CHAMISHOH MI YODEI'A - FIVE QUESTIONS ON THE WEEKLY SEDRAH - PARSHAS TOLDOS 5769 - BS"D
1) Ch. 25, v. 21: "Va'yetar" - At what location did Yitzchok pray?
2) Ch. 25, v. 21: "Ki akoroh hee" - The verse clearly states that Rivkoh was barren? Was Yitzchok also an "okor?"
3) Ch. 25, v. 27: "Yosheiv oholim" - Dwelling in tents - Rashi says "In the tent of Shem and in the tent of Eiver." This explains the plural "oholim." Did Shem and Eiver have two separate Torah study institutes or were they both heads of one school?
4) Ch. 26, v. 26: "Vaachuzas mei'rei'eihu" - Targum Onkeles translates "mei'rei'eihu" as "mei'rachamohi," and similarly translates "rei'ei'hu" (Breishis 38:12) as "racha'mei." Rashi translates Targum Onkeles back into Loshon Hakodesh as "ohavov." What is the difference between a "rei'a' and an "oheiv"?
5) Ch. 27, v. 13: "Olai kil'los'cho bni" - What did Rivkoh accept upon herself with these words?
Targum Yerushalmi says that Yitzchok prayed at Har Hamorioh.
The Baal Haturim says that some derive from the spelling of the word HEE with a Vov rather than a Yud, that there is also a male connotation, namely that not only was Rivkoh barren, but Yitzchok was also barren. Targum Yerushalmi also says that he was barren. However, the Holy Zohar on our parsha says that only Rivkoh was barren.
From these words of Rashi it seems that they were two distinct schools, "oholim." However, the words of the Sforno on Breishis 10:21, "U'l'Shem yulad gam hu avi kol bnei Eiver" seem to disagree with our Rashi. He offers a most innovative explanation of these words. Rashi says that "eiver" means the other side (of the river). The verse thus reads, "And to Shem was also born children. He was the father of all those who settled on the other side of the river; he was the brother of Yefes the elder." Sforno says that "Eiver" is Shem's great-grandson, mentioned in verse 24. Eiver opened a Torah study institute and Shem taught there. Following the dictum that whoever teaches his friend's son Torah, it is as if he bore him (gemara Sanhedrin 19b), the verse states that not only did the founder of the Torah institute, Eiver, give birth to his students, but ALSO Shem, "gam hu," is to be considered the father of the children, i.e. students, of Eiver, "avi kol bnei Eiver." It seems that there were not two separate Yeshivos, but rather, that Shem taught in his great-grandson Eiver's Yeshivoh. Perhaps Shem eventually broke off from this Yeshivoh and established his own.
The Magid Mishneh in his commentary on the Rambam hilchos shechitoh chapter #1 says that "ohavim" are people who out of love one for each other come to agree with each other. "Rei'im" are people who love each other in spite of remaining in disagreement regarding certain issues. Perhaps with this difference we have an insight into the words of the "sheva brochos," "rei'im ho'ahuvim." Are the choson and kaloh "rei'im" or "ahuvim"? Perhaps these words indicate that we expect them to come to an agreement on many issues that they originally did not see eye to eye, "ahuvim," but are also expected to hold their ground on some matters, "rei'im."
1) Ibn Ezra first offers that Rivkoh told Yaakov that if Yitzchok would curse him, she would bear its impact. However, he adds that if this is the proper explanation it is the nature of women to say such things, meaning that although she said it, it doesn't necessarily mean that simply through her wishing it, it will be so, that the curse can be diverted to her.
2) He then offers that these words mean that if a curse would come she would work hard on convincing Yitzchok to rescind it.
3) Rashbam explains that she would not be convincing by saying that she would be the recipient of the curse. Rather she meant that no curse would be forthcoming because there was the assurance of "v'rav yaavode tzo'ir" (25:23).
4) Chizkuni explains that Rivkoh said that if Yitzchok would realize the ruse he would not curse Yaakov because he would assume that he was put up to doing it by Rivkoh. Thus Yitzchok's curse would be directly aimed at her.
5) Alternatively, he offers that Rivkoh told Yaakov that he would surely not be cursed because he would be bringing his father the requested delicacies. Rather, she said that he would be cursed by her if he were to refuse to follow her orders.
6) Rivkoh told him that she received a prophecy that no curse would befall Yaakov. (Rabbeinu Zecharioh)
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