va-YO-mer ah-vi-MEH-lekh el yitz-KHAK lekh me-ee-MAH-noo kee ah-TZAM-tah mee-MEH-noo m’-OHD
26:16 Go away from us, for you have become far too big for us
The story of Yitzchak among the Philistines alludes to the history of the Jewish people during their lengthy exile, hosted by various foreign nations. Rabbi Zalman Sorotzkin points out that Yitzchak is one Jew in an entire country, yet the Philistines claim that there is no room for him. As a successful farmer, Yitzchak is not an economic burden on his hosts, and yet the Philistines banish him. They could have learned agricultural techniques and benefitted from his water, but they instead choose to ignore the valuable contributions he could make, and they clog the wells he has dug. Similarly, many Jewish inventors and innovators have been expelled from their host nations throughout history. The only safe place where the Children of Israel can flourish is in the Land of Israel.