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Why is Eretz Yisrael called "Eretz Tzvi"? What does this mean exactly? Why? and Where does it say this?

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You could improve this question by including where you've seen/heard this term. – Isaac Moses Sep 16 '12 at 4:29
Again, what's with all the nit-picking here on the form of every question? ENOUGH!!! Just answer the question or don't say anything. The question is clear and simple. If I knew where I "saw" it then I wouldn't be asking that part of the question (see my last part of the question.) If I knew where I had "heard" it I would go back to that person and ask them. – Yehoshua Sep 16 '12 at 9:33
@Yehoshua, questions here serve two purposes: to get an answer for the asker, and to build a repository of knowledge. Asking you to improve questions so they can serve the latter purpose is not "nit-picking". I for one have never heard "Eretz Tzvi" as best I recall, and knowing the context where it comes up would help me investigate an answer. A question that is clear to you is not necessarily clear to everyone else. Please don't take suggestions for improvement as attacks; they're not. – Monica Cellio Sep 16 '12 at 14:42
I've heard the term before but also didn't know where it came from. That's why I asked the question the way I did. However I understand what you're saying. Most times though I can imagine the one asking the question has put fourth as much knowledge as he has into the question... – Yehoshua Sep 18 '12 at 17:03
up vote 6 down vote accepted

Yirmiyahu Hanavi (Jeremiah the prophet) calls The Land of Israel "tzvi": (Jer. 3:19)

וְאֶתֶּן-לָךְ אֶרֶץ חֶמְדָּה, נַחֲלַת צְבִי
I give thee a pleasant land, the goodliest (tzvi) heritage...

Since the word tzvi also means a deer, the gemara asks (Kesubos 112a):

R. Hisda stated: What [was meant] by the Scriptural text, I give thee a pleasant land, the heritage of the deer? Why was the Land of Israel compared to a deer? — To tell you that as the skin of a deer cannot contain its flesh so cannot the Land of Israel contain its produce.

Another explanation: As the deer is the swiftest among the animals so is the Land of Israel the swiftest of all lands in the ripening of its fruit.

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The gemara (Gitin 57a) explains that just like a deer's skin can expand, Israel can also expand to fit as many residents as it needs. The pasuk is from Daniel 11:41.

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Technically you didn't answer the second question. – Double AA Sep 16 '12 at 6:05
@DoubleAA Changed – b a Sep 16 '12 at 6:18
The link translates Tzvi as 'beautious'. What does that have to do with deer? /devil's advocate – Double AA Sep 16 '12 at 6:21
@DoubleAA The pasuk could have used the normal word for beauty. Since it used "tzvi," it must be coming to teach something else (my guess without looking at commentaries there0 – b a Sep 16 '12 at 6:43
(No where on this page yet does it say that Tzvi=Deer) – Double AA Sep 16 '12 at 6:50

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