Heritage and Inheritance

These verses comprise a paean of praise to the beauty, fruits and natural resources of the Land of Israel. In these four verses, the word eretz (land) is repeated seven times as a refrain and twice it is described and defined by the word tova (good).

This description of the Land of Israel takes the form of a poetic song, which is very different from a descriptive narrative. A narrative depends upon logic to make its point; a song is the product of profound emotion and heartfelt commitment.

The general Hebrew term for “inheritance” is yerusha; But there are two objects that the Bible designates as morasha (heritage): the Land of Israel (Exodus 6:9) and the Torah of Israel (Deuteronomy 33: 4).

The difference between yerusha and morasha is that a yerusha comes very easily, usually in the form of a bequest which the recipient may use however he wishes, even wasting it on useless or unnecessary acquisitions; a morasha is acquired by hard work and must be given as a precious heirloom to the next generation.

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