by Zvi Akiva Fleisher
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SEDRAH SELECTIONS PARSHAS VA'YISHLACH 5774 BS"DCh. 32, v. 4: "S'dei Edom" - The field of Edom - Why mention a field? This really means the land of Edom. "The field of" is used when referring to an inheritance land that is roomy and beautiful. We similarly find "s'dei Moav, s'dei Arom, s'dei Plishtim." (Rada"k)
Ch. 32, v. 23: "V'es achad ossor y'lodov" - And his eleven sons - Rashi comments that Dinoh is not mentioned because she was hidden in a container. Yaakov feared that Eisov would place his eyes on her and would take her by force. Rashi goes on to say that Yaakov was punished through the incident with Sh'chem for hiding Dinoh from Eisov, because she might have brought him back to the true path.
This is most difficult to understand. Earlier Rashi cites our Rabbis who praise Leah for crying her eyes out in response to her possibly becoming Eisov's wife. We find nowhere that she is criticized for so strongly being against becoming his wife.
Mei'am Loez cites Sefer Chasidim who says that he who is the grandchild of a "chosid" who is also the child of a "chosid," and is himself a "chosid" is guaranteed that all his household members will be good people. Leah was the daughter of Lovon and was scared and rightfully cried. Dinoh was the daughter of Yaakov, the son of Yitzchok, so there was nothing to worry about, hence Yaakov was punished.
We might add that this explains why the Torah stresses that "Dinoh the daughter of Leah went out." Yaakov, by hiding Dinoh, did not rely on the meritorious three generation "Chasidim," and hid her. Hence the incident of Dinoh and Sh'chem is predicated on her being the daughter of Leah and not being protected by the three generation safety shield. (n.l.)
Ch. 32, v. 27: "Lo asha'leichacho ki im beirachtoni" - I will not release you unless you have blessed me - The Holy Zohar asks that Yaakov should have said "t'vorcheini." "Beirachtoni" is in the past tense. He answers that Yaakov asked of the angel, as the representative of Eisov, to agree to the blessings that Yitzchok bestowed upon him and Eisov would thus no longer contest it.
On a simple level we might say that Yaakov was saying that even if the angel agrees to bless him, he will not relase him. "Only after you have already blessed me will I release you." (n.l.)
Ch. 34, v. 3: "Va'ye'e'hav es hanaar(oh)" - And he loved the maiden - Wherever we find the word "naaroh" written without a letter Hei at its end, it means a quite young girl. When it appears with a Hei it means a girl who is close to physical maturity. (Seichel Tov)
Ch. 35, v. 17: "Al teeri ki gam zeh loch bein" - Fear not for this is also a son to you - Do not fear that you are giving birth to a girl. (Girls are wonderful. The issue was that Rochel was bent on being the mother of another tribal head.)
Fear not that this is a girl as indicated by your severe labour pains, as per the statement of our Rabbis, that the birthing pangs for a girl are more severe than for a boy. "Ki gam zeh," even though this, the more severe pains, "loch bein." (Sforno)
With each of the boys a twin girl was born. With Binyomin an extra girl was born. Rochel gave birth to triplets. (Medrash Lekach Tov)
Ch. 35, v. 23: "Bnei Leah" - The sons of Leah - The order of the listing of the mothers of Yaakov's children is Leah, Rochel, Bilhoh, and then Zilpoh, (see next three verses). Leah is mentioned first because she had children first. Although Bilhoh had a child ahead of Rochel, Rochel is mentioned next, as she was not a maidservant-wife. Bilhoh was mentioned next because she gave birth ahead of Zilpoh. (Seichel Tov)
Ch. 35, v. 29: "Va'yik'b'ru oso Eisov v'Yaakov bonov" - Anf Eisov and Yaakov his sons buried him - Eisov is mentioned ahead of Yaakov because he was the firstborn. Yaakov did not make an issue of Eisov's being given primary position at the burial because they had finally made peace with each other and he did not want to upset the situation. However, by the burial of Avrohom the verse says that Yitzchok and Yishmo'eil buried him, mentioning Yitzchok first. This is because Yitzchok was the son of Soroh, while Yishmo'eil was the son of the maidservant Hogor. (Rada"k)
The Meshech Chochmoh says that it was of utmost importance to mention Yitzchok ahead of Yishmo'eil by Avrohom's burial. Yishmo'eil openly declared that Yitzchok was not even Avrohom's son, but rather Avimelech's. Rashi mentions that Yishmo'eil repented. The need to repent for claiming that Yitzchok was the son of Avimelech was a foremost component in his repentance. This is why the verse says that he took second place at the funeral. This was his public display of admitting that Yitzchok was indeed Avrohom's son.
Ch. 36, v. 1: "V'eileh toldos Eisov" - And these are the generations of Eisov - Why is it necessary to list his descendants? Some commentators say that since there will be a prohibition to attack Edom, by listing the names of the descendants we can (up to a point) know who is an Edomi.
Seichel Tov answers that we read through them and clearly run into a problem understanding the chain of genealogy, as Rashi points out. To answer these issues we come to the conclusion that there was severe sinning, fathers mating with their daughters, etc. thus the lesson imparted is that we should know that Eisov's descendants were illegitimates, "mamzeirim."
Ch. 36, v. 1,8,9: "Eisov hu Edom, Eisov hu Edom, Eisov avi Edom" - Eisov is Edom, Eisov is Edom, Eisov the father of Edom - Which is it? Is he Edom himself or the father of Edom? Rabbeinu Myuchos writes that he himself was called Edom and he was the father of the people who were the nation of Edom.
Ch. 36, v. 4: "Elifoz" - The Rokei'ach (ksav yad) writes that this name is sourced from his serving a golden form of a goat. This is "eili," my god, "poz," is gold.
Ch. 36, v. 4: "U'Vosmas yoldoh es R'u'eil" - And Bosmas gave birth to R'u'eil - In verses 2 and 3 we see that Eisov first married Oholivomoh and then Bosmas. Why then does our verse mention whom Bosmas gave birth to ahead of Oholivomoh in the next verse? Eisov married Oholivomoh first but Bosmas gave birth first. (Rabbi Avrohom ben hoRambam)
Ch. 36, v. 6: "V'es kol nafshos beiso" - And all the souls of his household - The 70 members of Yaakov's household that descended to Egypt were called "shivim nefesh," in the singular. Eisov's household serves numerous idols, so they were "n'foshos," in the plural form. Yaakov's household served one Deity only, hence "nefesh." (Vayikra Raboh 4:6)
The word "nefesh" also means a liking, as in "Im yeish es naf'sh'chem" by the incident of Avrohom and the bnei Cheis. We can thus say that the household of Eisov was splintered. Each and every member had a different pursuit. One was into sports, another theater, another was addicted to the computer, etc., etc., etc. This splinters and literally destroys the family fabric. Not so with Yaakov's family. Everyone was focused on Torah and mitzvos. (n.l.)
Ch. 36, v. 24: "Hu Anoh asher motzo es ha'yeimim" - He is Anoh who discovered the mules - Rashi explains that Anoh crossbred a horse with a donkey and a mule resulted. Rashi comments in parshas Toldos where everything Yitzchok touched became fabulously successful that people said, "We prefer the dung of Yitzchok's mules to the gold of Avimelech." Since mules had not existed until Anoh crossbred there were no mules.
The gemara Psochim 54 cites Rabbon Shimon ben Gamliel who says that mules only came into existence through Anoh's doing, while Rabbi Yosi says that they were around since the creation of the world. Rabbi Yosi could surely explain "motzo" of our verse to mean that he discovered a group of mules or that he discovered a way of reproducing them. However, Rashi's comment on our verse follows Rabbon Shimon ben Gamliel and his comment earlier is perplexing. Help would be appreciated.
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