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Parshas Toldos (Toldot)
Meshech Chochma - Yitzchok Davened For Rivka, Not Himself
The Rashbam says that the meaning of "Vayetar Yitzchok L'Nochach Ishto" means that Yitzchok davened for his wife. The Meshech Chochma explains that the reason he davened for her and not himself was that he was guaranteed to have children from Hashem's promise to Avrohom. He cried and pleaded that those children should be from none other than his current wife the great Tzadaikess Rivka, who he felt was the ideal mother of Am Yisroel.
Once the children were born however, when Yitzchok arrived in Grar he was afraid they may kill him because the future generations promised to Avrohom could be carried on by his offspring Yaakov and Eisav.
Pashas Toldos and The Yishmael Connection
The end of last week's Parsha finishes with the words, "Al Pnei Kol Echov Nafal" - "Over all his brothers he (Yishmael) shall fall". This week's Parsha starts with the words, " ViAyleh Toldos Yitzchok" - "And these are the offspring of Yitzchok".
Baal HaTurim explains the connection. "Al Pnei Kol Echov Nafal" - when Yishmael - (the Arabs) will fall, then, "ViAyleh Toldos Yitzchok" - Mashiach Ben David will come from the descendants of Yitzchok. The fall of Yishmael is a prerequisite for the coming of the Mashiach.
Baal HaTurim - Even Eisav's Hair Drove Yaakov Crazy!
"VaYisrosatzu HaBanim BiKirbah"- "And the children pushed within her" - Rashi says 2 interpretations in the word "VaYisrosatzu".
1) It means to "run". When Rivka passed the Bais Medrash of Shem ViEver - Yaakov ran to get out of the womb. When she passed the entrances of places of idol worship Esav ran to get out of his mother's womb.
2) It means to "crush" - They were crushing and fighting with each other over the inheritance of this world and the world to come.
Tur Al HaTorah has a very interesting approach. The reason for this unusual movement of the twin boys in her womb was caused by the hairiness of Esav. Esav's hair was causing discomfort for Yaakov. This is the reason for the unusual amount of movement and shifting that was taking place in Rivka's womb.
Yaakov Avinu, Was He Shrewd Or Not?
"ViYaakov Ish Tam Yoshev Ohalim" - "Yaakov was a wholesome man living in the tents (of Shem and Ever)". Rashi explains that the word Tam refers to someone who is "Ayno Charif LiRamos" - "Not sharp in deceiving". The question arises; we find that Yaakov was well equipped in deception when it came to tricking Lavan and receiving all his flock (Parshas VaYeitzei). How then, does the Passuk call him a "Tam"?
The Chozeh from Lublin answers, the pasuk is careful in its wording. It does not call Yaakov a "Tam" but rather an, "Ish Tam". If you look in Parshas Noach (9:20) - Ish HaAdamah" - Rashi explains the word "Ish" - "Baal" - Noach was the master of the world. Yaakov was a master over his wholesomeness. When he needed to be a Tam - he was able to be a Tam. However when shrewdness was necessary, he was a "Charif". He was an "Ish Tam" - one who had control over his "Tam"!
Were You Invited To Eisav's Bris?
"VaYeitzi HaRishon Admoni" - ‘The first one (Esav) emeged red" Daas Zekanim MiBaalai HaTosfos says, when Esav was 8 days old, Yitzchok was afraid to give him a Bris Milah since he was red. He was worried that he was not healthy enough to handle the circumcision. A few years passed and Yitzchok realized that this was his natural color. He still did not circumcise him at that point saying, "Let me wait until he is 13 years old, this way he will have a Bris Milah at the same age as Yishmael". Once Esav reached 13 he did not allow his father to circumcise him.
From Nimrod to Eisav - The Changing Faces Of Evil
Avrohom's death seemed to have sparked a chain reaction. On that same day Nimrod died, murdered at the hands of Eisav. Eisav with that violent action commenced his evil career. Coincidence? Of course not. But what is the connection between these history shaping events? Maybe the connection between all these events is the purpose of creation and the reason for evil in the world. At our core we are all good. Hashem would like to reward us so he challenges us to remain good in the face of evil. Therefore the evil we face must be diametrically opposed to the goodness we contain.
Avrohom's mission was to teach the world that there is only one Hashem who tends to every minute detail. Countering this, Hashem brought him a nemesis in the form of Nimrod whose whole lifelong goal was to extinguish Hashem's name from the face of the earth. His two famous appearances in the Torah were both wars. One against Hashem himself and the other against Avrohom. Once Avrohom died, Nimrod had no reason to exist and he was immediately removed from the scene. By who? The next great evil, Eisav. He was an exact twin of Yaakov and the polar opposite.
Yaakov represented the Koach HaTorah and Eisav went out his way to commit the most horrendous aveiros of the Torah. Unlike the evolving nature of good that builds on the previous generation's work, as we first discover Yaakov cooking lentils in mourning for his grandfather Avrohom, the passing of the torch among the bad comes out of acts of violence with Eisav murdering his predecessor Nimrod. Not surprisingly Eisav's head was chopped off as Yaakov was being laid to rest.
Rav Chaim Kanievsky & Meshech Chochma: Eisav and Lavan - Who Was The Big Lamdan?
The pasuk says that Yaakov gave Eisav "Lechem U'Nizid Adoshim"; bread and lentil stew. Eisav only asked for the lentils why did Yaakov give him bread? Rav Chaim Kanievsky answers that since there is a machlokes in the gemara what bracha to make on beans that were cooked for a long time (either Shehakol or Ha'adama) the best way to avoid any problems is to wash on bread. Therefore Yaakov gave Eisav the bread so he would wash and not worry about which bracha to make.
Rav Elya Man then asked Rav Chaim about a comment he made about the Meshech Chochma that points out from the language in the pasuk in Chayei Sara (23:53-54) that Lavan and his mother did not partake in Rivka's Seudas Eirusin since they were aveilim. To that Rav Chaim responded that Rav Meir Simcha (The Meshech Chochma) turned then into bigger "Lamdanim" than they were. So why did Rav Chaim make Eisav into such a big Lamdan? Rav Chaim answered that Eisav probably learned with his father Yitzchok and therefore was a big lamdan but who would Lavan have learned with?
Rav Chaim was then asked how he could say that Eisav was so concerned about Brachos after coming in from Shefichas Domim, Giluy Aroyos, Kofer Ba'Ikar, etc? Rav Chaim answered that this is not a contradiction. There are many people like that today. (Derech Sicha)
Did Yaakov and Eisav Die On The Same Day?
Rivka told Yaakov to run away from Eisav because "Lama Eshkol Gam Shnaichem Yom Echad", why should I lose two children in one day. Rashi explains that if Eisav kills Yaakov his children will kill Eisav right away. This Rashi says was nevuah that came out of her mouth since they both died in one day. The gemara in Sotah 13 says that although they did not die the same day Eisav was killed by Chushim ben Dan the day Yaakov was buried. However asks Rav Shimshon Pincus, since the fact remains that they did not die the same day so what kind of nevuah was this?
He answers that the gemara says in Taanis 5 that "Yaakov Avinu Lo Meis", Yaakov Avinu never died (the meaning of this is not within the scope of this article). Therefore the day of Yaakov's death was not the day he was taken from us. Although (whatever it means) he was still alive when they placed him the Meoras HaMachpela, it was the day he taken away from us. Therefore it turns out that indeed Yaakov and Eisav were taken the same day.
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