by Zvi Akiva Fleisher
Back to This Week's Parsha| Previous Issues
SEDRAH SELECTIONS PARSHAS TOLDOS 5770 BS"D
Ch. 25, v. 19: "V'eileh toldos Yitzchok ben Avrohom Avrohom holid es Yitzchok" - And these are the generations of Yitzchok the son of Avrohom Avrohom sired Yitzchok - There seems to be double-talk in these words. Rashi comments: "Yaakov v'Eisov ho'amurim b'farsha," - Yaakov and Eisov whp are (later) mentioned in the parsha. How is Rashi clarifying the verse? The Baal Haturim on parshas Ki Seitzei (Dvorim 23:4) writes that a mamzer does not reproduce. (Although we know that this is not the case, and the medrash actually says that this should have been so, but Hashem decided to let the world function in a natural state, allowing illegitimate people to reproduce, we might well say that what the Baal Haturim said applies here, as Yitzchok and Rivkoh were barren, and Hashem would not go beyond nature to have them reproduce had Yitzchok ch"v been illegitimate.) The scoffers of the generation claimed that Soroh conceived from Avimelech (Rashi). Had this ch"v been true, since Soroh was a married woman, Yitzchok would have ch"v been illegitimate and would not have reproduced. This is Rashi's intention. The verse is to be understood as follows: These are the generations of Yitzchok the son of Avrohom. Rest assured that avrohom was Yitzchok's father because Yitzchok reproduced, as we see later in the parsha, that he fathered twin sons, Yaakov and Eisov. (Rebbe Reb Heshel of Krakow)
Ch. 25, v. 21: "Rivkoh ishto" - Rivkoh his wife - The word "ishto" seems to be superfluous. Rabbi Yochonon Luria in Meishiv Nefesh answers that "ishto" alludes to the natures of Yaakov and Eisov. Yaakov is called "aish" and Eisov is called "kash" Ovadioh 1). The word "ishto" can be split into two. Alef-Shin spells "aish" and Tof-Vov spells "ulkash."
Ch. 25, v. 22: "Vatomer im kein lomoh zeh onochi" - And she said if so of what worth is this for me - Rivkoh said that if she were to give birth to an evil child, of what worth is it for her, as she had experienced the behaviour of her husband's half-brother Yishmoel. The response she received was, "Shnei goyim b'vitneich," you have two dynasties in your womb. As Rashi explains even the offspring of Eisov has righteous great people, i.e. Antoninus. This is not the case with Yishmoel's offspring, and is therefore not a comparison. (Kli Yokor)
Ch. 25, v. 23: "V'rav yaavode tzo'ir" - And the elder will serve the younger - It seems that Rivkoh left satisfied with this explanation. She was suffering greatly from the continual grappling and wrestling that was taking place inside her. If so, how was this alleviated? Rabbi Yoseif Chaim Sonnenfeld explains that the unborn children within her also heard this explanation, and once they realized that the older would be subservient to the younger they stopped moving around for fear that they might be expelled first from her womb.
Ch. 25, v. 23: "V'rav yaavode tzo'ir" - And the elder will serve the younger - On the verse, "Va'yomer Eisov yesh li ROV ochi y'hi l'cho asher loch," Rashi comments that we see from the words "y'hi l'cho asher loch" that at this point in time we see that Eisov conceded the blessings to Yaakov. Eisov was now a wealthy man in his own right. He was used to an affluent and cushiony lifestyle. At this point he conceded to Yaakov that he himself had the status of RAV in the context of "v'RAV yaavode tzo'ir." It bothered him no longer that Yaakov had the blessings, as long as he had wealth. (n.l.)
Ch. 25, v. 26: "V'yodo ochezes ba'a'keiv Eisov" - And his hand grips Eisov's heel - Rashi comments on the words, "V'hoyoh eikev tish'm'un" (Dvorim 7:12), that the verse exhorts us to fulfill even the mitzvos that many people tread upon with their heel, i.e. that they consider insignificant. We can thus explain these words of our verse to mean that Yaakov grips the mitzvos that Eisov treads upon and discards. (Ro'isi)
Ch. 25, v. 32: "V'lomoh zeh li b'choroh" - And what is there for me for primogeniture - Responsa Rivo"sh #321 asks that since the benefit of the firstborn would take place upon the passing of their father, it is something in the future and not something that is presently owned. We have a Talmudic maxim that, "Ein odom makneh dovor shelo bo l'olom," - One cannot transfer ownership of something that is not presently here in this world. The K'tzos Hachoshen #278 answers this based on the words of the gemara Ksubos 83, that one can divest himself of an upcoming inheritance or benefit. Although the gemara applies this concept to a Rabbinic injunction that one receive a benefit, the Ra"n in his commentary on the gemara says that the same is true of a Torah level benefit, for example an inheritance. If so, we can answer that although one cannot transfer ownership of something that he does not have yet, he may divest himself of his right to it in the future, and in turn the inheritance would go to the next in line, here Yaakov.
Alternatively, there were two benefits of being a firstborn at that time in history. One was that of inheriting a double portion, and the other to serve in the position of Kohein. Yaakov only asked for the benefit that was in the present, to serve as Kohein, and not the future benefit of inheritance. This was his intention by saying, "Michroh chaYOM es b'choros'cho li" (verse 31), specifying the benefit that is applicable in the now and present. (Divrei Cheifetz)
Ch. 25, v. 34: "Va'yochal va'yeist va'yokom va'yeilach" - And he ate and he drank and he stood up and he left - Eisov did not even have the decency to visit his father Yitzchok and offer him condolences, "nichum a'veilim." (Rabbeinu Menachem)
Ch. 27, v. 35: "Boh ochicho b'mirmoh va'yikach bircho'secho" - Your brother has come with cunning and he has taken your blessing - Your brother has come with cunning. The cunning is "va'yikach bircho'secho." You, Eisov, are very evil. Your blessing is that you are gifted as a great impersonator. You outwardly display yourself as a righteous person to me. Your brother has taken your skill and has likewise impersonated you when he appeared to me tonight. There is no room for complaint, as he has only replicated what you have done all these years. (n.l.)
Ch. 28, v. 5: "Va'yishlach Yitzchok es Yaakov" - And Yitzchok sent Yaakov - The gemara Megiloh 17a says that Yaakov was punished for forsaking his parents for 22 years. What did he do wrong? His father commanded him to travel to his relatives in Padan Aram and find a wife for himself. Rabbeinu Bachyei answers that had he only married Leah, even though he had to work for her father for seven years, he would not have need faulted. It was only after he also took Rochel, and committed himself to another seven years of work, that he showed that he was willing to tarry beyond the minimum requirement to find a wife and immediately return. He was then faulted for the whole time he was away.
Ch. 28, v. 9: "Va'yeilech Eisov …… va'yikach es Mochalas" - And Eisov went …… and he took Mochalas - We derive from these words that when a person marries his sins are forgiven. This is not the first, nor the last case of a man taking a woman as his wife. Why does the Torah choose to point this out by the evil Eisov and his partner in crime Mochalas? The Admor Rabbi Yechezkel of Kuzhmir answers that the Torah wants to stress that even a person as evil as Eisov is forgiven. (We now have a better understanding of the gemara Kidushin, which says that if even a totally evil person marries a woman conditional to his being a totally righteous person, we must take the marriage seriously, as he might have repented.)
A GUTTEN SHABBOS KODESH. FEEL FREE TO DISTRIBUTE BY COPY OR ELECTRONICALLY.
FEEDBACK IS APPRECIATED. TO SUBSCRIBE, KINDLY SEND REQUEST TO: SHOLOM613@ROGERS.COM
Back to This Week's Parsha| Previous Issues
This article is provided as part of Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Permission is granted to redistribute electronically or on paper,
provided that this notice is included intact.
For information on subscriptions, archives, and
other Shema Yisrael Classes,
send mail to firstname.lastname@example.org