Section: Questions Category: Chumash
TAGS:chalav u'dvash chumash
|Chumash - Land of Milk & Honey?|
|Submitted by David Pelta Answered by Rabbi Shaul Rosenberg|
|Question: Why does Torah repeatitavely use the phrase'milk and honey' when refering to the promised land.
Honey is sweet even if it is date honey.
Milk is nourishing even if we look upon it as maternal bounty.
Nevertheless there are many other basic needs that might have been used to describe the land. Bread, oil, fruit. domestic animals?
Am I missing a deeper significance of this phrase
|Answer: Your question has also been bothering me. I have found in Sefer Ksav ViHaKabalah an interesting insight. He says that Eretz Yisroel is known as Zavas Chalav Udevash, because the Torah is contrasting it with Mitzrayim. Although the land of Mitzrayim had many positive attributes as the pasuk says, "KiGan Hashem KiEretz Mitzrayim" (Parshas Lech Licha), it was not plentiful in the category of grazing and fruits. Therefore when praising Eretz Yisroel to the Yotzai Mitzrayim, we tell them that this land is bountiful in pastures (which is represented by Zavas Chalav) and bountiful with fruit as represented by Devash – honey from dates and figs. – As Rashi says in Parshas Bo – 13, 5 – "Milk flowing from the goats (they had good milk because their grazing was good) and Honey from the figs and dates".