Love of the Land

Nehar Hayarden (Jordan River)

The Color of HeavenArtscroll
Love of the Land
Selections from classical Torah sources
which express the special relationship between
the People of Israel and Eretz Yisrael

NEHAR HAYARDEN (JORDAN RIVER)

Israel's major river, the Jordan once served as the border between two parts of Eretz Israel. Today it separates the Jewish state from its Arab neighbor, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

There are different accounts concerning the name of this famous river. One is that it is a contraction of two Hebrew words - Yored Dan - which refer to the Biblical city of Dan which is one of the river's main sources.

The miraculous crossing of the Jordan by the Children of Israel on the 10th of Nissan, 40 years after the Exodus from Egypt, is described in great detail in the Book of Yehoshua (3-4). The Aron Hakodesh (Holy Ark), carried by the kohanim, went ahead of the people and entered the river at the command of Yehoshua. "As soon as the feet of the kohanim bearing the Ark of Hashem rested on the bed of the Jordan waters, the Jordan waters split, with the waters flowing down…forming a wall… and all of Israel crossed over on dry land." (Yehoshua 3:13-17)

Following their miraculous crossing, the command came to remove twelve stones from the spot upon which the kohanim had stood and to replace them with twelve other stones. Both the stones removed and the ones which replaced them were intended to serve as reminders to future generations of the great miracle of the Jordan crossing.



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