Never underestimate the power of jealousy and the power of envy to destroy. Never underestimate that. –Oliver Stone

In Parshat Toldot, Breisheet 26:13-15 we read: “The man (Yitzchak) prospered. He continued to prosper until he became very great. He owned flocks of sheep, herds of cattle and many enterprises and the Plishtim were jealous of him. All the wells that his father’s servants had dug in the days of his father, Avraham- the Plishtim plugged them and filled them with earth.”

According to Sforno, the Plishtim were jealous of Yitzchak since they planted a lot yet they had very few crops that actually grew while Yitzchak only planted a little bit yet he grew many crops.

Chizkuni points out that the Philistines plugged up the wells because they didn’t want Yitzchak to have a stronghold on the land.

The issues that Yitzchak had are still relevant for us today.

When the Jewish people returned to the Land of Israel, they made the desert bloom. No other nation was ever capable of that.

The fact that the Jewish people were able to reinvigorate the land has brought about jealousy. This jealousy has led to the damage of the property as well as the loss of lives of innocent people.

We still have residents of Israel who don’t like the idea of the Jews having a stronghold on the land and will do everything in their power to try to get us out.

Just as Yitzchak was simply trying to live in peace and make a living, so are most Israelis.

The time has come to put jealousy aside and work together to make a better future for all of Israel’s citizens.

About the Author
Sharona holds a BA in Judaic Studies from Stern College and an MS in Jewish Education from Azrieli Graduate School, Yeshiva University. Sharona was the first Congregational Intern and Madricha Ruchanit at the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale, NY. After making aliya in 2004, Sharona founded Torat Reva Yerushalayim, a non profit organization based in Jerusalem which provides Torah study groups for students of all ages and backgrounds.
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