Israel Forever

For the week ending 6 November 2010 / 28 Heshvan 5771

Palestinian Old and New

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll

Three wells of spring water were dug by Yitzchak's servants in the land of the Pelishtim (Palestinians). In regard to the first two the local shepherds of Gerar put up a fight over ownership. He therefore called them by names which connoted strife and hatred (Esek and Sitna).

It was only when a third well was dug that it was not contested and so he called it Rechovot, "for now G-d has made room for us and we shall be fruitful in the land" (Bereishet 26:22).

Our commentaries see these incidents as portents of the struggles which brought about the destruction of the first and second Beit Hamikdash and the eventual peace which will accompany the building of the third.

It is interesting to note that while the first two were destroyed by Babylonians and Romans, the third is threatened by Palestinians. We can therefore look forward to the day when our national return to G-d will put an end to this threat and allow us to be fruitful in our land of Israel forever.

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