Blog Single Post

Dvar for Toldot (Genesis 25:19-28:9)

After Yitzchak amasses a fortune and settles in Gerar, Avimelech asks him to leave because his people become jealous of his wealth. When Yitzchak relocates to Be’er Sheva, Avimelech follows and shows up at his door to ask for a peace treaty. Yitzchak then asks, “Why have you come to me, since you hate me and sent me away from you?” (26:27) Avimelech responds that he saw that G-d is with Yitzchak and thought to create an alliance between them. How can Yitzchak and Avimelech’s perspectives on past events be so different that Yitzchak seems upset that he was forcibly relocated, and Avimelech feels close enough to Yitzchak to ask for a peace treaty?

The K’tav Sofer proposes that Avimelech noticed the growing antisemitism toward Yitzchak and sent him away as a favor. Yitzchak’s accusation, “You hate me and sent me away,” signaled to Avimelech that he didn’t appreciate that being sent away was for his own good, to which Avimelech responds, “We see that G-d is with you,” and therefore Avimelech requests peace. Yitzchak, not realizing the good deed that Avimelech did for him, shows us that even when we think something terrible has happened to us, seeing it from a larger context or outside perspective can lead to a greater appreciation.