WWW.KOSHERDELIGHT.COM - GLOBAL JEWISH DIRECTORY WITH NEWS AND INFORMATION, TRAVEL, EDUCATION, PARENTING, HOLIDAYS AND MORE   כושר דילייט - מגאזין יהודי באינטרנט הכולל חדשות ומידע יהודי גלובלי. המגאזין כולל: בתי חב"ד, בתי ספר יהודיים, אוכל כשר ומסעדות כשרות, מקוואות, חינוך ועוד

   

Kosher Restaurants

Kosher Hotels

Synagogues

Kosher recipes

Mikvah

Jewish Holidays

KOSHER RESTAURANTS

KOSHER HOTELS

SYNAGOGUES

KOSHER RECIPES

MIKVAOT

JEWISH HOLIDAYS

                          ב"ה   
KOSHER DELIGHT - YOUR JEWISH ONLINE MAGAZINE!

Bullet Home
Bullet
SITE INDEX
BulletJEWISHKD.COM
Bullet
DONATE 

KOSHER
BulletKosher restaurants
   Around the World!
BulletKosher Hotels
Bullet
Kosher Recipes 

BulletVegetarian Restaurants
Bullet
Updates from the
   Chief Rabbinate of
   Israel

BulletKosher Alcohol Updates
Bullet
Kashrut Authorities
BulletKosher Products Lists

Bullet
Kashrut Comments

BET DIN OUTSIDE ISRAEL
BulletInternational Directory of Rabbinical Courts

SHABBAT
BulletCandle Lighting Times
   for Shabbat & Holidays


NEWS
Bullet
News & Media


JEWISH STUFF...
BulletJewish Simcha
BulletJudaism, Spiritualism,
   Opinions and more

Bullet
Jewish Communities
   Around the World

Bullet
Parashat
   HaShavuah
   
Bullet
Jewish Holidays
Bullet
Synagogues
Bullet
Mikvaot
Bullet
Chabad Houses
Bullet
Aish HaTorah
Bullet
Young Israel  
Bullet
NCSY
Bullet
B'nai Akiva
Bullet
Hillel
BulletThe Holocaust


PARENTING
BulletParenting
BulletJewish Camps
BulletKids
Bullet
Babies


HEALTH
Bullet
Jewish Hospitals
Bullet
Your Health
Bullet
Do not Abuse
    Drugs and Alcohol


FRIENDS ON 4
BulletOur Pets
BulletThe Dog Trainer: Q & A
BulletThe Veterinarian Corner
Bullet הטסת כלבים
Bullet כלבים: עכשיו הדיאטה
Bulletהיצלנו את לוקה


BulletInsurance New!
BulletQuestions & Answers
Bullet
Links


BulletCONTACT US!  


 
 
  KD MAGAZINE!      ב"ה                    
 
 
  PARSHAT TOLDOS  
 

2 Kislev 5769

Toldos: Mitzvah Power!
By Rabbi Asher Brander

Dedicated to the elevation of the souls of the Kedoshim -the Holy martyrs of this week's horrific Mumbai tragedy.
PARSHAT TOLDOS - BY RABBI ASHER BRANDER     פרשת תולדות - מאת הרב אשר ברנדר

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter 27. Yaakov wrests the brachos from Eisav. Different subplots merge into a poignant climax; a story whose drama melds irony, complexity, sarcasm, sadness and ultimate triumph, yet in the process leaves so many questions -

Consider a few:

Did Yitzchak understand Eisav's character? Yaakov's? Wasn't Yitzchak aware of the prophecy that "the younger one shall rule over the older"? Granted Yaakov had to listen to his mother, but why did Rivkah do it this way? Does a blessing count if you don't know who the recipient is? Why are the brachos so important anyway? Why did God engineer it this way?

Note  the  ..

.. irony of an Eisav, the master of deception and guile being duped by             Yaakov.

.. sarcasm of  our "lamdan" Eisav explaining the true "pshat" (meaning) of  Yaakov's name: ("Is he not rightly called Yaakov[1]? He has deceived me twice; he took my birthright, and now he has taken my blessing." )

 

.. complexity of Yaakov man of truth engaging in apparent duplicity


 

.. sadness of a crying, broken Eisav:

When Eisav heard his father's words, he wailed a most loud and bitter cry, and he said to his father, "Bless me too, my father."  .. Eisav said to his father, "Do you have only one blessing, my father? Bless me too, my father," and Eisav raised his voice and wept.

Echoes of his cries reverberate through time:

R. Hanina said: Whoever maintains that the Holy One, blessed be He, is lax [in dispensing justice], ..  He is merely longsuffering, but [ultimately] collects His due. Yaakov made Eisav break out into a cry but once, and where was he punished for it? In Shushan, the castle, as it says, And he cried with a loud and bitter cry, etc. (Est. IV, 1).

Two simple words appear three times in our chapter. Remarkably, never before and never again do they appear in description of  Yaakov and Eisav. The words: gadol and katan, [lit. big and small]:

1. Introduction:

Verse 1: And when Yitzchok grew old his eyesight faded and he could not see. He called Eisav, his big  son, and said to him, "My son." [Eisav] said to him, "Here I am."


 

2. Rivkah implements her plan:

Verse 15: Rivkah took the garments of Eisav, her big son, [the garments] that were precious [to him] that were in her keeping in the house, and put them on Yaakov, her small son.


 

3. The aftermath:

Rivkah was informed about the words of Eisav, her big son, and she sent [a messenger] to call Yaakov, her small son, and she said to him .. [for Eisav intends] to kill you.

 

The constant refrain of gadol and katan seems obvious and extra. Our meforshim get to work:  

 

1. To Ramban, the Torah emphasizes Rivkah's difficult maternal task. Can one imagine a mother having to slight her child, her first born - and thus the maternal apple of her eye? Rivkah's ability to transcend her natural instinct to recognize Yaakov as the appropriate  bechora/blessings recipient is all the more remarkable given the certainty of the resulting rift. As the story concludes, gadol and katan are accentuated once again to indicate that Rivkah opts for the difficult-right over the natural- expedient.  

 

2. Netziv and Ohr Hachaim link gadol to Eisav's stature and strength. Because Eisav was bigger, Yaakov must wear Eisav's clothing. Because Eisav was stronger, Yaakov the physically weaker had to escape.

 

3. Midrash # 1:  Chanifa, inappropriate flattery has a place. When a wicked person is in control, one may (at times) pay him undue adulation. Apparently, it beats the alternative. Eisav-for now is on top of the world and thus is called gadol. Why is Yaakov called katan? Perhaps to indicate that deference (acting katan) to the powerful is the appropriate way.

 

4. A second Midrashic approach: (Bereishis Rabah, 45:11):

R. Eliezer ben Shimon said: This may be compared to a country that was seeking g a bodyguard for the king. Now a certain woman there had a son, a dwarf, whom she used to call 'Tallswift'. Said she: 'My son is tall and swift; why then do you not appoint him?' 'If in your eyes he is tall and swift,' they retorted, 'in ours he is but a dwarf.' In like manner, his [Eisav's] father called him great ..his mother too called him great:  Said Hashem to them: ' If in your eyes he is great, in Mine he is small,' as it says, Behold, I make thee small among the nations (Obad. I, 2).

What's great in this world may well be absolutely insignificant in the real world!

 

Rav Schwab develops a final compelling notion. Gadol is not a this-worldly expression of physical prowess or power; it is a spiritual indicator.

 

R. Simeon b. Gamaliel said: All my lifetime I attended upon my father, yet I did not do for him a hundredth part of the, service which Eisav did for his father. I used to attend upon my father in soiled garments and go out in the street in clean ones; but when Eisav attended on his father, he attended upon him in royal robes, 'For,' said he, 'nought but royal robes befits my father's honour.'

 

Most homes (except for ours) do not find the children donning special garments to take out the garbage. Eisav was a  gadol in the realm of honoring parents, greater in spiritual stature than anyone - including Yaakov [who is katan]! Yitzchak's desire for Eisav's hunted game was to "taste" the incredible mitzvah sanctity resident in the food.

 

Rivkah understands this and quickly gets to work by commanding Yaakov to engage, against his better judgment, in an extraordinary mitzvah of kibbud eim; one that compels him to overcome his natural truth instinct. By clothing him in Eisav's garments, those that he would wear while serving his parents, Rivkah is implicitly stating that Yaakov is now rising to Eisav's standard of  this mitzvah[2]. Yitzchak then "tastes" the same holiness in Yaakov's food, causing him to think that he is  Eisav.

 

The power of a sincere mitzvah, one done without agenda can not be overstated[3]. As we encounter difficult people in our orbit, (probably far less agenda oriented and more wholesome than Eisav) let us try to coax mitzvah and show them their greatness - one never knows what power they may bring into the world! 

 

Good Shabbos

Asher Brander

 [edited from last year]


[1] Which implies a notion of underhandedness

[2] This notion, says Rav Schwab also explains why the Torah [28:5 - cf. Rashi] curiously identifies Rivkah as the being the mother of Yaakov and Eisav - as if to say that in one aspect - she retained a special unique connection with her Eisav.

[3] See Yeshayahu, 27:11 for an incredible Rashi that states Edom's power till this very day is nourished by that mitzvah and only when it lapses will he suffer defeat.


[1] Cf Netziv who says that the Torah does not emphasize this miracle as much as the birth of Yitzchak - for once Avraham is rejuvenated, it was natural for him to be able to produce children [akin to the stone of the desert that produced (and kept on producing) water]

[2] Rashi is explaining the keri/k'tiv - for the pronunciation is plural as there were two marriages, but the k'tiv reflects that it was to one woman.

[3] Nafal hayesod, nafal habinyan - Cf Gilyon Hashas Shabbos 55b for a large list of discrepancies.

[4] Rashi presents a 2nd reason - she had remained celibate from the day she separated from Avraham - connected to the Aramaic katar which means tied up.

[5] Cf. R. Yaakov Kamenetsky who explais that after yizchak marries Rivkah and is firmly estalishe as the primary spiritual heir of Avraham, then Avraham is willing to remarry Hagar for Sarah's prohibition only applies insofar as yishmael might claimto be the oprimary heir of Avraham. This gfear is no longer relevant.

[6] Thus it is etymologically related to havracha , i.e. grafting.

 
Rabbi Asher Brander is the rabbi of The Westwood Kehilla, an orthodox synagogue in Los Angeles, CA. Their website is: http://www.kehilla.org/

 
 

Custom Search
 
KOSHER DELIGHT - YOUR JEWISH ONLINE MAGAZINE! כושר דילייט - מגזין החדשות והמידע מהעולם היהודי ומישראל, כולל מסעדות כשרות, בתי כנסת ועוד ועוד

Zikit Translation Services

ZIKIT TRANSLATION SERVICES , שירותי תירגום, שרותי תירגום, שירות תרגומים, שירות תירגומים, שרות תרגום, תירגום, תרגום, תירגום מסמכים, תירגום תעודות, תרגום טכני, תירגום טכני, תרגום, תרגומים מעברית לאנגלית, תרגומים מאנגלית לעברית, תרגום עברי אנגלית אנגלי עברי -  זיקית שירותי תרגום

www.zikit.org


THE HOLOCAUST - THE SHOAH
THE JEWISH HOLOCAUST
THE HOLOCAUST - THE SHOAH
THE HOLOCAUST - THE SHOAH

Advertise with Us!

KD Kosher Recipe Collection
Send us your 
Kosher Recipe!


COMPREHENSIVE WORLDWIDE JEWISH SEARCH: JEWISHKD.COM Comprehensive Worldwide Jewish Search