Soul implies life, awareness, individuality, and self-expression. But how can skies, mountains, rivers, or trees speak? Any perception of beauty transforms us, and studies in aesthetics have established that a universally shared perception of beauty is hidden within landscapes.3
The Land of Israel “speaks” with twelve distinct voices corresponding to the twelve sons of our forefather Yaakov (Jacob). Through traditional Torah texts and close observation of nature we can perceive the eternal resonance between each of the Twelve Tribes and the natural qualities of their nachala (inherited allotment) in Eretz Yisrael. This correspondence also relates to the particular spiritual qualities of the Hebrew calendar’s twelve lunar months.4
On this page I’ll be sharing pictures of Israel’s landscapes month by month, nachala by nachala, because each region is imbued with a special grace – חן – (chen) that reveals particular facets of our heart.
The varied landscapes of Eretz Yisrael, when seen in Torah’s light, become bright, clear mirrors in which we can glimpse our hidden potentials — as individuals and as a People. Through exploring, month by month, each nachala, we can deepen our appreciation for the inner dimensions of Israel to become worthy of becoming part of her soul and her song.
קְחוּ מִזִּמְרַת הָאָרֶץ בִּכְלֵיכֶם
“Take, in your vessels [or musical instruments], the produce [literally ‘melodies’] of the Land…”
– Bereishis 43:11
מִכְּנַף הָאָרֶץ זְמִרֹת שָׁמַעְנו
“From the furthest reaches of the Land we heard song…”
– Yishayahu 24:16