?? Quiz Time??Answers can be found on back page | http://livingwithmitzvos.com/ 1. What is the signicance of Yaakov and Eisav being twins?
AHTOLDOS - DID YITZCHAK NOT KNOW ABOUT
THE TRUE NATURE OF EISAV?Rabbi Shmuel KimcheRabbi at Yeshivat Reishit Yershalayim
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Did he? In the entire episode of Eisav and Yaakov growing up in the house of Yitzchak Avinu culminating in the brachos taken by Yaakov nothing is more perplexing than the passuk:
And Yitzchak loved Eisav for game was in his mouth, and Rivkah loved Yaakov.
Was Yitzchak really in the dark over who Eisav was? According to the Midrash, Eisav was involved in Gilui Arayos, Shefichus Damim and Avoda Zarah (see Rashi and Midrash on 25:29) he was an unmitigated rasha! Why did Yitzchak wish to convey the brachos of Avraham his father to Eisav? Why didnt Rivkah give her husband a
reality check she seems to have known the truth.We find many approaches in Chazal to these questions, and what I find amazing about the lives of the Avos, is that each approach to probing a little beneath the superficial gives us (or at least me) tremendous insight into human nature.
Rashi Kedushah of Yitzchak
Ki tzayid bepiv Game was in his mouth Midrash Tanchuma Toldos #8 (quoted by Rashi): Eisav would come back from the field and ask his father How does one take maaser for salt. It seems from this, that Yitzchak was beguiled by Eisavs pretense of being holier than
necessary. The fact that Eisav excelled in the mitzvah of Kibud Av (Bava Metzia 87a), only helps us to see that in fact Yitzchak may have been misled by Yitzchak. (Which is undone when Yitzchak realises ultimately that the rightful brachos went to Yaakov see 27:33, and midrash quoted by The Stone Chumash.)
And when Yitzchak became old, his eyes were dimmed (27:1) Rashi: The tears of the malachim at the Akeidah fell into Yitzchaks eyes and dimmed them (paraphrase). Clearly, this midrash is not literal for a host of reasons (some brought to attention by members of the shul!) and is to be understood that through the Akeidah, Yitzchak reached a level of total kedushah which semi-detatched him from this world. The ashes of Yitzchak still remain atop the mountain (Rashi 22:14). This made it impossible for Yitzchak to identify Eisavs true nature.
Netziv (HAAMEK DAVAR 24:65) Awesome Relationships
And Rivkah lifted her Eyes, and she saw Yitzchak, and she fell off her cameland she took her veil and covered herself. The Netziv understands the entire first encounter between Yitzchak and Rivkah (at the end of Chayei Sarah), was purely to lay ground for the brachos to be directed towards Yaakov: From this moment on [Rivkah] was in awe of [Yitzchak], and her relationship with Yitzchak was not like that of Avraham and Sarah, or Rachel with Yaakov
where whenever they had some disagreement they would speak freely and with passion this would never be the case with Rivakah [and Yitzchak]. Rivkah never had the heart to confront Yitzchak and share her opinion about Eisav, where she understood the truth about Ki tzayid bepiv. This was all hashgachah so that things would turn out the way Hashem wanted them to.Here too, the Netsiv understands that Yitzchak was never privy to Eisavs true nature and only because the relationship between Yitzchak and Rivkah was one of awe,
rather than camaraderie. I find this to be incredible; that the Avos had different forms of relationship with each other!
Sfas Emes Yissachar and Zevulun
The original plan was for Eisav to tend to material matters in an honest and scrupulous fashion, while Yaakov would tend to spiritual matters. They would enjoy a partnership akin to that of Yissachar and Zevulun in which each would be supportive of the other, and a world leader in his own right. Only once Eisav abandoned his responsibilities was Yaakov saddled with both sets of responsibility.Yitzchak knew only too well that Yaakov was the Dweller of Tents, and that he would be a true continuation of the mesorah of Avraham Avinu yet what about Eisav? Yitzchak would give him the brachah of Mital hashamayim umishmanei haaretz, that Eisav should combine his natural tendancies of aretz and focus them towards spiritual ends Shamayim [Famously, The Vilna Gaon in Aderes Eliyahu Beraishis 1:1 shows that eretz comes from the word ratz (to run), and Shamayim comes from the word sham (there) that all earthly objects are means (running towards something), and all
Heavenly objects are the ends (there)]. Here Yitzchak is blessing the person he believes to be Eisav From the dew of the Shamayim, and from the fats of the eretz hoping that he bring eretz to Shamayim.] But of course, Yitzchak doesnt realise how far gone Eisav really is.Ultimately whether Yitzchak knew Eisavs true nature, we will never know but what we do gain from these understandings is (a) Yitzchaks life in this world as totally removed, unlike Avraham or Yaakov (b) Yitzchak and Rivkahs relationship as different to the other Avos and Imahos (c) The ideal is Bechol derachecha daeihu to use our unique abilities for the sake of Klal Yisrael. Good Shabbos.
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?? Quiz Time??Answers can be found on back page | http://livingwithmitzvos.com/ 2. Rashi (25:22) brings that Eis av, whilst still in the womb, pushed out when his mother passed places of idol worship. How could he do that when we hold that the evil inclination only comes to a person after they are born?
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PARSHAHALL FOR ONE OR ONE FOR ALL?
Doniel LevyAtid, Gibraltar
The episode of the brachos in this weeks parshah opens a Pandoras box of difficult questions. Firstly, looking at the reasoning of the Avos (to the extent that we can) :Didnt Yitzchak know that his wild, outdoorsy, hunter of a child was a full ben Olam Hazeh (son of This World)? Did he really think Eisav was worthy to lead the next generation of the Jewish people to be one of the Avos?Why did Rivkah go against her husband and orchestrate Yaakovs receipt of Eisavs brachos?How can we explain Yaakovs deceit, especially when he is held up as the paradigm of truth?1
Secondly, looking at the words that the Torah uses:The word matamim (tasty foods) is repeated again and again.2 What important role can food play at this pivotal moment in Jewish history?Why is Rivkah doing everything for her son (who is a 63 year old man!3) getting Eisavs clothes, making the food, even dressing him?4
When Yaakov voices his concern that his father might expose his fraud, he says ulai yomosheini avi (perhaps my father will feel me)5. We would expect him to use the word pen (lest) which denotes an undesired outcome.6 Inexplicably, he says ulai (perhaps), a wishful expression of optimistic hope7 Does he want to be caught?8
The most dramatic showdowns always get the most attention, and this episode is no exception. But if we want to understand the blessings that Yitzchak is imparting to his sons, its important to remember some oft-forgotten brachos in the following perek:
And Yitzchak called to Yaakov and he blessed him [Instructions regarding marriage...] And may the G-d of Shakai bless you and make you fruitful and multiply you and you shall become an assembly of peoples. And may He give you the Blessing of Avraham, to you
1 2 ... - ... ... -
- - ... ... - ......
3 See Rashi on Bereishis 28:94 ...- , ...- ... -
,- - ...5 and I will appear to him as a deceiver and I will bring a
curse upon myself and not a blessing (28:12)6 / ...
...7 / ... ...8 I heard this question, and some other aspects of the
mehalech presented here, from my mashgiach (KBY), Rabbi Avraham Rivlin, shlita
and to your seed with you, so that you inherit the land of your sojournings, which G-d gave to Avraham.9
Yitzchak there definitively bestows upon Yaakov the Birkas Avraham and the entire spiritual kingdom that goes with this (including Eretz Yisrael). Those things are never mentioned in the blessing he gives to (the son he thinks is) Eisav. These brachos are decidedly different:
And may G-d give you from the dew of the Heavens and from the fatness of the earth and an abundance of grain and wine. Nations shall serve you and shall bow down to you. You shall be a master over your brothers and your mothers sons shall bow down to you. Those who cursed you shall be cursed and those who blessed you shall be blessed.10 We see tools to running a very different kind of empire being provided here. And this, in fact, is the key.Yitzchak and Rivkah hold divergent views about the next step in Jewish history. In a nutshell, this is it:Yitzchak wants to split the roles - and therefore the blessings - into two: gashmi (physical) and ruchani (spiritual). He sees a partnership between Yaakov and Eisav (similar to Yissachar and Zevulun11). Yaakov will bui