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When I was in high school I would take the school bus from my home on the Upper West Side of Manhattan to the school which was located in Washington Heights [also known as "The Dominican Republic"]. We had to travel through Harlem. That was interesting. So many sights to see! Anyway, I remember a store that sold signs. The store had a big sign in the front "A business without a sign is a sign of no business."

Every store needs a sign so that people know what is for sale. When the Jewish people were about to cross over the Jordan and arrive in Israel they were to commanded that upon arrival they were to take a large rock and inscribe thereon the Torah.[Devarim 27/3].

Rav Yerucham Levovitz the Mashgiach of the Mir Yeshiva [d. 1936] explained that this rock is like a sign. When someone enters the Holy Land he must know that in this land there is only one thing for sale - the Torah. That is the "business" of Eretz Yisrael. If someone isn't interested in buying food then he shouldn't enter a store with a sign that says "Grocery Store." In the same way if one isn't interested in keeping the Torah then Eretz Yisrael is not the place for him.

Our sign is the Torah - written clearly and legibly and translated so that everyone can understand [as the commentaries explain].

Plus, Har Eival (where the stones were places) is sort of the "front door" to eretz yisrael. It was the first place that Avraham and Yaakov came to when they entered the land (the city Shchem actually, which is located at the foot of Har Eival). Thus it is an especially good place to put a "sign". Like Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty.

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About me

  • I'm Rabbi Ally Ehrman
  • From Old City Jerusalem, Israel
  • I am a Rebbe in Yeshivat Netiv Aryeh.
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