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And it came to pass, when Yitzchak became old, and his eyes dimmed from seeing, that he summoned Eisav, his older son. (27:1)

Yitzchak Avinu saw that his mortal years were slowly coming to a close. He called Eisav to grant him his fatherly blessing, as befits the first-born son. Rivkah Imeinu understood what was about to transpire, and she manipulated the situation, so that in the end it was Yaakov Avinu who received the blessings. One shudders at the thought of Eisav receiving the blessings. Yet, this was Yitzchak’s intention. How are we to reconcile ourselves with this? What did Yitzchak see in Eisav that prompted him to view him as worthy of blessing? True, Eisav was a fraud, a very talented fraud,…

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Yaakov was a wholesome man, abiding in tents. (25:27)

Yaakov Avinu was morally and ethically wholesome, attributes attested to by the Torah. He is characterized as “abiding in tents.” Rashi explains that this is a reference to Yaakov’s total devotion to spending his time in the tents of Torah, under the direction of Shem and Eiver. Yaakov did not simply “learn.” He studied with a passion, totally devoted to the Torah. During the fourteen years that Yaakov spent in yeshivah engrossed in Torah study, he did not willingly go to sleep in a bed. This does not mean that he was superhuman. Yaakov slept only when sleep overtook him….

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Yitzchak entreated Hashem… Hashem allowed Himself to be entreated by him, and his wife Rivkah conceived. (25:21)

Rashi explains that the implication of the masculine singular form lo, “by him,” is that Hashem responded specifically to Yitzchak’s Avinu’s prayer, as opposed to that of his wife, Rivkah Imeinu. In addition, he explains that the root of the word, va’ye’etar, “and he entreated,” is the word atar, which denotes abundance and beseechment. The sense of the pasuk is that Yitzchak prayed abundantly – every which way, in order to effect a positive response from the Almighty. Why was it necessary to pray so hard in every manner possible? Horav Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld, zl, gives us a powerful – almost…

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And these are the generations of Yitzchak, the son of Avraham, Avraham begot Yitzchak. (25:19)

The opening pasuk of this Parshah is seemingly redundant. We are about to detail the story of the offspring of Yitzchak Avinu, son of Avraham Avinu, but first the Torah repeats the fact that Avraham begot Yitzchak. One would assume that we have already been informed of Yitzchak’s pedigree when it was related that he was the son of Avraham. Rashi quotes the Midrash which informs us that the leitzanei ha’dor, scoffers of that generation, individuals who had really nothing else to do but slander and denigrate, claimed that Yitzchak’s real father was Avimelech. After all, Sarah had spent some…

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