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ויאהב יצחק את עשו

Yitzchak loved Eisav. (25:28)

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Yitzchak Avinu loved his son, Eisav, despite his nefarious ways. The Satmar Rav, zl, once commented about this. It happened that a student in Yeshivah Torah V’Yirah of Satmar/Williamsburg went off the derech, left the fold. Everyone in the yeshivah was devastated by this tragedy – especially the Rav. One of the rabbanim connected with the yeshivah suggested to the Rav that the reason that this tragedy occurred (in Satmar) might be the size of the yeshivah. The institution was bursting at the seams, and it was no longer possible for each rebbe to give individual attention to every student. As a result, students became lost in the shuffle, falling through the cracks. Perhaps it was a Heavenly message to decrease the size of the yeshivah.

The Rav listened and immediately responded, “I feel that we have superb supervision in our yeshivah. This is not the reason that this young man went off the derech. Take a look at Eisav ha’rasha, the wicked. Surely he had an excellent education living in the home of Yitzchak Avinu. He could not have asked for a better chavrusa, study partner, than Yaakov. [Clearly, the reason that Eisav became an apostate at a young age had nothing to do with his upbringing.] Conversely, Avraham Avinu grew up in the home of Terach, an idolater, whose business was the proliferation of idols. One could not have asked for a worse environment. Yet, our holy Patriarch emerged unscathed from an environment that was an unholy alliance between moral corruption and paganism.

“Therefore,” continued the Rav, “we must say that, at times, it is a gezeirah min haShomayim, Heavenly decree, that a child go off the derech. Al pi derech ha’teva, according to the laws of nature (the normal pattern of life), a child who follows paganism is not the product of a home steeped in piety and righteousness. Likewise, we rarely find a righteous, committed child emerging from a home that is the paragon of moral and spiritual corruption. Yet, these phenomena do occur. It must be, as Ramban writes (in his commentary to Parashas Netzavim), that this is one of the mysteries of the workings of Heaven. We do not understand why Hashem decreed this. It is beyond our ability to grasp.”

In conclusion, the Rav said, Avada, darfmen tuen ales vos men ken tzu rateven a Yiddishe neshamah. Men darf mussaren a bachur, reden tzu em, un zen vos men ken oiftuen. Fundesvegen, zeht men amol az noch alle peulos vos men tuet bleibt men mit gornisht. Muz dos zein di sibah; “Veritably, we must do everything possible to save a Jewish soul. We must rebuke, speak to him and see whatever we can do (to help him). Nonetheless, we see that, upon occasion, despite everything that we do, we remain with nothing. (Under such circumstances,) we must assume that this (Heavenly decree) is the reason (source of the problem).”