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Biography of Yehuda Katz | Archives | This Week's Parsha

This Torah thought is being dedicated to my beloved father, Nachman Shimon ben Yehuda Meir Hakohan, Z"L.


"And he (Jacob) prepared from whatever came into his hand a gift for his brother Esau." (32:14)

Jacob is returning to Canaan, and seeks to appease his brother Esau. Jacob sends Esau gifts, however its curious that it seems from the verse that he's sending gifts haphazardly. He is not finding the best of the flock, but as the verse says-"whatever came into his hands". Why?

I would like to perhapes propose an original answer, bezrat Hashem. We find in verse (32:17) that Jacob instructs his messangers to place a space in between each flock of animals sent to Esau. Rashi explains the reason for this as follows: "so as to satisfy the eye of Esau and fill his desire with the great amount of gifts." There was no need for Jacob to find quality animals of gifts because Esau wasn't interested in quality, Esau was interested in quantity. Esau was the proverbial "hungry man", and Jacob understood this.Esau was becomingly more enticed by each subsequent group of animal passing his line of vision that it didn't really matter the quality of animal as long as the next group was on its way.There is a very important lesson to be learned from this. When we imagine the image of Esau in our mind as each gift was passing him by, do we at the same time see the "Esau" in ourselves?Are our lives driven by quantity, namely the "fluff" or are we driven by quality?

A very fascinating question indeed.The Torah makes it clear the machanics behind Esau's manner of lifestyle, the quantity (the fluff) is whats enticing. Jacob knew and used this to his advantage.However, how do we live our lives?

Are our lives quantity driven, or quality driven? This is what the Torah wants us to experience. A "hungry man" wants the excitement of the next thrill, but he fails to realize that at some point it ends.The "quality" driven man fills his life with substance, namely good deeds and Torah learning. Have a good Shabbos.


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