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אולי ימשני אבי והייתי בעיניו כמתעתע

Perhaps my father will feel me, and shall seem to him as a deceiver. (27:12)

Chazal derive from the Torah’s use of the word k’masatea, as a deceiver, that one who disguises his speech, so that he would not be recognized, is considered as if he worships idols.  The Meiri explains that machlif b’diburo, the term used by Chazal for one who disguises his speech, applies equally to one who does not keep his word.  They cite the pasuk in Yirmiyahu 10:15, which employs the root of titua: heimah maaseh tatuim, “They (idol worship) are vanity, the work of deception,” as support for this statement.  The connection between Yaakov Avinu’s act of “misrepresentation” and idol…

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ויזד יעקב נזיד ויבוא עשו מן השדה והוא עיף. ויאמר עשו אל יעקב הלעיטני נא מן האדם הזה...ויעקב נתן לעשו לחם ונזיד עדשים

Yaakov simmered a stew, and Eisav came in from the field and he was exhausted. Eisav said to Yaakov, “Pour into me, now, some of that very red stuff. Yaakov gave Eisav bread and lentil stew.” (25:29, 30:34)

Eisav asked for soup.  Yaakov Avinu was a magnanimous host, and he gave him soup and bread!  Why did Yaakov give Eisav bread in addition to the soup?  This question was asked of Horav Chaim Kanievsky, Shlita, who rendered a halachic response.  There is a question in Meseches Berachos concerning which brachah one should recite on beans that have been cooked for a long time.  Should it be Borei pri ha’adamah, since beans grow from the ground; or, because they have been cooked so long, should the berachah be, She’ha’kol ni’heh’yeh b’devaro?  To avoid any halachic issues, one should wash…

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ויזד יעקב נזיד ויבא עשו מן השדה והוא עיף

Yaakov simmered a stew, and Eisav came in from the field, and he was exhausted. (25:29)

Yaakov Avinu was not cooking red lentil soup because he had a yen for eating legumes.  Lentils are round, and hence, an appropriate food to be eaten in the house of a mourner.  Round brings to mind the cycle of life.  A circle has no opening – no beginning – no end.  A mourner is cloaked in grief; thus, he has no mouth.  They were mourning the passing of Avraham Avinu who had died that day.  To Eisav, however, it was nothing more than a quick fix: grab a bite and go on his merry way.  The world is mourning…

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ויצא הראשון אדמוני כולו כאדרת שער ויקראו שמו עשו. ואחרי כן יצא אחיו וידו אחזת בעקב עשו ויקרא שמו יעקב

The first one emerged red entirely like a hairy mantle; so they named him Eisav. After that his brother emerged with his hand grasping onto the heel of Eisav; so he called him Yaakov. (25:25, 26)

Rashi teaches that Eisav was named by everyone present at his birth.  In contrast, the “he” referred to in the phrase, “so he called him Yaakov,” was actually Hashem, Who gave Yaakov Avinu his name.  The name is a play on the word eikav, heel, a reference to Eisav’s heel which Yaakov grasped at birth.  The fact that Hashem named Eisav as a result of this incident, suggests that Yaakov’s holding onto Eisav’s heel has considerable cosmic significance.  A number of questions present themselves.  First, did Yaakov grasp Eisav’s heel by design or by chance?  Furthermore, is it not most…

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ולאם מלאום יאמץ

The might shall pass from one regime to the other. (25:23)

Rashi explains that when this one rises, the other one falls.  He supports this with a pasuk in Yechezkel 26:2, Imaleh hacharavah, “I will fill myself from the river.”  Chazal teach, “The city of Tzur, Tyre, a city inhabited by descendants of Eisav, was not filled, but from the ruins of Yerushalayim.”  We derive from here that one regime will derive its strength at the expense of the other.  Rashi’s proof from this pasuk presents a problem.  He began with the statement, “When this one rises – the other one falls,” and he proves this with a pasuk that implies,…

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ויאמר לה שני גיים בבטנך ושני לאומים ממעיך יפרדו ולאם מלאם יאמץ ורב יעבד צעיר

Two nations are in your womb; two regimes from your insides shall be separated; the might shall pass from one regime to the other, and the elder shall serve the younger. (25:23)

Rivkah Imeinu was informed of the reality: she was carrying twins.  It was not one mixed-up child that she was carrying; it was two children: one righteous and one evil.  Her unborn infants represented two powerful nations, each with his own individual, conflicting ideology.  The turmoil within her womb was not the result of a single child who was lost and  indecisive concerning his religious future.  Should he gravitate to the bais ha’medrash, or should he follow his inclination which was pulling him to the house of idol worship?  No, it was much simpler.  Her two sons were mighty enemies…

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