CHAMISHOH MI YODEI'A - FIVE QUESTIONS ON THE WEEKLY SEDRAH - PARSHAS VA'YEITZEI 5768 - BS"D
1) Ch. 28, v. 17: "Beis Elokim" - Targum Onkelos writes "asar d'raavo vei min kodom Hashem." We likewise find the words "Beis Elokim" in Shoftim 18:31. There Targum Onkelos writes "Beis mak'd'sho d'Hashem." Why does Targum change his translation?
2) Ch. 28, v. 18: "Va'yikach es ho'evven" - Rashi (gemara Chulin 91a) says that Yaakov placed a few stones around his head and they fused into one stone. The gemara M'nochos 22a says that one should only take stones that were never utilized for any other purpose to build an altar. If so, how could Yaakov use the stones that he had used to protect his head as an altar? If you were to answer that this halacha is only a first choice, but if one used a used stone it is also acceptable, a difficulty still remains. Why should Yaakov take a used stone when other unused ones were available?
3) Ch. 28, v. 18: "Va'yitzoke shemen al roshoh" - And he poured oil upon its top - Since Elifaz relieved Yaakov of all his possessions how did he have oil?
4) Ch. 29, v. 1: "Va'yiso Yaakov raglov va'yeilech artzoh vnei kedem" - Why mention that he lifted his feet? Also why didn't the verse clearly state that he went to Choron?
5) Ch. 31, v. 1: "Lokach Yaakov eis kol asher l'ovinu u'mei'asher l'ovinu ossoh eis kol hakovode ha'zeh" - Yaakov has taken all that was our father's and from what belongs to our father he has amassed all these possessions - There is an obvious contradiction in their words. Lovon's sons first claim that Yaakov took ALL Lovon's possessions and then immediately say that "FROM what belongs to our father," but not all of his property, he amassed his wealth. Secondly, how did they have the audacity to claim that Yaakov took everything, since Lovon was left with numerous sheep that were not speckled, banded, etc.?
This is readily explained. At the time of our verse the Beis Hamikdosh was not yet existent, thus "the place of the will of Hashem" (for the Beis Hamikdos to be built in the future). In Shoftim an edifice for Hashem was already built, hence "beis mak'd'sho d'Hashem." (Shaa'rei Aharon)
1) If we say that he assembled all the stones that were present in the area and they fused into one stone, then he had no other choice than to use this stone.
2) We might be able to avoid this problem completely by offering that although by placing the stones around his head, Yaakov derived benefit from them, they were nevertheless not considered "used" because he did not lie upon them. He just moved them from one place to another.
3) Alternatively, the fused stones are a new creation, "ponim chadoshos," and the status of a used stone has departed. (See responsa Chasam Sofer O.Ch. #40 and Toras Moshe al haTorah)
1) We know that he was left with his walking stick, as he said that he crossed the Jordan River with it. He originally hollowed it out and filled it with oil so that he always had fuel available to kindle a light so that he could study Torah at night. (Paa'nei'ach Rozo)
2) Alternatively, Pirkei d'Rebbi Eliezer says that oil was sent to him from heaven.
As stated in Rashi on verse 11, Elifaz was sent to kill Yaakov, but instead settled on taking all his possessions. Yaakov was very afraid that when Elifaz would return to Eisov without his scalp that Eisov would take chase. This is why Yaakov did a "heib feess," lifted his legs to move quickly along towards his destination. He similarly did not want Eisov to know where he was going, and yet didn't want to lie to anyone about his destination. When asked where he was headed, he would respond, "artzoh vnei kedem," without disclosing the exact destination. (Rabbi Yehudoh ben Atar in Minchas Yehudoh)
Lovon's sons had two independent grievances. Firstly, they complained not about physical property, but intellectual property. Lovon was the king of swindlers. No one could stand up to him. If you shook his hand you would be well advised to count your fingers afterwards. They complained that Lovon was now bereft of this skill. Not only had Lovon met his match, but Yaakov was been such a successful student that he left his teacher behind in the dust, swindling him out of a fortune.
Lovon was unable to protect himself from Yaakov, they claimed. This is "lokach Yaakov eis KOL." They also complained about the perceived loss of a fortune, but not all, of Lovon's property. This is "mei'asher l'ovinu." (Kli Yokor)
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