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ויאמר אליו הנה משמני הארץ יהיה מושבך ומטל השמים מעל ויתן לך האלקים מטל השמים ומשמני הארץ

And may G-d give you of the dew of the heavens and of the fatness of the earth. (27:28) – Behold, of the fatness of the earth shall be your dwelling and of the dew of the heaven above. (27:39)

Two blessings: Yaakov Avinu received the first one from his father, Yitzchak Avinu. Eisav received the second blessing after he discovered that Yaakov had preceded him in blessing. At face value, both blessings are material in nature and quite similar. Both sons were promised blessings from the fat of the land and dew from the Heavens above. Chazal, however, detect what appears on the surface to be a stylistic difference in the syntax of the pasuk. Being that verse (28) begins the text of the blessing, which is a new topic, the conjunction vov – v’yitein, and (may G-d) give,…

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ויאמר יעקב אל אביו אנכי עשו בכורך

Yaakov said to his father, “It is I, Eisav your firstborn.” (27: 19)

If one studies Chumash only on a cursory level, merely translating the pesukim, he will leave in a state of ambiguity when confronting the lives of our Patriarchs and Matriarchs. This is especially true upon studying the life of Yitzchak Avinu and his relationship with his twins – Yaakov and Eisav. On the one hand, we are taught that Yitzchak was the olah temimah, perfect sacrifice, the individual who most represented total selflessness to Hashem, the Patriarch who is singular in Fear of Heaven. On the other hand, we find this same holy Patriarch falling for Eisav’s ruse. Did he…

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ויהי כי זקן יצחק ותכהין עיניו מראות

And it was when Yitzchak became old, and his eyes dimmed from seeing. (27:1)

Rashi explains that Yitzchak Avinu’s premature vision loss was due to the smoke that Eisav’s wives raised when they burned incense for their idols. Alternatively, when he was bound upon the Altar of the Akeidah, as Avraham Avinu was about to slaughter him, the Heavens opened up and the Ministering Angels saw what was happening to him. They began to cry, their tears descending and falling on Yitzchak’s eyes, causing them to dim later in life. In his hesped, eulogy, for his son, who had died an untimely death, Horav Shmuel Birnbaum, zl, asked why was it necessary for the…

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ויאהב יצחק את עשו כי ציד בפיו

Yitzchak love Eisav because game was in his mouth. (25:28)

Horav Chaim, zl, m’Chernowitz, author of the Be’er Mayim Chaim, had a son who had gone off the derech. Nonetheless, Rav Chaim did not turn his back on him, treating him in the same loving manner that he manifest towards his other children. He would say, “I ask of Hashem that He act towards his sons in the same manner that I act towards mine. Thus, when Jews sin and are deserving of censure, Hashem will have mercy on them.” Horav Meir, zl, m’Premishlan was a disciple of Rav Chaim and acutely aware of his revered Rebbe’s love for his…

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ויאהב יצחק את עשו

Yitzchak loved Eisav. (25:28)

Yitzchak Avinu loved his son, Eisav, despite his nefarious ways. The Satmar Rav, zl, once commented about this. It happened that a student in Yeshivah Torah V’Yirah of Satmar/Williamsburg went off the derech, left the fold. Everyone in the yeshivah was devastated by this tragedy – especially the Rav. One of the rabbanim connected with the yeshivah suggested to the Rav that the reason that this tragedy occurred (in Satmar) might be the size of the yeshivah. The institution was bursting at the seams, and it was no longer possible for each rebbe to give individual attention to every student….

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

The first one emerged red… so they named him Eisav. After that, his brother emerged with his hand grasping onto the heel of Eisav so he called his name Yaakov. (25: 25, 26)

Is there an end to the misery that has been inflicted upon us by the descendants of Eisav? While it appears that in the present era our primary national adversity comes from the minions of Yishmael, we may never forget the terror and persecution that have been orchestrated against us throughout history by Eisav’s children, particularly those who maintain the strong tendencies of Amalek. Horav Yaakov Moshe Charlap, zl, observes that, even when Eisav (or his descendants) exhibit themselves as being “first” and stronger, Yaakov still grasps his heel. This implies that Eisav’s rule has limits. Yaakov will hold on…

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