Ecclesiastes 7:11
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11  Wisdom is as good as a patrimony, and even better, for those who behold the sun.

to-VAH khokh-MAH im na-kha-LAH v’-yo-TAYR l’-ro-AY ha-SHA-mesh

יא  טוֹבָה חָכְמָה עִם־נַחֲלָה וְיֹתֵר לְרֹאֵי הַשָּׁמֶשׁ׃

 7:11   Wisdom is as good as a patrimony

Students studying Talmud in Tiveria

The Sages teach that the wisdom in this verse is the knowledge of the Torah, and the patrimony refers to the Land of Israel, which is the eternal inheritance of the Jewish people. Tova chochma im nachala (טובה חכמה עם נחלה), translated here as ‘Wisdom is as good as a patrimony,’ literally means “Wisdom is good with an inheritance.” This means that the wisdom of the Torah is enhanced by the “inheritance” that is Eretz Yisrael. The Sages further teach that “there is no Torah like the Torah of the Land of Israel,” since the very air of Israel makes a person wise. Israel is the Jews’ “natural habitat,” and it is therefore the place in which they can flourish and reach their spiritual potential. Mizrachi, the religious-Zionist movement founded in nineteenth century Vilna, reflected this sentiment in their motto: “The Land of Israel for the People of Israel, according to the Torah of Israel.” Among other things, Mizrachi’s mission, from its inception until today, has been working towards the economic and spiritual development of Eretz Yisrael.

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Ecclesiastes 7
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Ecclesiastes 7:11

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