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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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Lichvode eiru'sei habochur R' Eliezer Mund nR"u ib"g bas R' Vorhand. Yh"r shehazivug yaa'leh l'yofoh.

Ch. 32, v. 5: "Ko omar av'd'cho Yaakov" - Pirkei d'Rebbi Eliezer chapter #37 relates that Hashem criticized Yaakov. "I blessed you with "v'rav yaavode tzo'ir" (Breishis 25:23), and you said "av'd'cho Yaakov!" Because of this your descendants will be lorded over by Eiosv's descendants on this world. However, you will lord over him in the world to come.

Ch. 32, v. 5: "Im Lovon garti" - Rashi explains that Yaakov conveyed to Eisov that while he resided with Lovon he meticulously guarded all 613 mitzvos, as is indicated by the numerical value of "garti," 613. Why did Yaakov find it necessary to let Eisov know that he was still very Torah observant? Rabbi Zvi Yaar in Chamudei Zvi answers with the explanation of the Shalo"h (and the Kli Yokor) of the words "Yik'r'vu y'mei eivel ovi" (Breishis 27:41), that Eisov said that he would wait for the days of mourning after his father's death. During that time Yaakov will not be learning Torah (see Shulchan Oruch Y.D. #380:1) and without that merit he felt that he would be successful in killing Yaakov. Yaakov sent a large amount of cattle as a present to Eisov. His messengers would relate to Eisov that Yaakov came back from his father-in-law Lovon's home with a flock of great magnitude. Eisov would likely assume that although Yaakov was the pride of the Yeshiva of Shem and Eiver, its most diligent student, once he left the hallowed halls of the Yeshivah he threw himself headfirst into the pursuit of a livelihood, along the way learning how to "swim with the sharks," even outdoing the wiliness of Lovon whose reputation as a cunning deceitful person was known far and wide. Yaakov was no longer the innocent Yeshivah bochur. He surely was no longer involved in Torah study, nor in behaving as the Torah dictates. There is no longer a need to wait for the mourning period for his father Yitzchok. The time is ripe for an attack. So thought Eisov.

Yaakov therefore sent a message that although he was involved in cattle farming by Lovon, nevertheless, he remained a scrupulous Torah observer and had the full merit of Torah protection. Think twice before attacking Yaakov or his clan.

Ch. 32, v. 5: "Im Lovon garti" - As just mentioned above, Rashi explains that Yaakov conveyed to Eisov that while he resided with Lovon he meticulously guarded all 613 mitzvos, as is indicated by the numerical value of "garti," 613. Commentators say that this is the basis required to understand the question raised by many, from the Holy Zohar and down, "How could Yaakov marry two sisters, since he kept the Torah's precepts." They say this is the proof that he indeed kept the Torah. I have come across a M.R. Vayikroh 2:8 that clearly states that Yaakov fulfilled all the mitzvos of the Torah.

Ch. 32, v. 9: "Hamacha'neh ho'achas v'hikohu .. hamacha'neh hanishor" - Rashi points out that the word "machaneh" is both male and female form, as the word "ho'achas" is a female form adjective and "v'hikohu" has a male pronoun suffix. The Haa'meik Dovor explains the use of the female form "ho'achas" and the male form "v'hikohu" to indicate that when he split his group into two camps, the first was weaker, hence the female form, and the second was stronger, hence the male form.

Ch. 32, v. 11: "Kotonti mikole hachasodim" - The Holy Admor Reb Dovid'l Lelover interprets: "Even though I have merited to be miraculously saved from the diabolical schemes of Lovon and have also seen angels, yet I am still small in my eyes, 'kotonti.'" This itself is one of the great acts of "chesed" that Hashem has performed for me.

Ch. 32, v. 11: "Ki v'makli" - The staff that was in Yaakov's hand when he miraculously crossed the Jordan river was the same staff that was in Yehudoh's hand that was requested by Tomor as collateral, "u'matcho asher b'yo'decho" (Breishis 38:18). It was the same staff that was in the hand of Moshe, "ma'zeh v'yo'decho va'yomer ma'teh" (Shmos 4:2). It was the same staff that was in the hand of King Dovid, "Va'yikach maklo v'yodo" (Shmuel 1:17:40). This same staff will be in the hand of Melech Hamoshiach, "Ma'tei uzcho yishlach Hashem miTzion" (T'hilim 110:2). (Yalkut Shimoni on T'hilim chapter #110)

Ch. 32, v. 11: "Ki v'makli" - Although commonly translated as "with my staff," Targum Onkeles translates this as "a'rei y'chidi," I alone. He also translates the word "b'gapo" (Shmos 21:3) as "bilchodohi," alone. However, the Ran in his commentary of the gemara N'dorim 89b d.h. "rohit b'gafo" translates "b'gapo" as "with his staff." Targum Yonoson ben Uziel seems to combine both ideas and translates "v'makli" as "b'chutri bilchode," with my staff only.

Ch. 32, v. 12: "Hatzi'leini noh miyad ochi" - Eisov who symbolizes the evil inclination sometimes appears as a brother. He influences a person to behave with great "chasidic" piety, to repent in such a severe a manner that it even breaks his spirit, and to subject himself to great physical deprivation. The source of these acts is to show off and appear to others as if he is very pious. Even if a person escapes this trap and truly has the proper intentions in such acts, if he is greatly weakened he will not be able to serve Hashem properly, and this could even lead to desecration of the Name of Hashem ch"v. Save me from the hand of my brother, seemingly seeking my spiritual benefit, but in reality is Eisov, the evil inclination. (The Holy Chozeh miLublin)

Ch. 32, v. 12: "Pen yovo" - The word "yovo" appears here with the letter Vov after the Veis, an exception to the normal spelling, which is without a Vov. The M'ga'leh Amukos says that Eisov's name should really have been "Osuy," Ayin-Sin-Vov-Yud, as Rashi explains his name in 25:25, that Eisov was born fully developed like an adult, with hair covering his body. This would add a Yud to his name. Likewise, he says that Yaakov's name should have been "Eikev," Ayin-Kuf-Beis, as this is a reference to his having grabbed onto Eisov's heel, "eikev," when they emerged at the time of their birth. Grabbing onto Eisov's heel gave Yaakov the last letter of Ayin-Sin-Vov-Yud, leaving his brother with the name Eisov and adding this Yud onto his own name. (Possibly, by grabbing onto the END of Eisov and his own hand being the first organ to appear at his birth explains why the LAST letter was removed from Eisov and became the FIRST letter of his name.)

In the world to come Eisov will give up the Vov of his name as well, and it will be reduced to Ayis-Shin, "osh." (This means rot and decomposition according to the Sforno on T'hilim 39:12. The Metzudas Dovid says that "osh" means a moth. The idea is the same, as a moth eats garments and reduces them to rotting fibres.) Yaakov will receive the letter Vov and it will remain Yaakov, but with the Vov after the letter Kuf.

Perhaps it can be added that Rashi on Vayikroh 26:42 says that Yaakov's name appears 5 times with a Vov and Eliyohu's 5 times without. (The list of places can be found in the commentary of Rabbi Eliyohu Mizrochi.) Yaakov took the letter Vov from Eliyohu's name as collateral to assure that he would redeem the bnei Yisroel. According to the above, Yaakov's name with a Vov is in its own right an indication that Eisov will be vanquished.

The Agro D'kaloh (the Holy Admor of Dinov) says that this is why the word "yovo" appears with a Vov. Yaakov feared the empowerment that Eisov had while his name still retained a Vov.

Ch. 32, v. 12: "V'hikani eim al bonim" - Translated literally these words say "and he will smite me mother on child." This seems to indicate that only I will be hit in a situation of mother on child, most enigmatic. The Haa'meik Dovor explains that Yaakov was not concerned that he himself might be killed (this differs with Rashi on verse 8 d.h. "va'yiro"). He was however concerned about his wives. If they were to be smitten, Yaakov considered it as if he himself were hit, as per the dictum of "ishto k'gufo damyo" (gemara Brochos 24a and M'nochos 93b). He was also not afraid that his children would be annihilated, as per the gemara B.B. 115b, "gmiri d'lo koloh shivtoh," - we are taught that no tribe of Yisroel will be totally destroyed. He was only afraid that his wives would be destroyed while they prostrate themselves over their children to protect them from injury.

Ch. 32, v. 14: "Va'yikach min habo v'yodo minchoh l'Eisov ochiv" - Eisov is symbolic of the evil inclination and the powers of evil, the "sitro acharo." When one just acts and talks without giving it thought beforehand, "min habo l'yodo," he gives over his thoughts and actions as a benefaction to Eisov. This is unfortunately true even when he does mitzvos. (Arvei Nachal on parshas Yisro)

Ch. 33, v. 5: "Va'yar es hanoshim v'es ha'y'lodim va'yomer mi eileh loch va'yomar ha'y'lodim asher chonan Elokim" - Eisov asked about both the women and the children. Why did Yaakov only respond about the children? Rabbi Yitzchok Weiss, Rav of Verbau, answers that the gemara Sotoh 12a states that one who takes a wife "l'sheim Shomayim," for the sake of Heaven to fulfill mitzvos, and not for his personal gratification, is equated to having sired them. Thus Yaakov responded that the whole group, including his wives are to be considered his children, as he married the women "l'sheim Shomayim." (Siach Yitzchok)

Ch. 35, v. 14: "Vaya'seich o'lehoh ne'sech" - What liquid did Yaakov use as a libation? Targum Yonoson ben Uziel says that he poured both wine and water, a harbinger of the libations of Sukos.

Ch. 35, v. 18: "Va'y'hi b'tzeis nafshoh ki meisoh" - A person who is close to death and is in a coma, "goseis," is nevertheless halachically considered a living being, as is stated near the beginning of ma'seches Smochos. The Ohr Zorua in hilchos yibum #613 writes that this is only true of a person who has lived at least 30 days. One who is younger than 30 days old, thus not having established that he is viable, and is a "go'seis," does not have this status. However, it seems that the Nimukei Yoseif disagrees. In his commentary on the gemara B.K. 11b he says that from the words in Bmidbar 18:15, "Podo sifdeh eis b'chor ho'odom," we derive that one is required to redeem even a "go'seis." If this child was a "goseis" when he turned 30 days old he no longer had the status of a living person, and would not require redemption. Perhaps he refers only to a child who entered his 30th day in better health and deteriorated to the point of becoming a "goseis."

Ch. 35, v. 20: "Hee matze'ves kvuras Rochel ad ha'yom ha'zeh" - Some have the custom to encircle the monument of Rochel 7 times with a red string and then tie a piece of this string around their wrist or some other place on their body to ward off evil. The Reishis Chochmoh chapter "derech eretz," gateway #4, d.h. "eilu hein" writes that this is not permitted as it is included in the "manners of the Emorites," pursuit of the occult.

Ch. 35, v. 21: "Va'yeit oholo meiholoh l'Migdal Eider" - Yaakov pitched his tent beyond there to Migdal Eider. Targum Yonoson ben Uziel says that at Migdal Eider the Melech Hamoshiach will make his appearance. The Peirush Yonoson explains that this is based upon a verse in Michoh 4:8, "V'atoh migdal eider," which can be understood as referring to Moshiach who is the strength, "migdal," of the flock, "eider," the bnei Yisroel. As well, the Targum on Michoh says that this refers to Moshiach, as does the Holy Zohar on parshas Shmos.



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

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