CHAMISHOH MI YODEI'A - FIVE QUESTIONS ON THE WEEKLY SEDRAH - PARSHAS VA'YISHLACH 5772 - BS"D
1) Ch. 32, v. 9: "V'hoyoh hamacha'neh hanishor lifleitoh" - And the camp that will remain will escape - How was Yaakov assured of this?
2) Ch. 32, v. 14: "Va'yikach min habo v'yodo minchoh l'Eisov" - And he took that which came to his hand as an offering to his brother Eisov - The words "min habo v'yodo" require elucidation.
3) Ch. 32, v. 30: "Va'y'vo'rech oso" - And he blessed him - Who blessed whom?
4) Ch. 33, v. 15: "Atzigoh noh imcho min ho'om asher iti" - May I please place with you some of the group that is with me - This seems to be a brotherly gesture. What positive matter resulted from this for Eisov?
5) Ch. 34, v. 3: "B'Dinoh bas Yaakov" - In Dinoh the daughter of Yaakov - In verse 1 she is called bas Leah.
He placed the second camp a distance of further than one day of travel from the other. Rivkoh said/ prophesied that she would lose both her sons in one day. Yaakov remained in the camp that Eisov would encounter earlier. If Eisov would be successful and ch"v kill them to a man, including Yaakov, he would not remain alive beyond that day, and in turn could not reach the second camp. They would surely be saved. (Chanukas haTorah and Nachal K'dumim)
A somewhat similar story is told of the GR"A. A rabid anti-Semite heard of the great sanctity and wisdom of the GR"A. He was held in great reverence even by the gentile population, and this especially made the anti-Semite's blood boil. He captured the GR"A and told him that he would now disprove the GR"A's ability to know all. He asked the GR"A when he, the GR"A would die. He added, "If you answer 'Today,' then I will keep you alive until tomorrow. If you answer any later day, then I will kill you today." The GR"A answered that he would die on the same day that his capture would die. He had sufficient fear of the GR"A's spirituality to not harm him, and had to let him go. The story, of course, ends with - and they both died on the same day. This is "mipi hashmu'oh" and not confirmed.
Rashi offers that it either means that which belonged to him, or items that easily fit into the hand, jewels, or items that were tithed.
A novel interpretation by Rabbi Moshe Shimon Antkalski of Vilna: The Darkei Moshe on Tur Y.D. #35 writes that he read in the name of Rabbi Yehudoh Chosid that if one passes his hand over the nape of an animal and it bends its head downwards, this is a sign that the animal is kosher and not a treifoh. An allusion to this is found in T'hilim 51:19, "Lev nishbor v'nedke Elokim lo sivzeh," and in Yeshayohu 57:15, "Ushfal ruach l'hachayos." This is the intention of the words "min habo v'yodo minchoh l'Eisov." Yaakov passed his hand over the napes of his animals. Those that did not bend downwards, and remained against his hand, "min habo v'yodo," he sent to Eisov.
Most commentators say that the angel blessed Yaakov. Targum Yonoson ben Uziel says that Yaakov blessed the angel.
The medrash says that when Eisov saw that Yaakov had an abundance of wealth he said that if Yaakov has this temporal world, perhaps he would still merit a portion in the world to come. Yaakov said that this would not happen unless he were to change. Eisov responded with a plea that if one of his descendants would want to convert, that Yaakov's descendants should accept him, "atzigoh noh imcho min ho'om asher iti." Yaakov agreed to this. There is an allusion to this as the numerical value of "atzigoh" is the same as "zeh Ovadioh," who was a prominent convert who became a prophet. (Paa'nei'ach Rozo)
Once Sh'chem violated her his unbridled lust waned. However, he still had a strong interest in becoming the son-in-law of Yaakov. This is substantiated in verse 19, which says "ki chofeitz b'vas Yaakov," not even mentioning her name, only that she was Yaakov's daughter. (Rabbeinu Efrayim and Moshav Z'keinim)
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