Love of the Land

People of The Land #10

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Love of the Land

Selections from classical Torah sources
which express the special relationship between
the People of Israel and Eretz Yisrael

Restating the Claim

After the destruction of Sodom and its surrounding cities there was a halt in the human traffic in that region which had provided Avraham with an opportunity for extending his legendary hospitality. He therefore traveled south and dwelled in the Philistine city of Gerar. (Bereishet 20:1)

Although this account of his sojourn in Gerar makes no mention of it, Avraham had wells dug for him there as a source for water. After Avraham's departing, these wells were stuffed up by the Philistines who claimed that they presented a security risk by supplying water to enemies who might beseech their city. (ibid 26:18)

When Yitzchak followed in his father's footsteps and dwelled for a while in Gerar, he made a point of redigging those very wells and endowing them with the very same names which Avraham had given them. This may be viewed as a symbolic expression of Yitzchak reiterating his father's claim to this area, which was part of the land promised him by Hashem. It may even contain a prophetic message about Philistine arguments of security in conflict with the historical rights of Yitzchak's descendants.

Love of the Land Archives

Written by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach, Dean, Ohr Somayach Institutions
General Editor: Rabbi Moshe Newman
Web Production: Binyamin Rosenstock
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