Chamishoh Mi Yo'dei'a

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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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1) Ch. 25, v. 21: "Va'yetar Yitzchok laShem l'nochach ishto ki akoroh hee" - And Yitzchok pleaded to Hashem across from his wife because she was barren - Should not the verse have switched these two phrases, placing the statement that his wife was barren ahead of stating that he prayed, since her being barren brought about his praying?

2) Ch. 25, v. 23: "V'rav yaavode tzo'ir" - And the greater will serve the lesser - Rashi explains that when one rises the other falls, so how can the verse end by saying that the older will serve the younger, since this situation changes from time to time?

3) Ch. 26, v. 9: "ACH hi'nei ish't'cho" - In 12:19 where we have a similar occurrence, Paroh said to Avrohom, "Hi'nei ish't'cho," without saying ACH. Why?

4) Ch. 27, v. 25: "Va'ya'gesh lo va'yochal va'yo'vei lo yayin va'yeisht" - Targum Yonoson ben Uziel says that the wine Yaakov gave Yitzchok came from the grapes that were created at the time of the world's creation (from Gan Eden). The Baa'lei Tosfos say that the angel Micho'eil gave the wine to Yaakov. How do we see this from the verse?

5) Ch. 27, v. 41: "Yik'r'vu y'mei eivel ovi" - What information do these words add to the basic idea that Eisov planned to kill his brother?



The gemara Y'vomos 64a says that Hashem greatly desires the prayers of the righteous, and He therefore made our Patriarchs and Matriarchs barren. They would then pray for children. Accordingly, the prayers that they would offer to Hashem were the cause for being barren. (Rabbeinu Bachyei)


1) The verse is not mentioning the older and younger. Rather, it is saying that he who is at the time "rav," greater, because he elevated himself, he will dominate over the lesser. (Ohr Hachaim Hakodosh)

To fit this into the words of our verse seems problematic, as the verse should have said that the lesser will serve the greater. This is explained by Likutei He'oros al Ohr Hachaim Hakodosh. He who was FORMERLY the greater, when he falls, he will serve the FORMERLY lesser.

2) We can translate these words as "The younger one will accomplish a lot." (Chizkuni)

3) As mentioned in a previous Sedrah Selections on parshas Breishis, the word "es" serves the purpose of identifying who is the doer of an action and who is the recipient. For example, if one says "Reuvein hikoh Shimon," we can either understand this as "Reuvein hit Shimon," or "Reuvein, Shimon hit," the exact opposite. Although the word "es" has no intrinsic meaning, when we place it into this statement and say "Reuvein hikoh ES Shimon," we have clarified that Reuvein did the hitting and Shimon was the victim. We can thus say that the Torah consciously left out the word ES and did not say "v'rav yaavode ES tzo'ir," allowing us to translate these words as either "the older will serve the younger," or "the older, the younger will serve," again dependent upon merit. (Nirreh li)


The sefer Vayaas Avrohom explains the word ACH in our verse as follows: Avrohom explained to Paroh that although it was true that Soroh was his wife, he was truthful about saying that she was his sister, as she was the granddaughter of Terach, and is considered as if she were Terach's daughter, making her Avrohom's sister. Thus Soroh was both his wife and (considered) his sister. Avimelech said to Yitzchok that he had no such excuse regarding Rivkoh. The word ACH connotes limitation. "Behold, she is ONLY your wife and not your sister, as she doesn't have the same relationship with you as Soroh had with Avrohom."


1) It can be derived from the change in wording from "va'ya'geish" by the matamim, and "va'yo'vei" by the wine. "Va'ya'geish," and he brought close, indicates that it was there, just that it was distanced and now brought CLOSE. This was the case with the two goats, which were here in this world. However, the wine which came through the messenger Micho'eil was BROUGHT from another world, Gan Eden. (Nirreh li)

2) Another possibility might be that it is indicated by the cantillation "meircho k'fuloh," double "meircho," on the word "lo," to him. This indicates "to him" twice, once to Yaakov from the angel Michoel, and a second time to Yitzchok from Yaakov. (Nirreh li)


1) I will hasten the death of my father if I kill Yaakov now, so I will have to wait for his natural death before killing my brother. (Rashi, Daas Z'zeinim)

2) I will wait for the death of my father so that he will not have more sons who might take revenge for my killing Yaakov. (Baalei Tosfos)

3) Even though it will hasten my father's death, I will kill Yaakov at the first opportunity. (Baalei Tosfos)

4) I will wait for the days of MOURNING after my father's death. During that time Yaakov will not be learning Torah (see Shulchan Oruch Y.D. 380:1) and without that merit I will be successful in killing him. (Shalo"h and Kli Yokor)



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

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