Based on this answer, I was looking for sources that describe Eretz Yisroel as the "palace of G-d".

Are there any sources that describe Eretz Yisroel as such? As "Palace of the King", e.g G-d? Midrashim, Chassidus etc.. are very welcome.

1 Answer 1


There are several instances.

Firstly, note Rabbeinu Bachaye on Devarim 32:43 on the words "וְכִפֶּ֥ר אַדְמָת֖וֹ עַמּֽוֹ" - "And atone His people’s land" writes:

וכפר אדמתו עמו. פירוש אדמתו ועמו. ובמדרש וכפר אדמתו על עמו. ובסוף כתובות דרשו רז"ל וכפר אדמתו עמו, כל הקבור בארץ ישראל כאלו קבור תחת המזבח, כתיב הכא וכפר אדמתו עמו, וכתיב התם (שמות כ׳:כ״א) מזבח אדמה תעשה לי. וזה היה מסוד יצירת האדם שבראו יתברך ממקום כפרתו, שכן כתיב בו (בראשית ב׳:ז׳) עפר מן האדמה, וזהו מעלת הארץ שהיא פלטין של מלך ונקראת ארץ ה' ונחלת ה', וכל שהוא חוצה לה נקראת בלשון הכתוב תוצאות ואהלי רשע, ובלשון רז"ל ארץ העמים, והנה היא טמאה ומטמאת מצד עפרה ואוירה, וכן אמרו בפרק קמא דגטין, ארץ העמים גזרו בה טומאה על גושה ועל אוירה, אבל סוריא על גושה גזרו על אוירה לא גזרו, וכבר הזכרתי מזה בפסוק (דברים ל״א:ט״ז) אלהי נכר הארץ.

וכפר אדמתו עמו, “and He will appease His land and His people.” According to both Onkelos, Ibn Ezra, and Rashi, the words אדמתו עמו are to be understood as אדמתו ועמו, “His land and His people.” The Midrash (Sifri on our verse) understands the words as if the Torah had written וכפר אדמתו על עמו, “its land will be atonement for its people.” According to Kesubos 111 the meaning is that if a Jew is buried in the land of Israel, his sins will be transferred to the soil, i.e. the land of Israel will act as a Mikveh, a ritual bath, cleansing him from his impurities. The wording there is “that being buried in the land of Israel is equivalent to being buried beneath the Holy Altar.” This is an extension of the verse “You shall build an altar of earth for me” (Exodus 20:24). This is also understood to be the meaning of the sages’ comment that the reason G-d created Adam out of earth was that the place which would serve as the means of his atonement was his origin. This is the advantage of ארץ ישראל, that it is the palace of the King (G-d) and therefore is also known as ארץ ה', (Joshua 22:19). It is also known as נחלת ה', “the Lord’s heritage.” Anything outside the boundaries of the land of Israel is always referred to as something “outside, external.” The Scriptures refer to such countries as חוצות, (compare Proverbs 8,26 where the word ארץ and חוצות appear side by side to make this distinction and is even called אהלי רשע “tents of the wicked,” in Psalms 84:11). In the parlance of our sages in Gittin 8, any land outside the land of Israel is referred to as ארץ העמים. To make the distinction crystal clear, the sages decreed ritual impurity on any produce imported from these countries and even its airspace was considered as ritually impure, so that by having traversed it one needs to purify oneself. The only exception to this ruling was Syria because it adjoins the land of Israel. I have already mentioned this in connection with 31:16 אלוהי נכר הארץ.

The Shem Mishmuel on Parshas Behar when discussing the mitzvah of shemittah in Eretz Yisroel brings a mashal that also talks of a palace of a king. In essence, it bemoans what happens when we are gifted the land of Israel but fail to perform Shemitta, thereby representing a lost opportunity:

ולפי האמור יובן דעון שמיטה גורם גלות הארץ דכל מדתו של הקב"ה מדה במדה שכאשר לא שבתו בשביעית והיו מראים כאלו חטפו הארץ והחזיקו בה לעולם, ע"כ לא חזר ה' ליתן להם עוד לשבע שנים, והוא כענין שבמדרש בראשית פ' ה' משל למלך שבנה פלטרין וכו' והושיב בה המלך דיורין פקחים עמדו והחזיקו בפלטרין אמרו אין פלטין זו של מלך שלנו היא אמר המלך תחזור פלטין לכמו שהיתה וכו' עיי"ש, זה נאות גם לעניננו לפי דרכנו, ויש לומר דהיינו הך שאמרו ז"ל בש"ס תענית (כ"ט) כשחרב הבית בראשונה אותו היום וכו' ומוצאי שביעית היתה, היינו אחר שכלתה המתנה לשבע שנים שעברו, ולא ניתן להם מחדש ע"כ נחרב הבית וגלו גלות שלימה

And according to what has been said, it will be understood and known that shemitta causes the land's exile because of every attribute of Hashem is measure for measure, that when they did not rest during the Shemittah, they made it appear as if they seized the land and held it forever. As a result, Hashem did not return to give them another seven years, and it is like the Midrash in Bereishis, chapter 5, a parable for the king who built a palace etc. and the King dwelt there in it. The officers that lived there stood in the palace and asserted that this was not the palace of their king. The king responded' 'let the palace be restored to the way it was' etc. This can also be applied nicely to our matter, and is indeed what is brought in Shas (Taanis 29) "When the Temple was destroyed for the first time, that day was the Ninth of Av...and it was after the Shemitta year" - (in other words), we were after the gift of the past seven years, and we did not give it to them again because the Beis Hamikdash was destroyed and they found a complete exile.

Refer also to the Chidah in Rosh David on Behaalosecha - he writes there, "ארץ ישראל מקודשת מכל הארצות" - "the land of Israel is the holiest of all the lands". There is no Torah like the Torah of the Land of Israel, nor wisdom like the wisdom of the Land of Israel. He then goes on to fill in the gaps between the conversation between Moshe Rabbeinu and his father-in-law Yisro upon them parting:

ויאמר לא אלך והיה טעמו כי אל ארצי שאני מארץ טמאה ואל מולדתי שהם גוים והטבע מחייב לחטוא מצד ארצי ומולדתי וירא אנכי לחטוא בפלטין של מלך, ויאמר משה אל נא תעזוב אותנו כי על כן ידעת חנותנו במדבר אשר שם הסטרא אחרא

And he (Yisro to Moshe) said, "I will not go (with you to Eretz Yisroel", (...but will return to my native land" - see Bamidbar 10:30) and his reason was because to my country, which is an impure land, and to my homeland, which belongs to non-Jews, and the nature requires me to sin on the part of my country and my homeland and I am afraid to sin in the palace of a king. And Moshe responded, (Bamidbar 10:31) "Please do not leave us, inasmuch as you know where we should camp in the wilderness" which is where the Sitra Achra (Satan) will be.

  • Already wonderful, Dov! Looking forward to the "more" :) Shkoyach!
    – Shmuel
    Commented Nov 27, 2023 at 18:18
  • Just heading out - a lot of the time the parable of a king in his palace is used in relation to Eretz Yisroel but you want specifically it called "the palace" correct?
    – Dov
    Commented Nov 27, 2023 at 18:20
  • No, not necessary, I am happy with every kind of parable, but specifically looking for something with palace/king etc...
    – Shmuel
    Commented Nov 27, 2023 at 18:21
  • 1
    There are more but calling it a night for today :-)
    – Dov
    Commented Nov 27, 2023 at 22:57
  • Many thanks as always. Great sources. The Shem MiShmuel cites the Midrash Rabbah 5:1, but isn't that Midrash referring to this world at large?
    – Shmuel
    Commented Nov 28, 2023 at 17:35

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