Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Parshas Toldos - Yitzchok in Gerar, Eretz Pelishtim - Isn't that Gush Katif?

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This post comes from my evening Chavrusa with my 7 year old son. We read Little Midrash Says on the Parsha of the Week. There was a famine in the Land of Israel. Yitzchok wanted to go to Mitzraim like his father had done but Hashem says not to. Yitzchok has a special Kedusha because of the Akeida he was an Olah Temima (Rashi) and can not leave Eretz Yisroel. Hashem reiterates to Yitzchok the covenant that he gave to Avraham Aveinu after the Akeida and again reiterates that the gift of the Land is attributed to Avraham's loyalty in obeying the word of Hashem. He is sent to Gerar which I believe is Gush Katif. Therefore it must be part of Eretz Yisroel. The Parsha discusses how Avimelech realizes that indeed Yitchok is married to Rivka and restrains himself from taking Rivka knowing from the former Avimelech's experience what the consequences of such an action would be. He puts forth a warning for all not to do anything to hurt Yitzchok and Rivka or else they will die. Yitzcok plants and is blessed hundred fold. Rashi says he was scrupulous in keeping meticulous records in order to tithe properly (Maaser). Yitzchok digs wells in the valley of Gerrar that were originally built by his father Avraham and were closed up (Breishis Perek 26 Pasuk 18). The were fights between the shepherds of Yitzchok and the Pelishtim over the wells. Yitzchok's servents dug and the Pelishtim stole it. The wells dried up for the Pelishtim. The Pelishtim gave it back to Yitzchok. Here we see a foreshadowing of future history. In Avraham's time, wells that were built were closed up. Wells Yitzchok built were stolen, again to be given back to their rightful owner. The wells didn't produce for the Pelishtim and they were useless. They only produced for Yitzchok.

Here, once again the Torah is very explicit in tying the gift of the Land with Avarham's loyalty in obeying the word of Hashem. Perek 26 Pasuck 5. "Because Abraham obeyed my voice, observed my safeguards, my commandments, my decrees, My Torah's".

May Hashem give us the courage and fotitude to follow in the footsteps of our forefathers to keep the Mitzvoth of the Torah so that we too will merit al the blessings.
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