"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 upon 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 Mishna, ?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 - the Ingathering of the Exiles. As the Talmud teaches regarding the order of the blessings in the Amidah (silent, individual prayer):

?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.


Rabbi Pinchas Winston writes from Tel Stone for Aloh Naaleh.

[Aloh Naaleh is an organization dedicated to building Aliya motivation among North American Jewry. Torah Thoughts contributed by Aloh Naaleh members appear in the Orthodox Union's Torah Insights publication. Contact Aloh Naaleh at [email protected].]