by Zvi Akiva Fleisher
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SEDRAH SELECTIONS PARSHAS TOLDOS 5775 BS"DCh. 25, v. 23: "Shnei goyim b'vitneich" - Two nations are in your womb - Rivkoh asked of Hashem or a prophet why her pregnancy was so painful and she received the reply that she was carrying to children who would build two nations that would be diametrically opposed. Hence there was already a sort of discord within her. Once she was apprised of this did the pains subside? The Tur writes that they did, as the point of her feeling severe pain was so that she would ask and find out this information. Now that she knew there was no further need for pain.
Ch. 25, v. 23: "Mi'mei'ach yiporeidu" - From your innards they will separate - While some explain that their differences will be readily noticeable immediately from birth, the Sforno writes that the message was a continuation of information about the pregnancy. Notwithstanding that Rivkoh was carrying twins and having abnormal pains from their jostling, the twins will both be born live and the jostling will not cause one child to cause the other to die.
Ch. 25, v. 24: "V'hi'nei somim b'vitnoh" - And behold there were twins in her womb - Rivkoh knew she was carrying twins, so for whom was it a surprise? Rivkoh didn't tell anyone that she was carrying twins so it was a surprise to her midwife. (Rabbi Moshe Sender Zack)
Ch. 25, v. 30: "Ho'odome ho'odome ha'zeh" - This red red - In Rashi yoshon he explains why Yaakov prepared a round lentil broth. In his second explanation he says that just as the round lentils have no mouth (no visible seam) so too, a mourner has no mouth, i.e. that he should not talk (unless it is quite necessary.
A war survivor couple settled in Eretz Yisroel and the husband died shortly thereafter. Two Gerrer Chasidim went to be "m'nachem oveil" the surviving family. The widow cursed Hashem with a string of sharp complaints. They later went to Imrei Emes to ask how they should have acted, as they said not a word and just let her curse away. The Imrei Emes answered that "oveil ein lo peh" means we consider it as if he has no mouth, i.e. all that emits from it is as if it wasn't said, a case of "ein odom nitfas al tzaaro." (shomati)
Ch. 25, v. 33: "Va'yishova lo va'yimkore es b'choroso l'Yaakov" - And he swore to him and he sold his primogeniture right to Yaakov - The Rosh derives from these words that although a person cannot transfer ownership to another when the matter is something that is not yet existent, nevertheless, when the attempted transfer is accompanied by a vow it is binding.
Ch. 26, v. 8: "Va'y'hi ki orchu lo shom ha'yomim" - And it was when the days were long for him - Lekach Tov explains that it either means that he had an extended stay there, or that his stay entered into the depth of the summer, when daylight is long.
I do not understand the second explanation. According to the first it is well understood that the days were long for HIM as his stay was for a long time. According to the second explanation the days were long for everyone not just for Yitzchok.
Ch. 26, v. 33: "Al kein shem ho'ir B'eir Sheva" - Therefore the name of the city is B'eir Sheva - This is not the same city as the B'eir Sheva mentioned by Avrohom, "Va'yovo Beir Sheva asher liHudoh." (Rashba"m)
This is the same city. After Avimelech abrogated the covenant Yitzchok stopped calling it B'eir Sheva, and now that he had committed himself to keep it again Yitzchok renewed the same name. (N'tzi"v)
Ch. 26, v. 35: "Vati'h'yenoh moras ruach l'Yitzchok ulRivkoh" - And they were an aggravation for Yitzchok and for Rivkoh - Targum Onkelos says that this means they aggravated and refused to cooperate.
Sforno says that "moras" is sourced from "moroh," a razor. They acted in a way that caused their in-laws to feel as if they were being stabbed with knives. Bchor Shor says "moras" is sourced from "mar," bitter. They made their in-laws lives bitter.
Medrash Agodoh adds that we find right afterwards that Yitzchok's eyes weakened greatly. We see from this that when one is angered, as were Yitzchok and Rivkoh, it weakens one's eyes. Perhaps we can explain why Rivkoh's eyes remained healthy. Our sages say that she had less aggravation from this than Yitzchok had because she had experienced idol worship in her parents' home.
Ch. 27, v. 2: "Lo yodati yom mosi" - I do not know the day of my death - Since Yitzchok has aged his soul has begun to separate from his body. This is an appropriate time to give a blessing. (Sforno)
Ch. 27, v. 3: "V'tzudoh li tzayid(h)" - And capture for me game - "Tzayid" has a male and female connotation. The male component is the way it is read, and the female component is the way it is written, with a letter Hei at the end. This alludes to the male Paschal offering, and the female to the Chagigoh offering. (Haksav V'hakaboloh)
Ch. 27, v. 4: "V'hovioh li v'o'cheiloh" - And bring it to me and I will eat it - What need was there for Yitzchok to eat food as a prelude to blessing Eisov? We have dealt with this in the past, introducing the concept of "ko'ach hapo'el b'nifal," that a very spiritual person can sense the level of another through that persons works.
Droshos hoRa"n cites a number of places in Tanach where a prophet was told to eat before he prophesied. He mentions the opinion that this would bring them into a positive mind-set and helped to receive a prophecy. He prefers the approach that although very spiritual, the prophet is in a human body. Its needs and desires detract from being able to prophesize. "Throwing the body a bone" of a good meal allows it to let the spirit be free to receive a prophecy.
Ch. 27, v. 4: "Baavur t'vo'rech'cho nafshi" - So that my soul bless you - Why didn't Hashem simply tell Yitzchok to bless Yaakov? Yitzchok had a high opinion of Eisov and strongly preferred to bless him over Yaakov. If Hashem would apprise him of Yaakov's being the one who should be blessed, he would be so disappointed that he would not be in a positive mood and the prophecy for blessing would not be received, as a prophet has to be in a positive state of mind to prophesize. Thinking that he was blessing Eisov, he was in a positive frame of mind. (Droshos hoRa"n)
Ch. 27, v. 27: "Rei'ach b'godov" - The scent of his apparel - Our Rabbis read this as "rei'ach bogdov," the scent of those who rebel against Hashem. The message is that notwithstanding that some bnei Yisroel sin against Hashem, nevertheless Hashem concentrates on their positive attributes. This interpretation dovetails with the explanation for Hashem's orchestrating the blessings to be placed upon Yaakov through trickery, when he was dressed in eisov's garments, so that even when some of the bnei Yisroel are ch"v behaving and dressing as Eisov does, the blessing remains in place, "rei'ach bogdov." (n.l.)
Ch. 27, v. 33: "Va'yecherad Yitzchok charodoh g'doloh ad m'ode" - And Yitzchok trembled to an extreme - Compare this "g'doloh ad m'ode" with Eisov's "g'doloh ad m'ode" of the next verse. When Yitzchok's efforts did not produce the results he wanted he trembled to an extreme, worried about what he shortchanged his son Eisov, while Eisov, when his wishes were not realized, screamed to an extreme. (n.l.)
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