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ויאמר בא אחיך במרמה ויקח ברכתך

But he (Yitzchak) said, “Your brother came with cleverness and took your blessing.” (27:35)

That Yaakov Avinu received the blessings from Yitzchak Avinu under what seems to have been a surreptitious method has been a major point of contention presented to challenge those who adhere to the Patriarch’s way of life. Veritably, the question is glaring: Why did Hashem cause the blessings that apparently belonged to Eisav to go instead to Yaakov? One who studies the gist of the blessings notes that they are physical in nature, promising material bounty. Is this really what Yaakov wanted? The Patriarch was devoted to his spiritual development: Why would he want a blessing that guaranteed him abundant…

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ויהי עשו איש יודע ציד איש שדה. ויעקב איש תם יושב אהלים

Eisav became one who knows hunting, a man of the field; but Yaakov was a wholesome man, abiding in tents. (25:27)

Pathology is a word which often conjures up images of fear and the macabre. Actually, it means to search for the source, the origin, the root of something, so that one can define its nature and eventual course of growth. Thus, if it is a disease, the choice of treatment will depend on its origin. A speech pathologist is able to discern among various speech impediments.  Thus, she is able to determine the proper course of therapy. A “sin pathologist” studies the source of one’s aberrant behavior in search of a course of therapy to assist the subject in returning…

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ותאמר אם כן למה זה אנכי

And she (Rivkah) said, “If so, why is it that I am?” (25:22)

Rashi explains Rivkah Imeinu’s question to be: Why am I desiring and praying for pregnancy? Ibn Ezra explains that Rivkah questioned other women who had given birth to determine whether this experience that she was undergoing was usual. They replied that it was certainly out of the ordinary. Rivkah now wondered, “Why is my pregnancy so strange?” Ramban does not agree with Rashi or Ibn Ezra. He posits that Rivkah was saying, “If this is the way it will be for me, why am I in this world? I would rather not be alive. What purpose is there in such…

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ויעתר יצחק לד' לנכח אשתו כי עקרה היא ויעתר לו ד'

Yitzchak entreated Hashem opposite his wife, because she was barren. Hashem allowed Himself to be entreated by him. (25:21)

What is the significance of the fact that the Torah describes Hashem’s response to Yitzchak Avinu using the same word which it attributes to the Patriarch’s prayer? Atirah means to entreat. Yitzchak entreated Hashem. The Almighty did not entreat Yitzchak. Therefore, we translate the pasuk, “Hashem allowed Himself to be entreated by him.” Could it not have used another word for “answered” or “listened”? It is almost as if Hashem responded to Yitzchak in the same manner in which Yitzchak prayed to Him. The Nesivos Shalom presents the scenario of Yitzchak and Rivkah Imeinu praying side by side, putting it…

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