by Zvi Akiva Fleisher
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SEDRAH SELECTIONS PARSHAS TOLDOS 5774 BS"DCh. 25, v. 21: "Va'yei'o'seir lo Hashem" - And Hashem became beseeched by him - Rashi comments that the verse stresses TO HIM. We derive from this "To him and not to her." This is because the prayer of a righteous person the child of a righteous person is different from the prayer of a righteous person who is not the child of a righteous person, therefore "to him and not to her." Commentators ask why Rashi repeats himself, saying at the end exactly what he said in the beginning.
Rather than understanding "eino domeh" as meaning the prayers of one are more worthy than ……, Rashi means that they themselves pray for two different things. Although both Yitzchok and Rivkoh prayed for children, Yitzchok, being a "tzadik ben tzadik" only prayed for children. He did not stress that they also be righteous, as he had a righteous father as well and assumed that his progeny would follow in his and his father's path. Rivkoh, on the other hand, was not the child of a righteous father. She prayed not only for children, but also for their being righteous. Had Hashem turned to her request fully each of the twins would have been righteous. However, Hashem fulfilled Yitzchok's request and progeny that were all righteous was not included. "L'fichoch lo ……" means that since we see that only one of the two was righteous - therefore we see that Hashem fulfilled his and not her entreaties. (Pninim Y'korim) Based on this insight a practical lesson can be derived. There are no guarantees in life and no matter how good things have been up to the present, one should strongly pray for continued good.
Ch. 25, v. 21: "Vatahar Rivkoh ishto" - And Rivkoh his wife conceived - Why is it necessary to mention her name? Avrohom and Soroh each had a name change before they had a righteous child. Our verse stresses that Rivkoh did not need this. (Yeshu'os Yaakov)
Ch. 25, v. 22: "Va'yisro'tzi'tzu habonim b'kirboh" - And the sons jostled within her - Rabbi Shimon Sofer chastised one of his congregants. He placed his son into the best local cheder and he learned very well. However, he allowed his son to play with children who were far from having "yiras shomayim" and also behaved very poorly after school. The congregant stood his ground and said that since his son attended an excellent cheder and did very well academically he was not at all concerned. Rabbi Shimon Sofer brought a proof from this verse and the medrash Rashi cites to the contrary. It is well understood that when Rivkoh passed near a place of idol worship that Eisov tried to force his way out given that inside his holy mother there was not even an iota of this type of activity. Why did Yaakov try to exit when she came near a G-d fearing study hall? He had a great cheder within his mother, as he learned Torah from an angel, as per the gemara Nidoh 31. The answer is that even learning Torah from an angel does not outweigh being in cheder (his womb mate) with Eisov. (Imrei Tzadikim)
Ch. 25, v. 26: "Vayikra shmo Yaakov" - And he called his name Yaakov - Based on the opinion that the antecedent of "He" was Hashem, the Sforno offers an insight that giving this name carries a powerful message. Eikev means "heel," the end of the body. The message is that "in the end" Yaakov will prevail over all his adversaries.
Ch. 25, v. 27: "Ish yo'dei'a tzayid" - A man who knows trapping - Eisov fooled his father by getting him to think that he was righteous. He tricked Yaakov sufficiently to have a claim on both the primogeniture privilege and the burial plot in the M'oras Hamachpeiloh. But he was unable to fool his mother Rivkoh. She grew up together with her brother Lovon. She was a step ahead of him. (Luach Erez)
Ch. 25, v. 34: "V'Yaakov nosan lechem" - And Yaakov gave bread - The verse does not say, "Va'yitein Yaakov ……" that would mean that sequentially to the rest of the narrative Yaakov gave. This would mean that they closed their deal on bread and lentil soup. This was not the case. "V'Yaakov nosan," Yaakov had already given. As soon as Eisov arrived famished and close to starvation Yaakov fed him immediately. (Rabbi Shimshon ben R'foel Hirsch)
Ch. 25, v. 34: "Va'yivez Eisov es habchoroh" - And Eisov despised the primogeniture rights - The medrash says that on that day he also committed sins including murder. How is this derived from the verse? The verse says "ES habchoroh." ES is an expansive word, meaning to add more to the basic meaning of the word. (n.l.)
Ch. 26, v. 22: "Ki atoh hirchiv Hashem lonu uforinu vo'oretz" - Because now Hashem has made spacious for us and we can be fruitful in the land - The next verse tells us that Yitzchok immediately left and settled in B'eir Sheva. He finally had some peace and quiet. No one quarreled over the third well. Why is it that when things were finally peaceful that he left? The Chasam Sofer answers that the righteous do not pursue peace and quiet in this world.
The actual words of our Rabbis is that the righteous "ein lohem m'nuchoh," do not have ……, not that they run away from it. See Rashi at the beginning of parshas Va'yeishev.
Alternatively, Yitzchok lived in G'ror for an extended period of time. Had he remained in the area after peace reigned, he feared that he would be spiritually, negatively influenced. (n.l.)
Ch. 26, v. 35: "Vati'h'yenoh moras ruach l'Yitzchok ulRivkoh" - And they were a bitter spirit for Yitzchok and Rivkoh - The medrash says that it was more bitter for Yitzchok than for Rivkoh. On a simple level this is understood because Rivkoh was exposed to this in her parents' home. However, the B'eir Mayim Chaim of Chernovitz explains that since Yitzchok thought his son Eisov was righteous he had the added aggravation of fearing that they would affect Eisov negatively. Rivkoh, who knew that Eisov was a good match for these wives, did not have this added concern.
Ch. 27, v. 41: "Yik'r'vu y'mei eivel ovi vaahargoh es Yaakov ochi" - The days of mourning my father will come close and I will kill my brother Yaakov - Notwithstanding Eisov's evil ways, he wanted to kill Yaakov and save face, finding a situation where killing Yaakov would not be so outlandishly terrible. There are often extreme fights over inheritances even among the formerly best behaved and close-knit heirs. Eisov said to himself that he wanted to kill Yaakov flat out, but would wait until Yitzchok died to kill him. This would be attributed to their getting into a colossal argument over the inheritance, leading to killing Yaakov. (B'eir Mayim Chaim of Chernovitz)
We might add that based on this insight the mention of Yaakov's being his brother, seemingly superfluous, is very well understood. Because Yaakov was Eisov's brother and partner in the inheritance, it would somewhat tone down the (premeditated) murder.
Ch. 27, v. 42: "Hinei Eisov ochicho misnacheim l'cho l'hor'g'cho" - Behold Eisov your brother comforts himself to kill you - Eisov displays an air of comforting himself, quieting down his rage over Yaakov's wresting the blessings away from him. This is all a false front so that Yaakov should see it and let down his guard, making it possible for Eisov to kill him. (B'eir Mayim Chaim of Chernovitz)
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