens.   It is a place of mind, heart and spirit, a place of history, and the source of our Jewish peoplehood.   And it is our homeland.   

At this devastating moment, as countless die and countless more suffer, we pray – each in our own way – and wish for the peace and safety of our brother-sister Jews in the Land, and for all peace-loving persons irrespective of faith, ethnicity and culture.  

Now as always, Congregation Iyr HaMelech affirms its devotion to Israel, and to the ketubah to which we are forever bound. 

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