by Zvi Akiva Fleisher
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SEDRAH SELECTIONS PARSHAS TOLDOS 5768 BS"D
Ch. 25, v. 21: "Va'yetar" - And he entreated - Targum Yerushalmi says that Yitzchok prayed at Har Hamorioh.
Ch. 25, v. 21: "Ki akoroh hee" - Because she was barren - Baal Haturim says that some derive from the spelling of the word HEE with a Vov rather than a Yud, that there is also a male connotation, namely that not only was Rivkoh barren, but Yitzchok was also barren. Targum Yerushalmi also says that he was barren. However, the Holy Zohar on our parsha says that only Rivkoh was barren.
Ch. 25, v. 22: "Lomoh zeh onochi" - Why is this for me - The Tur has a text of Rashi which says that Rivkoh asked why she prayed to be the mother of the twelve tribes since she had such a difficult pregnancy. This would have happened but Eisov upon his entry into this world destroyed her uterus. The allusion to the 12 tribes seems to be in the word "zeh," whose numerical value is 12.
Ch. 25, v. 26: "V'yodo ochezes baa'keiv Eisov" - And his wand was gripping the heel of Eisov - Why his heel? Eisov is equated to a pig, as per the verse, "Y'char's'menoh chazir miyo'ar" (T'hilim 80:14). The split hooves of a pig are its only signs of kashrush. (Baalei Tosfos)
Ch. 27, v. 13: "Olai kil'los'cho bni" - Upon me is your curse my son -
1) Ibn Ezra first offers that Rivkoh told Yaakov that if Yitzchok would curse him, she would bear its impact. However, he adds that if this is the proper explanation it is the nature of women to say such things, meaning that although she said it, it doesn't necessarily mean that simply through her wishing it will be so that the curse can be diverted to her.
2) He then offers that these words mean that if a curse would come she would work hard on convincing Yitzchok to rescind it.
3) Rashbam explains that she would not be convincing by saying that she would be the recipient of the curse. Rather she meant that no curse would be forthcoming because there was the assurance of "v'rav yaavode tzo'ir" (25:23).
4) Chizkuni explains that Rivkoh said that if Yitzchok would realize the ruse he would not curse Yaakov because he would assume that he was put up to doing it by Rivkoh. Thus Yitzchok's curse would be directly aimed at her.
5) Alternatively, he offers that Rivkoh told Yaakov that he would surely not be cursed because he would be bringing his father the requested delicacies. Rather, she said that he would be cursed by her if he were to refuse to follow her orders.
6) Rivkoh told him that she received a prophecy that no curse would befall Yaakov. (Rabbeinu Zecharioh)
Ch. 27, v. 21: "G'shoh noh" - Please come close - Rashi says that Yitzchok was suspicious because the person he believed was Eisov mentioned Hashem's name, and Eisov was not wont to do this. Since Eisov did not mention Hashem's name how could Yitzchok think that Eisov was righteous? The Ramban answers that since Eisov spent a great part of his day hunting animals, and he thus often finds himself in a situation where the place is filthy and unbefitting to have Hashem's name mentioned, he was careful to avoid mentioning it lest he do so where it is inappropriate. He actually thought that this was a "midas chasidus."
Ch. 27, v. 23: "Va'y'vorcheihu" - And he blessed him - The verse does not tell us what the blessing was. Starting in verse 27 we seem to have another blessing, which is detailed in the verse. However, Rabbeinu Myuchos says that our verse tells us that Yitzchok blessed Yaakov, but without filling in the details until verse 27. They are one and the same blessing. Sforno says that the blessing of our verse is a general one and was given because Yitzchok suspected the person in front of him as being an impersonator. The gemara Brochos 31b, that one who suspects his fellow man of doing something wrong and realizes that he incorrectly suspected his friend, should bless him.
Ch. 27, v. 24: "Va'yomer atoh zeh bni Eisov va'yomer oni" - And he said are you my son Eisov and he said it is I - Why did Hashem orchestrate Yitzchok's blessings to Yaakov be given in a manner that he thought he was bestowing them upon Eisov? Rabbi Hershel Lisker in Ach Pri T'vuoh explains that Yaakov was very reluctant to receive these physical blessings, as an abundance of physical goods could easily be detrimental in his pursuit of spirituality. By receiving the physical blessings in a manner lacking proper intention on the part of Yitzchok, the blessings would more readily also be of that nature, being there in the physical, but not overtaking Yaakov's and his descendants' minds.
Ch. 27, v. 35: "Boh ochicho b'mirmoh va'yikach bircho'secho" - Your brother has come with cunning and he has taken your blessing - Yitzchok told Eisov that since circumstances brought about that Yaakov received the blessings it is a sure sign from Heaven that Eisov was not deserving. If indeed Eisov was a righteous person this would not have happened. Read our verse: "Your brother has come and taken your blessing 'b'mirmoh,' through Eisov's deception." He has deceived Yitzchok all these years. (Chasam Sofer)
Ch. 27, v. 36: "Va'yakveini zeh faama'yim" - And he has outsmarted me this two times - The word "zeh" seems to be totally superfluous. Sifsei Kohein explains that Yaakov was very anxious to finish his business and leave for fear that Eisov would appear on the scene. In his rush Yaakov left behind the plate upon which he served the meal to Yitzchok. This was the same plate that Yaakov used to serve Eisov when he purchased the birth right from him. Eisov pointed to the plate, recognizing it from his previous encounter, and said, "With THIS he has twice outsmarted me!"
Ch. 27, v. 37: "G'vir samtiv loch v'es kol echov nosati lo laavidim v'dogon v'sirosh smachtiv" - A lord over you I have placed him and all his brethren I have given him as servants and grain and wine I have supported him - Of these three blessings that Yitzchok gave Yaakov and is now relating to Eisov, the first two are understood. You can't have it both ways. If Yaakov is lording then Eisov is being lorded over. Similarly, with Eisov being a servant. What is the issue with Yaakov's receiving a blessing for having agricultural success? There is enough in the world for both. We see that Yitzchok eventually blessed him with "mishma'nei ho'oretz yi'h'yeh moshovecho" in verse 39.
Rabbi Aaron the Admor of Belz answers based on the gemara Gitin 12a. Rabon Shimon ben Gamliel says that in a year of famine a servant can press his master to feed him. Even if the master wants to, but is unable to do so because of a food shortage, the slave can force the master to emancipate him by law. Eisov, upon hearing that he and his descendants would be servants to Yaakov and his descendants, at least had a hope that a famine would eventually come and Yaakov would be unable to feed him and be forced to free him. Yitzchok told him that even this hope is to be dashed. Yaakov has received a blessing for agricultural support and would always be able to come up with some sustenance for his servants.
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