Love of the Land

For the week ending 6 November 2010 / 28 Heshvan 5771

Land of the Pelishtim

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll

In this week's Torah portion we read of the Patriarch Yitzchak's stopping off at the king of the Pelishtim in Gerar on his way to Egypt to escape the famine in Eretz Yisrael.

But G-d appeared to him and commanded him to remain in his place and not to continue on to Egypt. The reason, say our commentaries, was because Yitzchak, as one who had been consecrated as a possible sacrifice, was too holy for anywhere outside the Holy Land.

It was the Roman conquerors who renamed this holy land Palestine on the name of the Pelishtim in order to obliterate any Jewish connection to their land. The Palestinian Arabs in Gaza, which is in the land of the Pelishtim, were always a source of trouble for the Jewish inhabitants of the land and continue to be so today.

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