Sunday, November 30, 2014

Israel's temperate climate


"'Reuven, Shimon, Levi and Yehudah, Yissachar, Zevulun and Binyamin.' (Shemot 1:2-3)

"It mentioned the first six, who are sons of Leah, in the order of their birth, and it should have mentioned Binyamin last of all of the brothers, as the youngest. It mentioned him seventh because the lower world is divided into seven climates, and the seventh climate is the Land of Israel, the middle of the settled world, the point that is more balanced in cold and heat than other lands, because it is the middle, between the extremes. 

"Therefore Binyamin is listed seventh, to hint that the Beit haMikdash, in the seventh climate, is in Binyamin's portion.

"Even though the scholars who have ordered the climates have written in some of their works that the Land of Israel is in the fourth climate, it is all toward the same end. Since the land is the [central] point, with three climates on one side and three climates on the other, it is the fourth for each set of three, the middle, which is the seventh."

(Rabbeinu Bechaye to Shemot 1:2)

Have a great day,

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