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And Yaakov listened to his father and to his mother. (28:7)

Yaakov followed his parents’ instructions not to take a wife from the girls of Canaan.  The Midrash refers to Yaakov as a chacham, wise man, because he listened to his parents’ advice.  They cite a pasuk in Mishlei 12:14, “One who listens to advice is a chacham.”  Let us analyze Yaakov’s remarkable wisdom.  Eisav is waiting to kill him.  His parents told him that his “bashert,” future wife, was waiting for him in Charan.  He did not have many options. He had the choice to stay and be killed or to leave and meet his destined wife. Horav Baruch Mordechai…

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And Eisav raised up his voice and wept. (27:37)

Eisav’s tears have had a significant impact on the fate of Klal Yisrael.  We have been considered unscrupulous for stealing Eisav’s birthright.  Eisav was rewarded for his tears.  He experienced peace and tranquillity as a result of his weeping.  Moreover, the Zohar Hakadosh says that Moshiach will not come until Eisav’s tears will dry.  This is the analogy: We will remain under Eisav’s power until we repent and shed tears that will overwhelm Eisav’s tears.  What do Chazal mean by this?  Ostensibly, Klal Yisrael has  long ago surpassed the level of  Eisav’s tears.  What aspect of  his tears  condemned us…

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Rivkah took her older son Eisav’s clean garments and clothed Yaakov her young son. (27:15)

Rashi explains that these garments were actually Eisav’s precious garments, which he had stolen from the great King Nimrod.  Eisav, who was meticulous in the honor he bestowed on his father,  always served Yitzchak while wearing these precious garments.  Obviously Eisav’s attitude towards Kibbud Av, honoring his father; did not transform him into  a moral human being.  He continued in his evil ways, despite  his meticulous performance of a single  mitzvah.  How are we to understand the paradox that was Eisav?  How can someone who dons precious clothes to serve his father “moonlight” as a murderer? The commentators respond in…

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Perhaps my father will feel me and I shall be as a mocker in his eyes; I will thus bring upon myself a curse rather than a blessing. (27:12)

Yaakov feared that his deception would be discovered. If so,  rather than receive blessing, he would have been cursed.  We may question Yaakov’s concern.  In the final analysis,  he did serve his father. Yitzchak noted  that the “voice” was not consistent with the “hands”; yet, he blessed Yaakov.  What prompted Yaakov to fear a curse?  Horav Ze’ev Weinberger, Shlita, renders a thoughtful explanation.  When Yitzchak discovered that there was “something” inconsistent about the person who stood before him,  he felt it could be attributed to one of two factors.   Yaakov could have been dressed as Eisav, which would give…

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And Yitzchak was forty years old when he took Rivkah, daughter of Besuel the Arami from Paddan Aram, sister of Lavan the Arami (25:20)

Rashi remarks that although Rivkah’s background was well-known, the Torah repeats it to reinforce its praise of her.   She was the daughter of a wicked man and the sister of a wicked man; she was raised in an environment that was wicked.  Yet, she was able to maintain herself on a high level of virtue, remaining uninfluenced by  her environment.  We may question this statement.  Is there nothing else about Rivkah that evokes praise for her?  In Parashas Chayei Sarah, the Torah lauds  her remarkable sensitivity and her commitment to performing acts of loving-kindness.  The Torah teaches us that…

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