The Weekly Shtikle Blog

An online forum for sharing thoughts and ideas relating to the Parshas HaShavua

View Profile

Friday, November 5

The Weekly Shtikle - Toledos

The Weekly Shtikle is dedicated le'iluy nishmas my father, Reuven Pinchas ben Chaim Yaakov, a"h.


The Weekly Shtikle is dedicated le'iluy nishmas my Oma, Chaya Sara bas Zecharia Chaim, a"h.


Yitzchak and his family are faced with a famine at the beginning of the parsha and relocate to the land of Gerar. Implicitly, a move to Mitzrayim, where conditions were likely better, was also on the table. HaShem appears to Yitzchak and warns him not to do so. Rather, he is told (26:2) to dwell in the land "asher omar eilecha." Simply translated, he is being told to receive instructions as to where he should bring his family. However, in the very next pasuk he is told to live in this land (Gerar.) So what is the purpose of the introductory instruction which seems to imply that guidance would come later?

Some commentaries, among them R' Sadia Gaon, take a very simple approach. This command – to await HaShem's instruction – applies not only at this moment but later as well. No matter what would befall Yitzchak in the years to come, he should only relocate by HaShem's word. We don't actually find such a conversation recorded after this one. However, when Yaakov finally returns, (35:27) Yitzchak appears to have been living in Chevron so he had moved at some point.

Netziv, in Ha'amek Davar, is also bothered by this. He resolves the issue with a novel interpretation of the words. He defines omar not as referring to actual speech but as the will and desire of HaShem. He also brings other examples to support this approach. Therefore, what Yitzchak is being told is to always live in the land HaShem desires him to live which, as the next pasuk goes on to explain, is right where he is right now.

Kli Yekar offers yet another intriguing approach based on a restructuring of the pasuk. HaShem did not want Yitzchak to leave Eretz Yisrael because he would be unable to behold the Divine Presence. HaShem, therefore commanded "reside in the land (Eretz Yisrael) so that I may speak to you at any moment." With this, Kli Yekar explains why the first pasuk uses the word shechon, denoting a more permanent abode, while the second use gur, a more temporary dwelling. As far as Eretz Yisrael is concerned, he was to permanently station himself in the land like a resident. His specific location in Gerar, however, was to be treated as temporary.

Have a good Shabbos. 

Eliezer Bulka

Shtikle Blog Weekly Roundup:

Dikdukian: (From the) The Fats of the Land

Dikdukian: Be'er Sheva / Shava

Dikdukian: I will eat, You will eat

Please visit the new portal for all Shtikle-related sites,

The Weekly Shtikle and related content are now featured on



To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to


Post a Comment

<< Home