75 words for 75 years of Israel – Memshela/Kingdom

In honor of Israel’s 75th birthday, Israel365 is excited to launch a new series of essays that will unlock the secrets of the Hebrew Bible!

Excerpted from Rabbi Akiva Gersh’s forthcoming book, 75 Hebrew Words You Need to Understand the Bible (available soon!) these essays illuminate the connection between related Hebrew words, revealing Biblical secrets only accessible through Hebrew.

Enjoy the series – and happy 75th birthday to the State of Israel!





“God made the two great lights, the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night, and the stars.” (Genesis 1:16)

ויעש אלהים את שני המארת הגדלים את המאור הגדל לממשלת היום ואת המאור הקטן לממשלת הלילה ואת הכוכבים.

“Judah became His holy one, Israel, His kingdom.” (Psalms 114:2)

היתה יהודה לקדשו ישראל ממשלותיו.

Memshala is used throughout the Bible to refer to a “ruling power” or “kingdom.” At the very beginning of Genesis, God created two equally “great lights,” the sun and the moon, to rule the day and the night. The sages explain that the moon complained to God: “Sovereign of the universe! Is it possible for two kings to wear one crown?” God said, “You’re right. Go then and make yourself smaller,” causing the moon to cease shining its own light and to restrict itself to reflecting the light of the sun.   

The children of Israel are also referred to as the “memshala of God,” as it says, “Judah became His holy one, Israel, His kingdom” (Psalms 114:2). This reflects the special relationship God established with the children of Israel and that no matter how many external powers try to rule over them, they are always and forever ruled by God alone.

Maimonides, the great medieval rabbi, wrote that “In the future, the Messianic king will arise and renew the Davidic dynasty, restoring it to its initial memshala.” This will come together with the ingathering of all of the Jewish exiles and the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem. 

In the modern State of Israel, the government is called the Memshala and the Prime Minister is referred to as the Rosh HaMemshala, the “Head of the Government.” In modern Israel, we are blessed to witness the rebirth of Hebrew as a spoken language, an essential aspect of the Jewish people’s return to Israel and the establishment of their own, independent memshala.

The Israel Bible Team


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