Back to Parsha homepage
D''vrei Mordechai

by Reb Mordechai Rosen z"l
Archive of previous issues

What does Hashem Elokecha ask from you, but to fear Hashem Elokecha and to walk in His ways. (Devorim, Perek Yud, Pasuk Yud Gimmel)


"El Lavan Ben Besuel HaArami, Achi Rivka, Aym Yaakov VíEsav" (Perek Chof Ches Pasuk Hey). The Pasuk tells us that Yitzchak sent Yaakov to live by Rivkaís brother Lavan. The question can be asked, why does the Pasuk find it necessary to say "Aym Yaakov VíEsav", mother of Yaakov and Esav? Wasnít it enough to just say "Achi Rivka", the brother of Rivka? We know the Torah doesnít just add words, so what is the Chumash trying to teach us? If you look at Rashi on the words "Aym Yaakov VíEsav", it says, "Einie Yodeah Ma Milamdenu", I donít know what this teaches us. The Sifsei Chachomim asks, if Rashi doesnít know, why does he say anything? There are many Pesukim on which Rashi doesnít comment. Why say, I donít know, just donít say anything. The Sifsei answers that Rashi had a number of explanations, he wasnít sure which to put down. Again, there are many places where Rashi brings down more than one explanation. So what are we supposed to learn? One can explain the words of Rashi in this manner. When a young man is involved in a Shidduch and is interested to know what his children will be like, he should look at the girlís brothers. Children generally take after their motherís brothers. The same then can be said in the reverse. If you want to know about the character of a man, look at his sisterís children. Yitzchak was trying to prepare Yaakov for what he would find in Lavanís house. "Achi Rivka", if I want to know about Rivkaís brother, I have to look at Rivkaís children. "Aym Yaakov VíEsav", Rivka is the mother of Yaakov and Esav. That is what Rashi means when he says "Einie Yodeah Ma Milamdenu" I donít know what he, Lavan, will teach you because I donít know whether he is like Yaakov or like Esav.

Back to Parsha homepage | Previous Issues

This article is provided as part of Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Permission is granted to redistribute electronically or on paper,
provided that this notice is included intact.
For information on subscriptions, archives, and other Shema Yisrael
Classes, send mail to

Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Jerusalem, Israel