289. Rabbi Elazar and Rabbi Yosi were standing one day and discussing this passage. Rabbi Elazar said, It is written, "A land in which (lit. 'which in it') you shall eat bread without scarceness; you shall not lack anything in it..." (Devarim 8:9). Why are the words "in it" repeated twice? It has already been stated that the Holy One, blessed be He, divided all the peoples and the lands according to appointed Messengers. But the land of Yisrael has no angel or Governor controlling it, only THE HOLY ONE, BLESSED BE HE alone. This is why He brought the people over whom no one rules, EXCEPT THE HOLY ONE, BLESSED BE HE, to the land over which no one rules, EXCEPT THE HOLY ONE, BLESSED BE HE.
290. Come and behold, the Holy One, blessed be He, supplied THE LAND OF YISRAEL with provisions and food first, and then to the rest of the world. So all the other nations that worship planets and constellations "eat in scarceness," while in the land of Yisrael it is not so - because the land of Yisrael is nourished first and only then the rest of the world, WHICH FEEDS ON THE LEFTOVERS.
291. This is why IT IS WRITTEN, "A land which in it you shall eat bread without scarceness," in which you shall eat in abundance. Thus, "in it you shall eat," but only "in it," and not in any other place. Thus, "in it" ALLUDES TO the holiness of the land; "in it" the supernal Faith resides, "in it" rests the blessing from above, but only "in it" and in no other place. HENCE, THE VERSE MENTIONS "IN IT" TWICE, ALLUDING TO ALL THAT IS DESCRIBED ABOVE.
292. Come and behold, it is written, "As the garden of Hashem, like the land of Egypt, AS YOU COME TO TZOAR" (Beresheet 13:10). AND HE SAYS, It is still not clear FROM THE VERSE if Egypt or Sodom is "as the garden of Hashem," or if the "garden of Hashem" is the garden that is called the Garden of Eden. AND HE REPLIES, Actually, THE PHRASE "as the garden of Hashem," WHICH IS THE GARDEN OF EDEN AND which is full of abundance and pleasure for all, refers to Sodom and Egypt. Just as the garden of Hashem did not require irrigation, neither did Egypt, which was irrigated by the river Nile.
293. Come and behold, it is written, "And whosoever does not come up of all the families of the earth to Jerusalem..." (Zecharyah 14:17) - would be punished by having rain withheld. But, "if the family of Egypt does not go up, and does not come Jerusalem" (Ibid. 18), it is not written that "upon them shall be no rain," because it usually does not rain in Egypt, and the people there are in no need of it. So what is their punishment? It is as the verse continues, "this shall be the plague, with which Hashem will smite the nations..." (Ibid.), since the Egyptians don't need rain. Sodom, as well, was "well watered everywhere..." (Beresheet 13:10) WHICH MEANS THAT it had all the worldly pleasures and delights. Since they did not want any other person to share these delights or receive these pleasures there, THE PEOPLE DID NOT RECEIVE ANY GUESTS.
294. Rabbi Chiya said, THE PEOPLE OF SODOM were wicked because of themselves and their possessions AND NOT BECAUSE OF THEIR FERTILE LAND. THIS IS TRUE, BECAUSE THEY REFUSED TO GIVE CHARITY. A person who is stingy with the poor is not worthy of continued existence in the world. In addition, he has no life in the World to Come. But whoever is goodhearted towards the needy is worthy of existence in the world, and the world exists because of his merit. He shall have life and longevity in the World to Come.