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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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Ch. 25, v. 24: "V'hi'nei" - And behold - The Rashbam explains "hi'nei" as a term that is used when the outcome of something comes as a surprise. He gives the following examples: "Va'y'hi vaboker v'hi'nei hee Leah" (Breishis 29:25), where Yaakov expected to find Rochel, and "va'yikatz Paroh v'hi'nei chalome" (Breishis 41:7), where Paroh did not realize that it was a dream until he woke up. I don't know why the twins came as a surprise, as Rivkoh was apprised of this in the previous verse.

According to the Rashbam we can understand the words "hi'nei mishma'nei ho'oretz y'h'yeh mosho'vecho" later on in our parsha (27:39) as meaning that Eisov's benefiting from the blessings of the earth and heaven will only come as a surprise. The next verse predicates Eisov's receiving the blessings upon Yaakov's ch"v not fulfilling the words of the Torah, as explained in Rashi. Thus Yitzchok expressed himself in a manner that indicated his confidence in the bnei Yisroel's complying with the Torah in the future.

Ch. 25, v. 24: "V'hi'nei s'omim" - And behold twins - The word "s'omim" is spelled lacking the letter Alef before the Vov. We can thus translate this word as complete from the word form "tam." Yaakov and Eisov were each complete in his own way, Yaakov in righteousness and Eisov in evil. (Abarbenel)

Ch. 25, v. 27: "V'Yaakov ish tom" - And Yaakov was a complete man - The M.R. 30:7 says: Ben Chatia states that by whomever the verse says "tomim," he lived a number of years that is divisible by seven. This is well understood by Avrohom who lived 175 years and Yaakov as well, who lived 147 years. However, Noach is called "tomim" in 6:9 and lived 950 years (9:29). This number is not divisible by seven. This question is raised by Baalei Tosfos and they answer that we only count from the time that the person was given this title. Noach was given this title just before Hashem told him that He would bring a deluge upon the world and that he should commence building an ark. (Since the first verse of parshas Noach is a general narrative of Noach's life and the next verse tells us of Noach's having three sons, approximately 100 years before the flood, and only in the next verse is the decadence of the world mentioned, how do we know that this title wasn't given earlier?) Building the ark took Noach 120 years as per the M.R. chapter #30 as brought in Rashi 9:14, if we add 120 years to the 350 years he lived after the deluge we have 470 years. Reduce one year because during the year spent in the ark the celestial bodies did not function, and we are left with 469 years, divisible by seven. Similarly we do not calculate Avrohom's 175 years, but rather only from the time he was told to circumcise himself, at the age of 99 years (17:24). His 99th, one-hundredth year, and another 75 years, total 77 years, again divisible by seven.

Matnos K'hunoh, a commentator on the M.R. and the Chasam Sofer both say that we only count Noach's years after leaving the ark, 350 years. Although his is a wonderful mathematical remedy for the problem, why should we only calculate those years? This can be very well understood with the insight of the Maharil Diskin in parshas Noach, brought in Sedrah Selections 5759.

< The Maharil Diskin answers that the title "tzadik" applies to one who conquers his lusts, as seen by Yosef Hatzadik who was given this appellation because he mastered over his inclinations by the incident with Potiphera's wife. The title "tomim" applies to one who is strong in his belief in Hashem, as we find in Dvorim 18:13, "Tomim t'h'yeh im Hashem Elokecho." The Dor Hamabul (generation of the great deluge) sinned greatly in the areas of theft, murder and immorality. Noach was saved during the Dor Hamabul by virtue of his innocence in these areas. Therefore in 7:1, where Hashem is explaining to Noach why he merited being saved, the word "tzadik" is appropriate. However, 6:9 tells us Noach's greatness in relation to the many generations in which he lived. Noach lived for 350 years after the great deluge, which included the Dor Haflogoh, whose sin was not accepting Hashem's authority. The words "tzadik tomim hoyoh b'dorosov" capsulize Noach's life; he was a "tzadik" in relation to the Dor Hamabul and a "tomim" in relation to the Dor Haflagoh, hence the word b'DOROSOV in plural, during two different generations. Contrast this with "Ki os'cho ro'isi tzadik l'fonai baDOR hazeh," in relation to THIS generation, in the SINGULAR, where he was saved by virtue of being a "tzadik."

We now have a clear understanding of why the title "tomim" only applies to the last 350 years of Noach's life, when he withstood the challenge of false gods and fulfilled "tomim t'h'yeh im Hashem Elokecho." We calculate all 175 years of Avrohom's life as "tomim," as from childhood he fought idol worship. We are still left with Iyov, of whom is written, ".. Iyov shmo v'hoyoh ho'ish hahu tom" (Iyov 1:1). Seder Hadoros year 2448 brings the M.R. Breishis chapter #53 that Iyov lived for 210 years. He also brings an opinion that he lived peacefully for 70 years and then his suffering began. Following the dictum that he who continually has pain, it is as if his life is no life (gemara Beitzoh 32b), we can say that he is considered to have lived only 70 years. The Nezer Hakodesh, a commentator on M.R., in reconciling medrashim and the gemara says that Iyov lived for 210 years, and then transmigrated (gilgul) into another person who was again named Iyov who also lived for 210 years. Any of these calculations allow for the number of years that he lived to be divisible by seven.

Ch. 25, v. 27: "Yosheiv oholim" - Dwelling in tents - Rashi says "In the tent of Shem and in the tent of Eiver." This explains the plural "oholim." The words of the Sforno on Breishis 10:21, "U'l'Shem yulad gam hu avi kol bnei Eiver" seem to contradict our Rashi. He offers a most innovative explanation of these words. Rashi says that "eiver" means the other side (of the river). The verse thus reads, "And to Shem was also born children. He was the father of all those who settled on the other side of the river; he was the brother of Yefes the elder." Sforno says that "Eiver" is Shem's great-grandson, mentioned in verse 24. Eiver opened a Torah study institute and Shem taught there. Following the dictum that whoever teaches his friend's son Torah, it is as if he bore him (gemara Sanhedrin 19b), our verse s stating that not only did the founder of the Torah institute, Eiver," give birth to his students, but ALSO Shem, "gam hu," is to be considered the father of the children, i.e. students, of Eiver, "avi kol bnei Eiver." It seems that there were not two separate Yeshivos, but rather, that Shem taught in his great-grandson Eiver's Yeshivoh. Perhaps Shem eventually broke off from this Yeshivoh and established his own.

Ch. 26, v. 25: "Va'yet shom oholo" - And he pitched his tent there - Here we have the word "oholo" spelled in the normal manner, with the letter Vov at the end, this suffix meaning "his." Earlier in 12:8 we find "va'yeit oholoh" by Avrohom. Rashi there comments that the word "oholoh" is spelled in an unusual manner, with the letter Hei as a suffix, allowing this word to be read "oholuh," HER tent. This teaches us that Avrohom pitched a tent for his wife before he did for himself. Was Yitzchok not as considerate as Avrohom? This question is answered with the comment of the Moshav Z'keinim on 12:8. He explains why there was a need for a separate tent in the first place. This was connected to Avrohom's pitching the tent while still traveling. This is not the case here, as Yitzchok now lived in B'eir Sheva. Alternatively, Mo'ore Ho'a'feiloh writes that Yitzchok established a Beis Hamedrash here as stated earlier in this verse, "va'yikroh b'sheim Hashem." We can thus say that this tent was not his personal abode, but rather, a tent of learning.



See also Oroh V'Simchoh - Meshech Chochmoh on the Weekly Parsha and Chasidic Insights

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