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“And Rivkah took the garments of Eisav, her older son, the choicest which were with her in the house.” (27:15)

Chazal explain that these precious clothes had previously belonged to Nimrod before Eisav slew him. These clothes had the remarkable power to attract animals which Eisav immediately killed. It was specifically these extraordinary garments that Eisav would don before he served his father. Indeed, Chazal emphasize Eisav’s special devotion to the mitzvah of kibud av, honoring his father. He dressed up as if it was a holiday when he came to greet his father! A perusal of the various Midrashim indicates that Eisav was either an enigma or the archetype of hypocrisy. On the one hand, he served his father…

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“And Yitzchak loved Eisav because (of) the venison (which he put) in his mouth.” (25:28)

Essentially, the central theme of this parsha is the quest of Yaakov and Eisav for their father’s blessing.  A superficial reading of the parsha suggests that Yitzchak and Rivkah each had personal reasons for favoring one twin over the other and that there was a communication problem in their home. After studying the various commentaries, one learns that this was clearly not the case. In response to the obvious question, why was Yitzchak so insistent on blessing Eisav, the Radak explains that Yitzchak was acutely aware of Eisav’s character traits. His evil behavior and rebellious, antagonistic attitude had not escaped…

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“And Yitzchak prayed opposite/for his wife for she was barren.” (25:21)

The cause and effect seem to be presented in the reverse sequence in this pasuk.  The Torah should have mentioned Rivkah’s inability to conceive prior to citing Yitzchak’s prayer on her behalf.  In response to this analysis, the Torah Temimah suggests that Rivkah actually was an akarah, childless, because Hashem desired to hear the tefillos of Yitzchak and Rivkah. The cause was the need for supplication, while the effect was Rivkah’s barren state. What really is a tefillah, prayer? Tefillah is an expression of extreme devotion in which man negates his entire being in deference to Hashem. His individual essence…

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