Bread, Blood, and the Land of Israel

Discover how every bite of Israeli bread transforms wheat into the lifeblood of its people, cementing a bond that’s millennia old. You won't believe the science behind this Divine process!

3 min

David Ben Horin

Posted on 10.07.24

Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and be nourished by faith. (Psalms 37:3) 


Ask any Jew living in the Land of Israel, and they will share the same heartfelt conviction: “This is my home. Regardless of financial hardships or military threats, this is home. I will never leave.” 


In the wake of the October 7 massacres, conventional wisdom would predict the opposite. Foreign workers fled at the earliest opportunity. Similarly, in the months following the outbreak of the Russia-Ukraine War, hundreds of thousands of Russians and Ukrainians sought refuge in Europe, the US, and Israel. 


But for the Jews, the story was different. Since October 7, more Jews have chosen to live in Israel. 


From a paramedic in Pittsburgh to a group of Israeli friends camping in Iceland, to Jerry Seinfeld, when the alarm sounded, every Jew instinctively knew where their heart belonged and followed it home. 


What a Sanctification of God’s Name! 


This unwavering devotion symbolizes that the Land of Israel flows within the blood of every Jew. 


Baking the Land of Israel into Every Loaf  

It all begins with “Hatikva,” the Israeli national anthem:  

As long as within our hearts the Jewish soul sings, 

As long as forward, towards the East, to Zion, looks the eye, 

Our hope is not yet lost, two thousand years old, to be a free people in our land, the land of Zion and Jerusalem. 


To paraphrase: As long as the heart and soul of the Jew yearns for Zion, we will be free in the Land of Israel. 


Hashem tells us that the soul resides in the blood. Our bodies are Divinely designed so that our hearts constantly pump this “vessel of our soul” throughout our entire being.  “Hatikva” not only expresses hope, but also documents this profound reality. 


In the Book of Numbers, the errant spies described Israel as “A Land that consumes its inhabitants.” (Bamidbar 12:32). In truth, it is we who consume the Land. 


Each year, billions of wheat seeds are sown throughout the Land, from the Galilee to the Jezreel Valley and along the Jordan Valley.  These seeds draw nutrients from the sacred soil. By feeding off the soil, the tiny seed grows into a tall stalk, sporting 40 new seeds. Each wheat kernel is made up of the essence of the Land of Israel.  


The baker grinds these kernels into flour, mixes them with water, salt, and yeast, and then bakes them into your challah and pita. He is, quite literally, baking the soil of the Land of Israel into something you will ingest into your body. 


When you recite Hamotzi over bread and then eat it, you are consuming the Land of Israel. 


From Bread to Blood: Becoming the Land of Israel  

What happens next is fascinating! 


Our teeth break the bread into small pieces, which then travel down the throat to the stomach. In the stomach, chemicals are released to extract nutrients and break the food down into particles small enough to enter the bloodstream. These nutrient-rich particles join your blood, circulating to nourish all of your organs, muscles, and cells. 


A piece of bread embodies the soil of the Land of Israel. When you eat it, Hashem, through the miraculous design of our bodies, transforms it into the blood that courses through your veins. 


Bread is just one example. We also consume olives, dates, pomegranates, grapes, figs, and barley-based products (think cereal and soups). The blessings of the Land of Israel literally become our blood. 


This process forms the most intimate connection we have to our ancient and eternal homeland. At every meal, the Land becomes a greater part of who we are. 


The next time you say the bracha, “Baruch ata, Hashem, Elokeinu Melech HaOlam, HaMotzei Lechem min Ha’aretz,” (Blessed are You, Hashem, G-d, King of the World, Who brings forth bread from the earth) think about the bread’s journey and its sacred transformation.  


It’s more than just earth; it’s the Land God promised to our fathers Avraham, Yitzchak, Ya’akov, to each other, and our children, our family . . . our blood, for all eternity. 



David Ben Horin lives in Afula with his family, millions of sunflowers, and Matilda, our local camel. Davids Israeli startup, 300 Marketing Solutions, is a lean marketing agency for startups and small businesses that creates and promotes SEO-optimized ROI-driven to the right audience on LinkedIn to make your business the star of the show. 

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