Eretz z’vat chalav u’dvash: A Land flowing with milk and honey.
At the end of a funeral, soil from the Land of Israel, specifically from the Mount of Olives, is added to the grave. Despite living outside of Israel, this is moment when we are uniquely connected to the variety of promises God made our Patriarchs and Matriarchs to inherit the Land of Israel. This land and the experiences of our ancestors, their search for and honor of God, especially through Shabbat and Shmita, weave through many aspects of Jewish life. Israel’s agricultural and ecological cycles are built into our holidays, our sense of time, and prayers.