Chasidic Insights

on the Weekly Parsha

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by Zvi Akiva Fleisher

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Ch. 32, v. 5: "Im Lovon garti" - Rashi comments, "v'sarya"g mitzvos shomarti." Why is this relevant to Eisov? Yaakov was told by his mother that Eisov said, "yik'r'vu y'mei eivel ovi" (27:41). Commentators explain that Eisov was aware that Yaakov's merit of Torah and mitzvos would protect him from Eisov. Eisov planned that when Yitzchok would die and Yaakov would not study Torah he would attack, as Yaakov would not have sufficient merits. Yaakov sent this message to Eisov. "Don't think that during the many years that I was with Lovon, I became lukewarm. I still fulfill all 613 mitzvos. Don't start up with me!" Rashi continues, "v'lo lomad'ti mimaasov horo'om," - and I did not learn from his bad actions. As a continuum of the insight just mentioned: "You might think that although I am righteous and keep all 613 mitzvos, you still might overpower me now. In our early years I was righteous by choosing the right path. Now that I have been exposed to the wicked Lovon, you might incorrectly conclude that I am righteous only by being spurred on to doing good by seeing his revolting behaviour, and this is a lower level of righteousness (as commentators explain 'yeish dorshim lignai' (Rashi on Breishis 6:9 by Noach). I tell you that I am a self-made righteous person and did not learn to do this by being repulsed by his negative acts." (Nirreh li)

Ch. 32, v. 13: "V'atoh omarto heiteiv eitiv imoch" - It is not that I want to be the recipient of good because it is pleasant to receive good. It is only that I want the fulfillment of Your words. (Sfas Emes)

Ch. 32, v. 25: "Va'yivo'seir Yaakov l'vado" - The gemara Chulin 91 says that he returned for small vessels. The Holy Ari z"l explains that although seemingly insignificant, they actually are of great importance. The physical items Hashem sends a person his way are the medium with which he is to serve Hashem. One has no right to just let them slip through his fingers. We can surely extend this thought to the traits which Hashem endows a person. He must surely use them wisely in the service of Hashem and not squander or misuse them. (Chidushei HoRi"m)

Ch. 33, v. 4: "Va'yisho'keihu" - Rashi comments, "Omar Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, 'Halacha hee b'yodua she'Eisov sonei l'Yaakov." Rabbi Shimon always pursues the reasoning behind a mitzvoh in its parameters (gemara Yoma 42b). Here even he admits that it is a cold halacha. Don't look for reasons for his hatred, and then say, "If we did this or if we didn't do that, he wouldn't hate us." (Rabbi Menachem Zemba Hy"d)

Ch. 33, v. 9: "Va'yomer Eisov yeish li rav" - Eisov said, "I have my Rabbi in my pocket. When under the fa?ade of acting righteously and engaging a Rabbi for guidance, I only use a Rabbi who is 'li,' for my benefit." (Nirreh li)

Ch. 35, v. 2: "V'hitaharu v'hachalifu simlosheichem" - They were about to give thanks to Hashem at the altar. From this we see that one is required to purify his body and wear clean clothes when he prays in a set place (of sanctity). (Ibn Ezra)


See also Sedrah Selections and Oroh V'Simchoh

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