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The Land and the Spirit

The Land and the Spirit

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THE LAND AND THE SPIRIT:
Why We All Care about Israel

You've explored its language, history, politics, and geography...
Now explore its soul...

THE LAND AND THE SPIRIT:
Why We All Care about Israel

Many people love their homes and their countries, but once they relocate, they form new allegiances. They cannot trace the ancestral homeland that their families claimed two millennia ago, nor do they continue to long for those places. Yet no matter where they have lived, Jews have continued to dream about the land of Israel.

Because Israel is different. It is a land that has pulsed with energy and mystery since the dawn of time, a land that has captured the imagination throughout history, a land that breathes with the glory of our past and the dreams of our future.

And so Israel retains its hold upon our spirit. There is a deep connection that continues to tug at us, a magnetic pull that has not waned even though many have found safe haven elsewhere. Whether Israel makes us feel pride or disappointment, hope or concern, we care about its fate and its future. Whatever our political or religious bent, we know that Israel matters.

If you have ever wondered about Israel and its place in the world— and in your heart—then this course is for you.

COURSE SYLLABUS

Lesson One
The Promised Land

In the book of Genesis, G‑d promises Abraham that if he transmits his legacy of ethical monotheism to his household, his children will inherit the Land of Israel. Why was the land promised even before the nation existed? In what way is the Land of Israel integral to the Jewish mission?

Lesson Two
Living on The Land

What was life like for the people in Israel in the days when the Temple stood? So many of the commandments can only be performed in the Land of Israel and are intimately linked with an agrarian lifestyle. Why must a spiritual people be involved with working the land?

Lesson Three
The Holy Land

What does it mean for a land to be holy? How can we tell that it is different? And what implications does this have for the people living within that land?

Lesson Four
Whose Land Is It Anyway?

Israel has endured numerous battles and conquests throughout history. How can we determine who has a legitimate claim to the land? What criteria shall we use to determine ownership?

Lesson Five
A Land Like Other Lands?

What is the vision for a Jewish state? Is it meant to be a land like other lands, granting the sovereignty enjoyed by other people? Or are we meant to be somehow different?

Lesson Six
Israel and The Diaspora

Even though Israel exists today as a modern state, most Jews continue to live in the Diaspora. Have those of us living outside Israel become somehow disconnected? Or is it possible to retain our bond with Israel regardless of our place of residence?

 




 

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