by Zvi Akiva Fleisher
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SEDRAH SELECTIONS TOLDOS 5761 BS"D
L'ILUY NISHMAS OVI MORI R' CHAIM B"R SIMCHOH Z"L HK"M
Ch. 25, v. 19: "Avrohom holid es Yitzchok" - We find in last week's parsha that Avrohom exhibited great concern for having his son Yitzchok only marry a women from a specific family and from a specific location. When it came to Yishmo'eil's pursuit of marriage we find no involvement on the part of Avrohom. This can be explained by a point made in our verse. While our verse says "Avrohom holid es Yitzchok," regarding Yishmo'eil the Torah says "Yishmo'eil ben Avrohom asher yoldoh Hogor haMitzris shifchas Soroh" (25:12). We see from these two verses that Avrohom invested his spiritual powers in Yitzchok who was to become his chain of descendants who were to fulfill the theological destiny for which purpose Hashem created the world. Not so with Yishmo'eil. His ancestry was relegated to Hogor the Mitzris, the maidservant of Soroh. Hence there was no need to guide Yishmo'eil in his choice of a wife. Rabbi Leibel Eiger in Toras Emes takes this concept and places it into the words of the verse where Avrohom details to Eliezer from which nation not to look for a wife for Yitzchok. In 24:3 Avrohom says "Asher lo sikach ishoh livni mibnos haC'naani asher ONOCHI YOSHEIV B'KIRBO." He interprets the last words of this verse to mean, "Do not take a wife for my son Yitzchok from the Canaanite daughters BECAUSE I sit in "him," in Yitzchok. My spiritual legacy will be carried on by Yitzchok, and not by Yishmo'eil. Therefore I am so particular about whom Yitzchok will marry.
Ch. 25, v. 22: "Va'yisrotzatzu habonim b'kirboh" - The Tur Ho'oruch explains that they jostled each other because Eisov was fully developed (Esov = Osuy, completed) with growth of hair and this caused Yaakov to be very itchy.
Ch. 25, v. 34: "Va'yi'vez Eisov es habchoroh" -The word "va'yi'vez" also appears in Megilas Esther 3:6, "Va'yi'vez b'einov lishloach yod b'Mordochai l'vado." The Rokei'ach says that we have an allusion to Homon the descendant of Eisov a bit earlier in this incident in verse 30, where it says "Hali'teini Noh Min," whose first letters spell HoMoN. Just as Yaakov wrested the birthright from Eisov's possession by feeding him, so also Esther learned from this to invite Homon to her meal to wrest his prominent position away from him. She decided to do this on Pesach just as Yitzchok had a meal on Pesach during which Yaakov received the brochos instead of Eisov.
Ch. 26, v. 9: "ACH hi'nei ish't'cho" - In 12:19 where we have a similar occurrence, Paroh said to Avrohom, "Hi'nei ish't'cho," without saying ACH. The sefer Vayaas Avrohom explains the word ACH in our verse as follows: Avrohom explained to Paroh that although it was true that Soroh was his wife, he was truthful about saying that she was his sister, as she was the granddaughter of Terach, and is considered as if she were Terach's daughter, making her Avrohom's sister. Thus Soroh was both his wife and (considered) his sister. Avimelech said to Yitzchok that he had no such excuse regarding Rivkoh. The word ACH connotes limitation. "Behold, she is ONLY your wife and not your sister, as she doesn't have the same relationship with you as Soroh has with Avrohom."
Ch. 27, v. 3: "Baavur t'vorech'cho nafshi" - The Ohr Hachaim Hakodosh writes that although Yitzchok knew full well the character traits of Eisov, he still wanted to give him the blessings, hoping that Eisov would be so appreciative that he would turn a new leaf and return to the true Torah path. He adds that had Eisov indeed received the blessings, "Ulay hoyoh mo'il!"
Ch. 27, v. 6: ""V'Rivkoh omroh el Yaakov bnoh LEIMORE hi'nei ...... LEIMORE" - What is meant by the words LEIMORE which appear twice in this verse? The Eitz Hadaas Tov on the gemara K'suvos, section Drushei Torah, Toldos, says that Rivkoh advised Yaakov that although she would dress him in a manner that he would resemble Eisov, i.e. hairy skin surface, nevertheless he should not attempt to speak roughly in an attempt to imitate Eisov. She said that she heard Yitzchok tell Eisov that there was a fear that Yaakov would attempt to receive the blessings through portraying himself as Eisov. He would no doubt speak in a coarse manner to sound like Eisov. Therefore Yitzchok advised that Eisov should change his manner of speech and imitate Yaakov, to speak in a soft refined manner. This is indicated in the verse with the word LEIMORE. "Amiroh" and "dibur" are two synonymous words, both meaning "speaking." However, soft speech is expressed as "amiroh," while rough tough speech is expressed as "dibur." At the end of our verse we find Rivkoh saying "Hi'nei shomati es ovicho m'da'beir el Eisov ochicho LEIMORE." Yitzchok told Eisov to speak SOFTLY, LEIMORE. This is also what is meant at the beginning of our verse, "V'Rivkoh omroh el Yaakov bnoh LEIMORE." Rivkoh told Yaakov "Leimore," to speak in his normal manner, SOFTLY. This explains what would otherwise be a very puzzling statement by Yitzchok. When Yaakov appeared in front of Yitzchok and was touch-tested by his father, Yitzchok said, "Hakol kol Yaakov v'ha'yodayim y'dei Eisov" (verse 22), and he proceeded to bless Yaakov. Why didn't he wonder about the conflict between the touch (Eisov) and the audio (Yaakov) and hold back his blessings? Now it is well understood, since this was the scheme made up by Yitzchok and everything matched. Perhaps we can add that this was also the intention of Rivkoh when she said "V'atoh vni shma b'KOLI" (verse 8), - And now my son hearken to my VOICE advice.
The Beis haLevi says the same concept as the Eitz Hadaas Tov, but does not mention the indications shown by the words LEIMORE.
Ch. 27, v. 15: "Eisov bnoh haGODOL ...... Yaakov bnoh haKOTON" - Many explanations are offered for this verse pointing out that Eisov was Rivkoh's BIG son and Yaakov her SMALL son. The Psikta Rabosi 15:20 says that Eisov the BIG one calculates his dates by the BIG one, the sun, while Yaakov the SMALL one calculates his dates by the SMALL one, the moon. Why is this being pointed out here? Perhaps it is because Yaakov is about to receive blessings from Yitzchok. We find in the following verses that Yaakov's receiving the blessings is contingent upon his good behaviour (verses 22 and 40 as interpreted by Chazal). Eisov receives his blessing without conditions on his behaviour. Perhaps this is why by Yaakov it says "V'yi'tein l'cho hoELOKIM," to indicate that there is judgement, while by Eisov no mention of Elokim is mentioned. The steady bounty for Eisov is symbolized by the sun, which is always the same size. Yaakov's blessing will have its ups and downs as the spiritual level of the bnei Yisroel will unfortunately not always be exemplary. Hence he is symbolized by the moon, which waxes and wanes. At the end of days the bnei Yisroel will merit, "V'hoyoh or halvonoh k'or hachamoh" (Yeshayohu 30:26), may it be speedily in our days.
Ch. 27, v. 25: "Va'ya'gesh lo va'yochal va'yo'vei lo yayin va'yeisht" - Targum Yonoson ben Uziel says that the wine Yaakov gave Yitzchok came from Gan Eden. The Baa'lei Tosfos say that the angel Micho'eil gave the wine to Yaakov. How do we see this from the verse? Possibly it can be derived from the change in wording from "va'ya'geish" by the matamim, and "va'yo'vei" by the wine. "Va'ya'geish," and he brought close, indicates that it was there, just that it was distanced and now brought CLOSE. This was the case with the two goats, which were here in this world. However, the wine which came through the messenger Micho'eil was BROUGHT from another world, Gan Eden. Another possibility might be that it is indicated by the cantellation "meircho k'fuloh," double "meircho," on the word "lo," to him. This indicates "to him" twice, once to Yaakov from the angel Michoel, and a second time to Yitzchok from Yaakov.
Ch. 27, v. 28: "V'yi'tein l'cho ho'Elokim" - Contrast this with the blessing of Eisov in verse 39, "Mishma'nei ho'oretz y'h'yeh mosho'vecho," where Hashem's name is not mentioned. The Sfas Emes says that the greatest aspect of the blessing Yaakov received was the awareness that it came from Hashem. Not so with Eisov. He is so shortsighted that all he sees is the objects he needs for his comforts, with Hashem taking no place in his life.
Ch. 27, v. 29: "V'yishtachavu l'cho bnei I'MECHO" - Rashi and Rashbam (M.R. 66:5) say that we find by Yehudoh's blessing "V'yishtachavu l'cho bnei OVICHO" (Breishis 49:8). They answer that since Yitzchok had only one wife he said "bnei I'MECHO," while Yaakov who had four wives said "bnei OVICHO." Tosfos Hasho'leim adds that Yitzchok would have also said "bnei OVICHO" to forewarn the possibility that he might take another wife and have children with her, but he knew that he would not take another wife. However, he wasn't sure that he would outlive Rivkoh, and if he were to die first there was the possibility that she would remarry and have more children. He therefore said "BNEI i'mecho," your mothers SONS in plural form.
How was Yitzchok so sure that he would not take another wife? Perhaps it was because he was so old, or that he conclusively decided to not do so under any circumstances. Possibly there was an halachic reason that assured that he would not take another wife. The gemara Kidushin 41a says that one may not take a wife unless he sees her first. Since Yitzchok was blind he knew that he would not take another wife.
Ch. 27, v. 30: "Vay'hi kaa'sher kiloh" - The first syllable of "Vay'hi" has the phonetic sound of "vy," woe, indicative of great sorrow. The M.R. 66:5 says that when Yitzchok completed blessing Yaakov, there was much reason to cry out in great anguish "WOE," for had Yitzchok continued to bless Yaakov, in all future generations Eisov and his descendants would be able to do no harm to the bnei Yisroel.
Ch. 27, v. 30: "Mei'eis pnei oviv" - These words indicate that when Yaakov left he did not turn away with his back towards his father, enabling him to see where he was going, but rather he walked away backwards, always facing his father. How great this act of honour was in light of the fact that upon the completion of receiving his father's blessings, Yaakov surely wanted to make a getaway post-haste, before his brother would return from the hunt and find him snatching away the blessings. In spite of this, out of great respect for his father, Yaakov walked away backwards, greatly slowing down the pace of his departure. We also see from this that although Eisov was lauded for the great respect he conferred upon his father, Yaakov did not fall short.
Ch. 27, v. 33: "Gam boruch y'h'yeh" - The Chasam Sofer points out that these words have the numerical value of 301, equal to that of the word "aish," fire. This alludes to the verse in Ovadioh 1:18, "V'hoyoh beis Yaakov l'AISH ...... u'veis Eisov l'kash." This is why Eisov screamed out so bitterly in the next verse, as he is compared to straw in the same verse in Ovadioh. Perhaps this point is also alluded to mathematically. The words following "Gam boruch y'h'yeh" are "Kishmoa Eisov" (verse 34). "Kishmoa Eisov" has the same numerical value of "Eisov l'kash."
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