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

  • 5
    You could improve this question by including where you've seen/heard this term.
    – Isaac Moses
    Commented Sep 16, 2012 at 4:29
  • 2
    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
    Commented Sep 16, 2012 at 9:33
  • 6
    @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. Commented Sep 16, 2012 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
    Commented Sep 18, 2012 at 17:03
  • Just to add areference, I heared the phrase from this song on YouTube. It's a song about the events at Entebbe in 1976. Here's a link to the translated lyrics. Commented Sep 25, 2017 at 22:11

2 Answers 2


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.


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.

  • Technically you didn't answer the second question.
    – Double AA
    Commented Sep 16, 2012 at 6:05
  • @DoubleAA Changed
    – b a
    Commented Sep 16, 2012 at 6:18
  • The link translates Tzvi as 'beautious'. What does that have to do with deer? /devil's advocate
    – Double AA
    Commented Sep 16, 2012 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
    Commented Sep 16, 2012 at 6:43
  • (No where on this page yet does it say that Tzvi=Deer)
    – Double AA
    Commented Sep 16, 2012 at 6:50

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .