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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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Ch. 32, v. 3: "Va'yishlach Yaakov malochim l'fonov el Eisov ochiv" - And Yaakov sent messengers ahead of him to Eisov his brother - When these messengers returned to Yaakov they said, "Bonu el ochicho el Eisov," reversing the mention of "brother" from after the mention of Eisov to before Eisov. Yaakov hoped that when they encounter Eisov they would find him acting as a brother. They unfortunately came back with the news that the brother was still very actively an Eisov, bent on harming Yaakov. (Holy Alshich)

Ch. 32, v. 3: "Va'yishlach Yaakov malochim l'fonov el Eisov ochiv" - And Yaakov sent messengers ahead of him to Eisov his brother - Our Rabbis have two opinions. One is that Yaakov sent actual angels and the other is that he sent human messengers. Both are true. To encounter Eisov face to face here on earth he sent humans and to counter the spiritual forces that represent Eisov above he sent actual angels. (Holy Shalo"h)

Ch. 32, v. 3: "Va'yishlach Yaakov malochim l'fonov el Eisov ochiv" - And Yaakov sent messengers ahead of him to Eisov his brother - Rashi cites the words of our Rabbis that Yaakov incited Eisov by sending him messengers. He should have just entered Eretz Yisroel quietly, not announcing to Eisov that he had returned, akin to the folk saying, "Do not grab the ears of a resting dog." Ramban writes that similarly, when the Chasmono'im made a covenant with the Romans it was instrumental in bringing the Romans to lord over Eretz Yisroel.

Ch. 32, v. 4: "Im Lovon garti vo'eichar ad otoh" - With Lovon I have sojourned and was delayed until now - Yaakov tells Eisov that he should not misinterpret his extreme delay in returning to Eretz Yisroel because he felt that it would take so many years until Eisov would cool off sufficiently. Rather, he had no choice but to stay there with Lovon. He was an indentured worker under contract. (Chizkuni)

Ch. 32, v. 13: Va'yikach min habo l'yodo" - Yaakov sent from what came into his hand means that he was very reluctant to give Eisov anything that came to him as a result of his father Yitzchok's blessing, but he sent an offering to Eisov anyway because among his cattle there were some that were a result of his own work. (Kli Yokor)

Ch. 32, v. 13: "Minchoh l'Eisov ochiv" - An offering to his brother Eisov - The offering was for Hashem with the hope that Eisov would act as a brother. (Chozeh of Lublin)

Ch. 32, v. 15: "G'malim mei'nikos uvneihem shloshim" - Nursing camels and their offspring thirty - Rabbeinu Bachyei says that the camels and their offspring combined totaled thirty, while the Ohr Hachaim Hakodosh, citing his grandfather says that it means thirty of each.

Ch. 32, v. 22: "Va'yikach es shtei noshov v'es shtei shifchosov v'es ached ossor y'lodov" - And he took his two wives and his two maidservants and his eleven sons - Yaakov put his wives and concubines out of harm's way ahead of protecting his children. This seems akin to Eisov's behavior when he protected his wives first, and he was soundly criticized for this. Why did Yaakov do what seems to be the same? Had Yaakov crossed the body of water with his sons first he would have left his wives and concubines alone with his servants, a very risky proposition. (Tosfos Brochoh)

Ch. 32, v. 24: "Ad alose hashochar" - Until the morning star rose - The wrangling with the angel represents the bnei Yisroel's history of challenges from Eisov until the morning star heralds in the eternal light at the end of days. Just as the end of the night is darker than the earlier part, so too, before the end of days the challenges will be the greatest.

Ch. 32, v. 29: "Va'y'voreich oso shom" - And he blessed him there - What was the blessing? Medrash Avkir says "Y'hi rotzone she'yi'h'yu bo'necho tzadikim k'mos'cho." Medrash Agodoh says that he agreed that Yaakov rightfully received the blessings of his father Yitzchok.

Ch. 32, v. 31: "Va'yizrach lo hashemesh kaasher ovar es P'nu'el v'hu tzo'lei'a al y'reicho" - And the sun shone upon him when he passed P'nu'el and he was limping on his hip - He limped from the moment he was smitten on his hip. It was only noticeable to the onlooker when daylight came. (Chizkuni) Because he was limping he only got as far as P'nu'el when the sun rose. (Rabbeinu Tam)

The latter explanation fits better with the syntax, placing passing P'nu'el in the middle.

Ch. 33, v. 2: "V'es Rochel v'es Yosef acharonim" - Rashi comments that "acharon acharon choviv." The idea that "the best is saved for last" cannot be derived from here, since in this situation Yaakov wanted to distance his beloved Rochel as far as possible from Eisov. This has nothing to do with setting an order of speakers for example, and saying that the best is saved for last. However, there is a source for the best is saved for last from Shmos 12:35. There is a list of the objects that the bnei Yisroel took from the Egyptians: silver vessels, golden vessels, and garments. The Mechilta comments that this is listed in the order of "acharon acharon choshuv."

Ch. 34, v. 13: "Va'yaanu vnei Yaakov" - On 24:15 where Lovon answered ahead of B'suel, Rashi comments that Lovon was a rosho for doing this. Why then did the bnei Yaakov answer ahead of Yaakov?

1) The Moshav Z'keinim answers that they feared that Yaakov might agree with Chamor's proposition, so they answered with their conditional offer.

2) Possibly, it is only wrong to answer ahead of one's father. Here Yaakov did not respond at all.

3) The Emes L'Yaakov, in a more detailed explanation of many difficult matters in this incident, says that Yaakov also wanted them to circumcise themselves, but since his midoh was "emes," he did not want to be the one to offer a false proposition, since he had no intention of allowing them to intermarry with his family. That is why he waited for his sons (34:5) and had them make the proposition.

Ch. 35, v. 14: "Bamokom asher di'beir ito" - Rashi says that he doesn't know what these words teach us. This is extemely difficult. If not for these words we would not know where Yaakov built his altar. The answer is that there is a printing mistake, and these words of Rashi belong in verse 13 on the exact same words, "bamokom asher di'beir ito." Here it says that Hashem ascended from Yaakov "at the place that He spoke with him." It is obvious that Hashem left from the place at which He was, in front of Yaakov. Here Rashi's difficulty is understood. Some Chumoshim have this printed properly, indicating that these words of Rashi are on verse 13.

Ch. 36, v. 3: "Bosmas" - Rashi says that this is Mochlas (28:9). The name "Mochlas" comes from the source word "m'chiloh" to indicate that Eisov was forgiven for his sins when he married. Is this a freebie? The Breishis Zuto, the Medrash Breishis Rabboh 67:13, and the Medrash Rabboh Shmuel ch.17 all say that Eisov was forgiven because at the time of his marriage to Mochlas the idea of repenting entered his mind. Possibly, Hashem is very magnanimous with forgiveness at the time one marries, to allow the person to truly be b'simchoh. As happy as he feels, if his n'shomo is not happy because of sins, there is a lack of true happiness. This might be what is meant with the words "samei'ach t'samach rayim ho'ahuvim," that Hashem should give happiness to the chosson and kalloh. His forgiveness is their true happiness, "k'sa'meichacho y'tzircho," just as you gladdened Odom and Chavoh, who were without sin at the time of their marriage.



See also Oroh V'Simchoh - Meshech Chochmoh on the Weekly Parsha, Chasidic Insights and Chamisha Mi Yodei'a

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