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Beit Midrash Torah Portion and Tanach Toldot

Parashat Toldot

Land of Plenty

Rabbi Pinchas WinstonCheshvan, 5763
2993
Dedicated to the speedy recovery of
Asher Ishaayahu Ben Rivka
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"May God give you of the dew of the heavens and of the fatness of the earth, and abundant grain and wine." (Bereishis 27:28)

The Midrash Rabbah (Bereishis 66:3) expounds this blessing allegorically in three different ways, which may be seen as corresponding to three different periods in Jewish history: the period of forty years in the wilderness; the period of residence in the Land of Israel; and the period of exile. In the wilderness, the dew referred to the mannah, the fatness of the earth to Miriam’s well, abundant grain to the young men who would enter Eretz Yisroel, and abundant wine to young Jewish maidens. In Eretz Yisrael, the dew was interpreted as a reference to Jerusalem, the fatness of the land a reference to sacrificial offerings, abundant grain a reference to the First Fruits, and abundant wine a reference to the wine libations. During the exile, the dew alludes to Torah, the fatness of the earth alludes to Mishnah, abundant grain alludes to Talmud, and abundant wine alludes to Midrash.

However, it may be suggested that the ultimate and literal fulfillment of Yitzchak’s blessing will be realized as a precursor to 'Kibbutz Galuyot' - Ingathering of the Exiles - as the Talmud teaches regarding the order of the blessings in the Amidah:

Why did they place the blessing regarding 'Ingathering of the Exiles' after the 'Blessing of the Years'? For it says (Yechezkel 36:8): "But you, O mountains of Israel, will give forth your branch and bear your fruit for My people, Israel, for they are soon to come."

In advance of the return of the exiles, the Land of Israel will give forth its produce in great and glorious abundance .This blessing is being witnessed in our very days.

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