The Holy Land; Like a Gazelle?

August 12, 2021

The gazelle lives in mountain desert and semi-desert climates. The desert gazelle, today an endangered species found almost exclusively in the Land of Israel, spends most of its time on tops of mountains and can run as fast as 50 miles per hour. In this verse from Song of Songs, the woman (a metaphor for the Jewish people) calls out to her beloved (God), asking Him to move as swiftly as a gazelle. Earlier, she also compares Him to a gazelle when she says “my beloved is like a gazelle” (Song of Songs 2:9) who leaps over mountains and bounds over hills.

Not only is God compared to a gazelle in the Bible, but the Land of Israel itself is called “the land of the gazelle” (Daniel 11:41). The Talmud (Ketubot 112a) draws various parallels between the gazelle and the Land of Israel. For example, just as the gazelle is swift, Israel’s fruits ripen quickly. Just as the hide of the gazelle has the capacity to contain its body but shrinks when sepa­rated from it, so too the Land of Israel can expand to include its rightful inhabitants but shrinks when the Jews are exiled from it. Finally, just as a gazelle finds its way home from the ends of the world, so too will the dispersed Jews return. And when they do, the Land of Israel will contain them all.

Perhaps a deeper message can be applied to Israel’s inhabitants as well. In his book Eretz Hatzvi, Rabbi Zvi Teichman suggests that just as the land stretches to include its inhabitants, the inhabitants must also “stretch themselves” to appreciate the holiness and unique qualities of the “land of the gazelle.”

Rabbi Tuly Weisz

Rabbi Tuly Weisz is the founder of Israel365 and the editor of “The Israel Bible,” the first Bible dedicated to highlighting the relationship between the Land and the People of Israel. Rabbi Tuly is a columnist for Israel365news, the Jerusalem Post, Fox News and Newsmax who writes passionately about Israel, the Bible and Jewish-Christian relations. In addition to his writings, Rabbi Tuly has appeared alongside Alan Dershowitz on ILTV, on CBN’s “700 Club”, Daystar, Israel National News, TBN and numerous other television appearances. Rabbi Weisz attended Yeshiva University (BA), Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (Rabbinic Ordination) and the Benjamin Cardozo School of Law (JD) and served as the Rabbi of the Beth Jacob Congregation in Columbus, Ohio before making Aliyah to Israel. Rabbi Tuly lives with his wife and is blessed with 6 children and lives in Ramat Beit Shemesh, Israel.

Rabbi Tuly Weisz

Rabbi Tuly Weisz is the founder of Israel365 and the editor of “The Israel Bible,” the first Bible dedicated to highlighting the relationship between the Land and the People of Israel. Rabbi Tuly is a columnist for Israel365news, the Jerusalem Post, Fox News and Newsmax who writes passionately about Israel, the Bible and Jewish-Christian relations. In addition to his writings, Rabbi Tuly has appeared alongside Alan Dershowitz on ILTV, on CBN’s “700 Club”, Daystar, Israel National News, TBN and numerous other television appearances. Rabbi Weisz attended Yeshiva University (BA), Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (Rabbinic Ordination) and the Benjamin Cardozo School of Law (JD) and served as the Rabbi of the Beth Jacob Congregation in Columbus, Ohio before making Aliyah to Israel. Rabbi Tuly lives with his wife and is blessed with 6 children and lives in Ramat Beit Shemesh, Israel.

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