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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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Ch. 25, v. 21: "Vatahar Rivkoh ishto" - And his wife Rivkoh conceived - The word "ishto" seems to be superfluous. It alludes to her carrying Yaakov and Eisov, who are likened to "fire and straw" (Ovadioh 1:18). The numerical value of "ishto" is the same as "aish v'kash." (Rabbi Yochonon Luria)

Ch. 25, v. 22: "Lomoh zeh onochi" - Of what value am I - Why is it that I am bearing one righteous and one evil child? The merit of my righteous husband and his righteous father brings about the birth of a righteous child, and the liability of my father and brother brings about the birth of an evil child. Why doesn't my merit tip the scales and make the second child righteous as well? It must be that I am of no value. (Minchoh V'luloh)

This insight seems to incorporate Rivkoh's already knowing that she was carrying twins. However, it seems that she was not aware of this until after the next verse. We similarly find in the remarks of Rabbeinu Chaim Paltiel that Rivkoh already knew that she was carrying twins. He says that when she realized that one seemed to be heading in the direction of righteousness, as indicated by his attempting to exit when she passed the house of learning, and one headed in the other direction, as indicated by his attempting to exit when passing the house of idol worship, she went to Shem to ask him to pray that both turn out righteous.

Ch. 25, v. 24: "Somim" - Twins - This word should have been spelled with an Alef after the Sof and a Yud before the final Mem. Lacking Alef-Yud, whose numerical value is 11 alludes to 11 more children that Yitzchok and Rivkoh might have had, totaling 12 tribes. It is only because Eisov destroyed his mother's womb at birth that this did not happen. (Paa'nei'ach Rozo)

It is possible that Rivkoh was responsible for this happening, based on the words of Rabbeinu Chaim Paltiel. On the words "lomoh zeh onochi," he explains that when Rivkoh experienced great pregnancy discomfort, she said, "Why is ZEH destined for me?" ZEH, whose numerical value is 12, alludes to her saying that she did not want to go through the hardship of carrying 12 sons.

Ch. 25, v. 25: "Va'yikru shmo Eisov" - And they called his name Eisov - This is phonetically almost like "eisev," grass. Eisov had such animalistic tendencies that he was like an animal, which consumes grass. Alternatively, he was so heavily coated with hair that he was like a field that is totally covered with grass. (Rabbeinu Tovioh)

Ch. 25, v. 27: "Yosheiv oholim" - Dwelling in tentS - Yaakov dwelled both in the tent of Torah and in the home. He helped his mother prepare food for his father. We see that he was adept at cooking, as verse 29 states, "Va'yo'zed Yaakov nozid." (Rabbi Yehudoh Chalavoh)

Ch. 25, v. 28: "Va'ye'ehav Yitzchok es Eisov ki tzayid b'fiv" - And Yitzchok loved Eisov because he brought game for his consumption - No doubt Hashem protected Yitzchok from eating prohibited food. Eisov was an idol worshipper, as mentioned in Targum Yonoson ben Uziel on the next verse. An idol worshippers slaughtering of an animal renders it non-kosher (conclusion of gemara Chulin 4b). If so, how did he eat Eisov's game? Yitzchok only ate Eisov's offerings before he worshipped idols. Here, where he was ready to eat, not aware of Eisov's status, Hashem indeed protected him and Yaakov preceded Eisov. (Variation on Rabbeinu Chaim Paltiel)

Ch. 25, v. 29: "Va'yo'zed Yaakov nozid" - And Yaakov prepared a cooked item - Rashi explains that on that day their grandfather Avrohom died, Yaakov cooked red lentil soup for the "havro'oh" meal. This is symbolic of the life cycle, people dying and people being born, like round lentil beans. An old text of Rashi is that just as lentils are closed, so too, the mouth of the mourner is sealed.

There is a well-known custom at the Shabbos day seudoh to have a course of boiled eggs, perhaps as an egg salad for Ashkenazim, while Sefardim cook eggs in "chamim." This is based on the opinion that Moshe died on Shabbos, as is alluded to by the second letters of the words, "MoSHe aVdi meiS" (Yehoshua 1:2), which spells out Shabbos. This is a remembrance of the "havro'oh" for Moshe's passing. (Rabbi Yehudoh Chalavoh)

Ch. 26, v. 7: "Va'yomer achosi hee ki yo'rei leimore ishti pen yaharguni" - And he said she is my sister because he was afraid to say my wife lest they kill me - There seems to be an inconsistency in the syntax of this phrase. The verse narrates that Yitzchok, 3rd person, said, "va'yomer." Then it quotes Yitzchok's actual words, "achosi hee." Since after this, the verse again narrates his thinking, that he was afraid to say .., and is not quoting his words any more, it should have said "pen yaharguHU. We must say that all of this is the direct quote of his words. Yitzchok responded by saying, "Even if she were my wife I would be afraid to say so lest they kill me." Although Avrohom said something to the same effect, his statement was not a lie, as Soroh was his niece, and as such could be called a sister, as explained by Rashi on 20:12. Yitzchok had no such explanation, and to avoid outright lying, he said this. (Mahari"l Diskin)

There still seems to be a syntax problem even after this. The verse should have said, "ki yo'reiSI." Any help would be appreciated.

Ch. 26, v. 12: "Va'yizra" - And he sowed - One who dispenses charity is called one who sows, as we find in Hoshei'a 10:12, "Ziru lochem litzdokoh," and in our daily prayers, "Zorei'a tz'd'okos." The reason the term "planting" is used for dispensing charity is that they are similar. One who takes perfectly good seed and plants it in the ground, where it will rot, seems to be doing an insane act. However, having the knowledge that it will produce much more, we understand that it is a very wise act. Similarly, with charity it seems that someone has worked to procure money for himself. By giving it away it seems that he is clearly depriving himself. However, the exact opposite is the truth. Hashem even allows us to test Him with charity. Hence dispensing charity is just like sowing seeds. (Rabbi Chaim of Volozhin in Ruach Chaim)

Ch. 26, v. 13,14: "Va'yigdal ho'ish va'yeilech holoch v'go'deil ad ki godal m'ode, Va'y'kanu oso Plishtim" - And the man increased and he continuously increased until he was extremely great, And the Plishtim were jealous of him - Had success shined its countenance upon Yitzchok in one go they would not have been jealous, even if the success made him fabulously wealthy. It was specifically his being continuously successful, albeit in small increments, that brought on their jealousy. (A'deres Eliyohu)

Ch. 26, v. 29: "Kaasher lo n'gaanucho" - As we have not injured you - A lion had a bone stuck in its throat which caused it much pain. It announced that it would give a great reward to whichever creature would remove the bone. A bird with a long narrow beak entered the lion's throat and dislodged the bone, to the great relief of the lion. When it asked for the promised reward, the lion responded, "You have just exited from a lion's throat unscathed. This alone is your reward."

Similarly here, Avimelech and his people allowed Yitzchok to leave unharmed. This alone was the good that they did with him, "v'chaasher osinu imcho rak tov." (M.R. 64:9).

Ch. 27, v. 33: "Al kein shem ho'ir B'eir Sheva" - Therefore the name of the city is B'eir Sheva - In 21:31 by the incident of Avrohom and Avimelech we find, "Al kein koro lamokome hahu B'eir Shova." The Rashbam offers that these are two different places. Rabbeinu Chaim Paltiel says that by Avrohom the MOKOME, the AREA, was called B'eir Sheva, while here, HO'IR, the CITY, was called B'eir Sheva. Alternatively, he offers that they were two cities with different names. By Avrohom, the city was called B'eir ShOva, based on the VOW that took place, while here, the city was called B'eir ShEva, based on the 7 sheep.

Ch. 27, v. 1: "Vatich'henoh einov" - And his eyes became dim - Since Yitzchok was influenced by Eisov's game, "Va'ye'ehav Yitzchok es Eisov ki tzayid b'fiv" (25:28), the resultant "ki hashochad y'e'veir" (Dvorim 27:19) took place. (M.R. 65:7, Tanchuma #8)

Ch. 27, v. 40: "V'al char'b'cho sichyeh" - And you shall live by your sword - This was simply a blessing that he be successful in his hunting. (Rashbam and Rabbeinu Chaim Paltiel)

Ch. 27, v. 44: "Ad toshuv chamas ochicho" - Until your brother's anger subsides - Compare this with "Ad shuv AF ochicho" in the next verse. Targum Onkelos translates both as "disuv rugzo," while Targum Yerushalmi Hasho'leim translates our verse as "di sishtadeich kli'sei," and the next verse as "t'kofe rugzei." Targum Yonoson ben Uziel offers "di sishdoch ris'cho" and "d'nuach rugzo." It seems that T.O. takes no note of the difference between "chamas ochicho" and "af ochicho," while the others indicate that our verse refers to extreme anger and the next verse lesser anger. Indeed, this is what commonly happens. There might be a key word here that explains the difference. Note that in verse 45 we have the added word "mimcho," - from you. Our verse stresses Eisov's extreme anger, which is both directed at Yaakov and at the outcome that he lost the coveted blessings. Verse 45 discusses his anger after some time will pass. At that point he will grow accustomed to having lost the blessings but will still harbour anger at you. When even more time passes, even his anger at you, "mimcho," will also subside. (Nirreh li)

Ch. 27, v. 45: "Lomoh eshkal gam shneichem yom echod" - Why should I be bereft also of both of you in one day - Although they died more than a month apart (gemara Sotoh 13a), they were both buried on one day. (Moshav Z'keinim) Alternatively, Rivkoh was referring to Yitzchok and Yaakov. She was apprised that Eisov had in mind to kill Yaakov on the day Yitzchok would die (verse 41). (Rabbeinu Chaim Paltiel)



See also Oroh V'Simchoh - Meshech Chochmoh on the Weekly Parsha and Chasidic Insights

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