25:19)-V'Avraham Holid es Yitzchok-Avraham begot Yitzchok" Why is this mentioned here? We are listing the offspring of Yitzchok not Avraham? The Gemarrah in Bava Metzia (87a) writes that Yitzchok was not born looking like his father but on the day of his weaning Hashem miraculously changed his physiognomy.
Why is this mentioned here? Yitzchok was now 40 years old? The Zohar adds that after the death of Avraham the similarities between father and son became even more apparent.
The Trumas Hadeshen writes that our parsha tells us about Yizchok’s Toldos, progeny, Yakov and Essav. It was after the birth of these two sons that scoffers had the temerity to make their statement. Had Yitzchok been the son of both Avraham and Sarah, two righteous parents, there is no way that Yizchok could have had such a wicked son as Essav. It must be that he was the offspring of Sarah and Avimelech. Having only one righteous biological parent. That would explain why one son was righteous and one was not. This is why it was necessary at this point in time to reiterate that Yizchok was the son of Avraham and that Hashem replicated Avraham’s face in Yitzchok.
(25:20) “Vayehe Yitzchok ben-Arboyim Shanah B’kachto es-Rivka Bas-Besueil H’Arami M’padan Aram Achos Lavan H’arami Lo L’isha-And Yitzchok was forty years old when he took Rivka the daughter of Besueil the Arami from Padan Aram the sister of Lavan the Arami, for a wife.” Rashi comments that not only was she the daughter of Besueil, and still righteous, but she was Lavan’s sister and came from Padan Aram. The question is why does the Torah switch the order? It should read the daughter of Besueil the sister of Lavan and then from Padan Aram, the way that Rashi himself writes it. The answer can be found from the next posuk which says (25:21) “Vayetar Yitzchok L’Hashem L’nochach Ishto Ki Akorah He-Yitzchok prayed to Hashem on behalf of his wife, for she was barren.” The two verses occur together to inform us that Lavan’s blessing (24:60) that Rivka should become thousands of myriad’s, had not been fulfilled. She was barren and it was only due to the prayer of Yitzchok that she was able to conceive.
(25:21) “Vayetar Yitzchok L’Hashem L’nochach Ishto Ki Akorah He-Yitzchok prayed to Hashem on behalf of his wife, for she was barren.” The Midrash says that both Yitzchok and Rivkah were barren from the posuk “ki akorah he” the word “he” is pronounced “he” but is spelled “who” thus the double meaning they were both barren.
When Rivka was carrying Yakov and Esav, there was a battle going on inside her. She went to the Beis Hamidrash of Shaim Ve'Aver to inquire about what was going on. The answer she received was that she was carrying two nations within her. How does this comfort her? She still had this conflict going on in her womb? By telling her that the strife inside her was due to the fact that there were two distinct personalities inside her. Before that she thought that it was one person who sometimes was drawn to the Beis Hamidrash while other times drawn to places of Idol worship. Why was she passing places of Idol worship? The Sifsei Chachomim explains that she was searching for converts.
(25:22)-"Lama Zeh Anochi-If it be so why did I desire this." Rivka is puzzled by the quarreling of her unborn fetus. What is the meaning of this unusual phrase? The answer is that when a child is agitated we must look at ourselves for the cause. If our home is one of strife, if there is tension in the home it will invariably have an effect on the children. Rivka is saying that perhaps there is some failure in me? Where did I contribute to this strife? "Lama Zeh Anochi would translate as “How is this from me?”(R.Nissan Alpert)
The Midrash say's that when Esav was born he tried to destroy his mother's womb so Yakov wouldn't be born. But Yakov held onto Esav's heel and came out right after him. But she bled so much that she was unable to have any more children.
The Zohar say's that it is inconceivable that a baby would hold on to the heel of his brother's foot. Instead he says that the words Eikev Esav (the heel of Esav) is to be compared to the Nochosh who was cursed by Hashem (3:15) “Teshufenu Okaiv -Bite his heel” the same word Okaiv is used. This means to say that Essav who is like the Nochosh in that he is crafty and malicious, will be treated the same way by Yakov.
He will combat Esav with his own craftiness. We see this term used later in the parsha when Yakov steals the Bracohs. Esav say's (27:35) “Vayakveiny Zeh Pamayim He outwitted me these two times.” The word Vayakveiny comes from the word Eikev.
(25:26) “V’Yado Ochezes B’eikev Esav-His hand was grasping the heel of Esav.” When Yakov was born he held on to the heel of Esav. One reason is that since Rivka had so much pain in labor, Yakov wanted to do a chesed for his mother and make his birth easier. The reason why he held onto the heel of Esav was because Esav is compared to the chazzer (pig). Just like the chazzer who shows his hoofs as a sign that it is kosher but inside it has the qualities that make it non kosher (it doesn't chew it's cud). So too was Esav on the outside he would appear to be righteous but in reality he was evil. Yakov wanted to hang on to the one kosher sign that he showed.*
(25:28) “Vaye’ehav Yitzchok es-Esav ki Ztayid B’fiv-Yitzchok loved Esav because he ate of his trappings.” Yitzchok loved Esav because game was always in his mouth. In whose mouth are we speaking of? The Midrash interprets it as Esav's mouth that since he fed his father he too had game in his mouth. However, the Meam Loez says it was Yitzchok's mouth. When Esav showed his respect for his father, by giving him food, that is when he loved him because he was doing a great mitzvah. But in reality all love that depends on a specific factor will eventually cease. But by Rivka we find she loved Yakov with no motive given. This love can never cease.
The Shach has a novel interpretation of this. He asks, how can it be that Yitzchok was unaware of Essav’s true character? He was a Navi, surely he must have known who he was dealing with. The Shach explains that the words Tzyid B’fiv means that Yitzchok trapped Essav with kind words. Even though he knew who Essav was he wanted to keep him from running away. To keep him close. If Essav thought his father hated him he would surely be lost. Therefore “Vaye’ehav Yitzchok es-Esav ki Ztayid B’fiv-Yitzchok loved Esav because he trapped him with words.” he showed him unconditional love.
(25:32) “Vayomer Esav Henei Anochi Holich Lomus-Esav said, here I am about to die.” When Esav sells the birthright he says “look I'm about to die.” The Midrash say's that Esav had just come back from killing Nimrod and taking the coat that he had gotten from Adom. (Which Hashem made for him after the chet) He was afraid that someone would avenge Nimrod so he said “what good is the birthright if I am to die.”
We are told that this was the day that Avraham died. Therefore, while everyone in the world was mourning the loss of such a great man Essav was busy satisfying himself.
* Whenever there is a tremendous force of the spiritual in this world it manifests itself in the physical in some form. If you look at the physical appearance of Eretz Yisroel it appears as a hand reaching out over the Mediterranean to grab at the heel of the Italian "boot" which are Eassav's descendants.(Kol Torah)
(25:27) “Vayigdilu Hana’arim-And the lads grew up.” Rashi explains that when Yakov and Esav became thirteen years old they each went in opposite directions. Esav began going after Idol worship and Yakov to the Beis Hamidrosh. It also says that Avraham died five years before his time, in order not to see his grandson veer off the path. He died at the age of
- The problem is that Avraham was 100 years old when Yitzchok was born. Yitzchok was 60 years old when he had Yakov and Essav. Now if we add the thirteen years it would come out that Avraham should have died at 173? What happened to those two years? In this weeks parsha we find when Yakov came to Yitzchok for the brachos he could smell the scent of Gan Eden. How did he know what Gan Eden smelled like? After the Akeidah the posuk says (22:19) “Vayoshev Avraham el N’ariv-And Avraham returned to the lads.” There is no mention of Yitzchok? The Riy’vah says that right after the Akeidah, Yitzchok spent two years in Gan Eden which is above time and he therefore returned the same age as when he left. While here in real time Avraham had aged two years. Consequently, though Yitzchok was 60 years old when he had Yakov and Esav, Avraham was really 162 and he died 13 years later at the age of 175. In parshas Chaye Sarah (24:62) the Torah writes “V’Yitzchok Bah-and Yitzchok came.” Meaning that Yitzchok was returning with a wife for Avraham. The Gematria of the words “V’Yitzchok Bah” equals the words “M’Gan Eden” (from Gan Eden). Additionally when Yitzchok came to meet Rivka for the first time he came from a place called Baer Lachi Roi which equals B’gematria “Gan Eden L’tzadikim.”
(25:30) “Min H’adam H’adam-From that very red stuff.” Rashi say that this was the day Avraham died and that Avraham died five years before his time, in order not to see his grandson veer off the path since that would not be the ripe old age that Hashem promised him. How are we to understand this? How was Hashem doing Avraham a favor by taking away years of his life? Why wasn’t Esav’s birth just delayed by five years?
To answer this we must go to the beginning of the Parsha. (25:21) “Vayetar Yitzchok L’Hashem L’nochach Ishto Ki Akorah He-Yitzchok prayed to Hashem on behalf of his wife, for she was barren.” The Posuk goes on to say “Vayeiasur Hashem Lo-Hashem allowed himself to be persuaded.” Why would Hashem need to be persuaded? Did he not promise Avraham that his seed would continue through Yitzchok?
Who were Yitzchok and Rivkah? We know that Yitzchok was originally unable to father children because he was born with a female Neshama. We see that immediately after the incident of the Akeida, of Yitzchok losing his female neshama, the birth of Rivka is brought into the picture. Perhaps this was the Neshama that left Yitzchok at the Akeida. The number of words in the entire parsha of the Akeida equals 307 the same as the numerical value of the name Rivka. It would then explain the Posuk “Ki Akorah He” the word “he” is pronounced “he” but is spelled “hu”, thus the double meaning they were both barren. They were from the same source. Now that Yitzchok had the proper Neshama and his destined wife, he prayed to Hashem that she should be the one through which that promise be kept. For ten years he prayed and still no child was born. Finally, according to the Pirkei D’R’Eliezer, He took Rivka and went to Har Moriah, to the site of the Akeidah. There he evoked a powerful heart rendering plea to Hashem on the very site where he offered his soul, where his destined soul-mate originated. We evoke the memory of the Akeida on Rosh Hashana and we recite that chapter every day. How much more powerful a prayer it must have been coming from Yitzchok and Rivkah themselves! “Vayeiasur Hashem Lo-Hashem allowed himself to be persuaded.” Hashem submitted to Yitzchok’s pleas. Esav was destined to be born five years later, and it was due to Yitzchak’s fervent prayers that Hashem answered their prayers five years earlier than had originally been intended. This is hinted in the very words “Vayeiasur Hashem Lo-Hashem allowed himself to be persuaded.” Which remarkably have the numerical value of Chamesh Shanim-five years.
(25:27) “ Vayigdilu Ha’Nearim-And the boys grew up.” Rashi says they turned thirteen. At this point their character traits became manifest. Yakov devoting his life to the study of Torah, while Esav, on this very day committed the three cardinal sins. What caused this monumental change in direction? On this day Avraham died. A tremendous force of light in the world was extinguished. But at the same time a tremendous force of darkness ended as well. Nimrod was killed by Esav. Hashem always creates a balance of good and evil to maintain freedom of choice. But how could Esav, who had Yitzchok as a father and Avraham as his grandfather, become so evil while his twin brother became so good?
The Zohar reveals a tremendous secret. Each day a person is given life anew. He awakens with a clean sheet of paper each day and is given an opportunity to record on it good or bad deeds. The next day he can start again with a new clean sheet of paper. This is true up until the last day of life. At that time he acquires the culmination of his entire life’s work! When the Torah records (24:1) “Avraham Zokain Bah B’Yomim-Avraham was old he came with his days.” This means he came with the merits of all his days. Every accomplishment, every mitzvah was collectively credited to him. The Zohar writes that all of these merits can somehow be transferred to a person who is close at the time of death. Yakov was that person. He was able to absorb the totality of his grandfather Avraham's Kiddusha. Essav, on the other hand was beside Nimrod at the time of his death and thus absorbed the tremendous Tumeh that Nimrod had accumulated.
(25:32) "Vayomer Esav Hinei Anochi Holech L'Mus Lameh Zeh Li Bechorah- Esav said behold I am headed for death what need do I have for the birthright." Essav was a hunter, as such he thought he would probably die in his fathers lifetime. Since there was no tangible benefits the birthright until after his fathers death, he said " What benefit is the birthright to me, I'm headed for death?
(25:34) “Vayochal Vayaisht Vayokom Vayelech And Essav ate drank got up and left.” What is the posuk telling us here in describing what Esav did? Immediately following these words it say's “Vayivez Essav es Habichorah and Esav despised the bechora.” We already knew this from the previous posuk which said (25:31) “Lamah zeh li Bechorah What need do I have for the Bechorah?” We see from here that Esav didn't sell the birthrights under any duress. We should not think that just because he came in famished from the fields that he would have done anything for some food and that after he had eaten he might regret what he had done. On the contrary he ate, he drank, he got up and left and he despised the birthright. Even after satisfying himself he still had no regrets, he even despised the birthright.
(26:1) “Vayehe Roav Boaretz Milvad Horoav Asher Hayah Beyimai Avraham- And there was a Famine in the land besides the one in the days of Avraham.” Before beginning the narrative concerning the wells that were re-dug by Yitzchok the Torah here tells us of this famine. The question is why does the Torah mention the one that was in the days of Avraham? What is the Torah adding here? Also what is this business of reopening the wells and renaming them? The Sefas Emes says that this is referring to the Ruchniess that is represented by the waters. Just as the waters cover the earth, so too the spiritual world is masked over by the physical. All of the spirituality that was revealed by Avraham was forgotten after his death. He says that the Avos are only called three. But really each one could have stood on their own merits. Why then don't they? He explains that when there was a famine in the world it means there was this hunger for knowledge. Had Avraham's efforts not been lost, Yitzchok would have followed in the path of his father. He never would have developed his own path of Avodah. Now Yitzchok began the process of revealing again the spirituality that his father had uncovered in the world. This is why the posuk says that he renamed these wells the same names that his father had named them. This was the only way that his own Midos would be developed.
When Yitzchok sends Esav to trap deer for him the Torah writes (27:3) “Ve'atoh saw nah kailecha tailyicha ve'kashticha- Now take your equipment, Your sword and your bow.” Why the use of this word Now? It could have said simply take your sword and capture some deer? In addition why take along a bow? This is not the way to bring food to his father? It would be Traif if it were killed in this manner? Yitzchok wanted this to be an act of teshuva for Essav. There are two types of teshuva one where a person repents his sins. The other, which is on a higher level, is when a person is placed in the same circumstance with the same temptations and is able to withstand the test. Essav used his equipment to kill and rob. Now he was being asked to take those very instruments of destruction and use them for a mitzvah. The bow would be used to merely slow down the deer for capture. The word now is used because that is the key to Teshuvah. It must be Now!
When Rivkah tells Yakov to steal the Brochos she tells him to use deceit (mirma). Esav had great merit because of the tremendous kebud'av he showed towards his father. In order for Yakov to merit receiving the brochos he had to counter this merit that Esav had by doing something against his very nature for kebud'aime that was to lie. For Yakov this was a tremendous effort which he only did because of his mother’s request. Then he would be able to overcome Essav's merits. Essav's kibudav was really insincere. His only motivation was to inherit Yitzchok's fortune. Since he only would inherit from his father he had no kibudam.
Why is it that Yitzchok wanted to bless Essav? What was it that he wanted to accomplish? It could be that he knew that Yakov was superior in a spiritual way but he wanted Esav to have the blessings of the material world in order to serve Yakov in his spiritual pursuits. The same arrangement that was later made between Yissacar and Zevulan.
(26:26) “V'Avimelech Holach Aylav M'Gerar-Avimelech came to Yitzchok from Gerar.” Chazal read the word Gerar as wounded. Avimelech originally drove him away as we see Yitzchok asked, why now does he come? The Targum Yonasan writes that when Yitzchak left all the trees and wells dried up. So Avimelech went to Yitzchok from Gerar, meaning from a wounded state. This explains Posuk 29, where Avimelech exclaims “for we now see that you are blessed from Hashem.”
Why did they come now? What did they see to make them come to the table? At first they thought Yitzchok's prosperity came at their expense. This assumption has served as a pretext to expel Jews from places they had lived for hundreds of years. However once they left, the country lost economically and culturally. Here as well Gerar became poor after Yitzchok left. The wells stolen from Yitzchok dried up. (Oznayim L'Torah)
Perhaps this can also explain why there is a hint here by these wells, to the three temples. Throughout history the world has not recognized our attachment to Hashem. Only after the third temple will it become known to the world how the world has been blessed through us. R. Wolbe explains that just as a well is a source of life, so too the Beis Hamikdosh is a source of life, spiritual life. Had the nations of the world been aware of the blessings the Temple brought to the world, they never would have let it be destroyed. Yitzchok represents the symbol of that life for he was the first instance of Techiyas Hamaisim.
(27:1) "Vaticheinah Eynav M'rous- His eyes became dimmed form seeing." When Avraham bound Yitzchok the ministering angles cried and their tears fell into Yitzchok's eyes making him blind in his old age. (Bereishis Rabbah)
How are we to understand this? Yitzchok is poised to give up his life and he becomes blind? What happened to the principal of "Shomer Mitzvah Lo Yodah Dover Rah-Those who observe the Mitzvos will not come to know evil." Why did this event have to come through the tears of angels?
The angels protested that if G-d allowed Yitzchak to be slaughtered , there would be no Jerusalem or Temple and the covenant with Avraham would be violated. By their tears they managed to exchange Isaac's death for suffering instead, and also to put off his suffering until he had raised a son to take his place and passed on the covenant to him.
Blindness was chosen to be Yitzchok’s suffering, for as Chazal tell us, a blind man is considered as if dead. The Akeidah , then, was not merely a show of good intent, seen by G-d only as if it had been carried out. It was a real act of self-sacrifice, and had to be redeemed with 57 years of suffering, which was worse than death.
The Gematria of the words Vaticheinah Eynav M'rous- His eyes became dimmed from seeing. Is equal to the phrase "Shomer Mitzvah Lo Yodah Dover Rah." (1278)
(27:3) “V’Atoh Sah-Nah Keilecha Telyicha V’Kashtecha- Now please sharpen your gear, your sword your bow.” Yitzchok sends Essav to capture game to prepare a meal for him. Why didn’t he just tell him to take an animal from their stock. They were shepherds and had many flocks. And even if Yitzchok desired to have an animal not from their flock, why tell Essav to take his hunting gear? Kosher meat can only be through kosher slaughter, not via a bow and arrow? However Yizchok wanted Essav to use his talents in the physical world, for a spiritual purpose. (Malbin)
(27:5) “V'Rivka Shomas-And Rivka heard.” When Rivka overheard Yitzchok telling Esav to bring him food the narrative says Rivka did this and Rivka did that. Then it switches over to the word Emo - mother (27:13) then it goes back to calling her by name- Rivka? Why the switch?
The entire episode was a matter of doing something even when not commanded to. (Ayno Metzuveh Vioseh). At the Akeida Hashem asked Avraham to please bring his son up for a sacrifice. He was not commanded to. Rivkah she was asked to bring water for Eliezer. Bringing for the camels was going beyond what was asked, Ayno Metzuveh Vioseh. The continuation of Klal Yisroel came about through these actions because Yitzchok originally was born with a female neshama and could not have children. After the Akeida he received a neshama of a male which was able to father children. By doing these things that they weren't commanded to do they assured the continuation of Klal Yisroel. Here too by receiving the brochos it was a matter of doing something even though they weren't commanded. Yakov was not commanded to bring the food to his father Essav was. The initials of Aino Metzuveh Vioseh are Aleph Mem Vav (Emo), which is why the name Rivka is switched to the word Emo.
Rashi says when Essav walked in the room Yitzchok perceived that gehinom open up before him. Whereas by Yakov the fragrance of Gan Eden entered with him. Perhaps it was the smell of the coat his mother gave him that was originally from Gan Eden, given to Adam and handed down now to Yakov.
When Rivkah told Yakov to pose as Esav he said maybe my father will feel me and know I'm not Esav. He uses the word ohlie instead of penn which is used when one wishes something not to happen. He so wished not to have to lie that he would rather have gotten caught. Yakov said maybe if my father finds out he will curse me! But how can he be afraid of that, we know that whoever curses Yisrael will be cursed himself. So why was Yakov afraid? It could be that at this time he was speaking to the Shechinah, saying the brochos that were to go to Esav will contain material wealth perhaps that will be a curse causing my descendants to fall. But Hashem wanted him to have material wealth too.
(27:13) “Vatomer Lo Emo Olai Kloloscah Beni - His mother said to him, your curse shall be on me my son.” When Rivkah tells Yakov not to worry about the curse his father might give him if he is caught she says it will be on me. She uses the word olai (on me). The initial letters represent the three difficulties Yakov would have in his lifetime. The Ayeen stands for Essav the lamed for Lavan and the Yud for Yosef meaning to say that these are the only difficulties you will face not from any curse of your father.
(27:15) “Va'tikach Rivka es bigday Essav binah hagodal-Rivka took the clothes of her son Essav the larger one -Vatilbash es Yakov binah hakotan and she dressed Yakov her son the small.” Rivka is preparing Yakov to receive the Brachos. Why this use of the terms large and small as opposed to older and younger? The Yesod Hatorah explains that the posuk wished to emphasize the fact that though Esav was much larger than Yakov, when his mother put the much larger clothing on him they fit. Rivka perceived that Hashem agreed with her plan for the Brachos.
There is a Midrash that says that when Hashem created the world he created the two luminaries, the sun and the moon. The larger one was to go to the older son and the smaller one to the younger son. This was the case as we see that the descendants of Esav use the solar calendar to track the year. While the descendants of Yakov use the lunar calendar for the tracking of times. Esav wanted to give up his share in the next world so he could have this world. The sun rules only by day. The moon can at times be visible both by day and by night. This means that the descendants of Yakov would have both this world and the next. Also the fact that the moon always is able to renew itself was a sign that by Benei Yisroel there is constant renewal. There can always be Teshuva. This concept is alluded to in this posuk. (27:15) Yakov and Essav are referred to as the large and small sons. The same words that are used to describe the two luminaries (Sun and Moon) that Hashem created (1:17).
(27:15) “Va'tikach Rivka es Bigday Essav Binah Hagodal Hachamudos-Rivka took the clothes of her son Essav the larger one the cherished ones.” It is interesting that the posuk uses the word Chamudos the coveted ones. Esav’s main claim to fame was his tremendous Kibud Av which is the fifth of the Ten Commandments. The tenth of the Ten Commandments is Lo Sachmod not to covet that which is not yours. This was Esav’s main aveira. The counterbalance of this was the fifth commandment. So in essence his main forte was from his greatest shortcoming.
(27:22) “Hakol kol Yakov Vehayodayim Yidai Essav The voice is the voice of Yakov but the hands are the hands of Esau.” The Gemara says the hands are not the hands of Esav. When Yakov is up Esav is down. How can this be? It's the opposite of the posuk. The answer is that the word Kol is without the letter vav. When the word Kol is spelled deficient then the Kol is lacking and the hands can be Essav’s.
(27:22) “Hakol Kol Yakov V'yodayim Yidai Esav-The voice is the voice of Yakov but the hands are the hands of Esav” Esav had the merit of his tremendous Kibud'Av with which he served his father Yitzchok. Yakov needed to offset this tremendous merit by performing an act of Kibud'Ame. By listening to his mother, by performing this deception, he was going against his natural tendency to be honest. The gematria of the words “Hakol Kol Yakov V'yodayim Yidai Esav equals Kabeid es Avicha V'es Imecha. It was not enough for Yakov to be an “Ish Tam Yoshev Ohelim-A simple man dwelling in tents” To fulfill his destiny he had to become more than that. He had to go out in the world, do Kiruv and take on some of the characteristics of his brother Esav. This is why the words “Hakol Kol Yakov V'yodayim Yidai Esav equals in gematria Zeh Aish Hatorah. This is exactly what Aish Hatorah is all about.
(27:27) Vayomer Reaye Reach Beni K'Reach Sodeh Asher Berach Hashem-He said see the fragrance of my son is like the fragrance of the field Hashem blessed." Who is Yitzchak speaking to, and how does one see a fragrance? The Tzror Hamor writes that Yitzchak was speaking to Adom H'Rishon who was standing by hoping to be redeemed from the curses that rested upon him all this time. Each of Yitzchok's blessings directly countered one of the original curses placed upon man.
(27:28) “Vayitain-Lecha H’Elokim M’tal Hashomayim-May Hashem give you of the dew of the heavens.” In blessing Yakov, it was Yitzchok’s intention to annul the curses placed upon Adam after his sin. (3:17) “Arurah H’adama Ba’avurecha-Accursed is the ground because of you.” In contrast Yitzchok said “May Hashem give you of the dew of the heaven and the fat of the earth.” Contrasting “thorns and thistles shall it sprout for you.” Yitzchok blessed him with “abundant grain and wine.” Contrasting the posuk “by the sweat of your brow shall you get bread to eat.” Yakov was told “Peoples will serve you.” Contrasting “for dust are you and to dust shall you return.” Yitzchok now said “be a Lord to your brothers.” (Tzror Hamor based on the Zohar) Additionally after the sin of Adom the relationship between man and G-d was severely damaged. Now through this blessing the relationship will be restored. As Rashi points out, the letter “Vav” in Vayitain does not connect to anything. He explains that it means Hashem will not give all at once and then have no further relationship. Rather He will give and give again just enough to maintain the connection. Also the Avnei Nezer explains the word for Hashem used is “H’Elokim” Why is the name Hashem spelled with the letter “Hey” before it? To tell us that Hashem is giving us Himself, this blessing is giving us back the relationship with Hashem.
(27:28) “Vayitain L’cha Elokim M’tal Hashomayim-May Hashem give you from the dew of heaven” The Sages point out that this blessing was bestowed using the Holy Name Elokim that denotes Hashem’s attribute of justice. Thus Yitzchok’s blessing is bound by the strict demands of justice, only to be enjoyed by the recipient if he merits it. But what does blessing have to do with merit? Why would the person of merit require a blessing to obtain the good things in life in the first place? The true intent of Yitzchok’s blessing was not to confer riches upon its recipient, but to remove him from the constrictions of physical limitations by connecting him to the workings of Hashgacha Pratis, or Divine Providence. The blessing removed the Jewish people from the laws of cause and effect that apply to mundane reality and placed them into a reality in which Hashem directly decides every single event that occurs. In such a world, all the events of life are tailor made for the individual specifically and are designed to advance his spiritual growth. There is constant give and take between the individual and Hashem, and every alteration of spiritual need results in the appropriate readjustment of his material circumstances. The individual is constantly held up for judgment to determine precisely where he is spiritually, and what he requires of the physical world in order to advance. When Yitzchak designated Yakov as the leader, the Torah scholar was appointed as the channel through which the flow of Divine Providence must pass.
The entire episode of giving the brochos is very strange. First why did everything have to be done through deceit? Why all the fuss over eating before the blessing? Why was it all necessary?
It could be that since these brochos were to be the basis for Klal Yisroel to succeed in correcting the sin of Adom, they had to follow in the same manner. By Adam the snake used deceit so Yakov also used deceit. By Adom the sin was committed through eating so the tikun (fix) had to be through eating. Also it could be that by separating Esav and Yakov who were both born from the same womb it was like separating the mixture of good and evil that was confounded by the Eitz Hadas.
Another reason why the entire episode had to transpire in such a manner was so that the Brachos would be given to Yakov's descendants even when they look like Essav. That is to say it would be very easy to receive the Brachos when all is well and everyone is listening to Hashem. But there will be times when Benei Yisroel won't look like the descendants of Yakov. They won't keep the Torah or dress like the righteous offspring of a Tzaddik. By receiving the Brachos while looking like Esav it would assure them that even at these times the Brachos will apply.
(27:30) “V’Yihi Ach Yotzoh Yotzoh Yakov M’ais Pinei Yitzchok Aviv-And Yakov had scarcely left from the presence of Yitzchok his father.” In the figurative sense Yakov no sooner leaves the path of his fathers than Essav comes to threaten him. Whenever Kiddusha leaves the void is immediately replaced with Tumeh.
(27:37) “U’licha Aypho Mah Eseh Bini-What shall I do now for you my son?” After Yitzchok had given all the worldly blessings to Yakov He said what is there left for me to give to you? Then he goes on to give him a blessing of the fat of the land and the dew of the heavens. How can this be if they were already given to Yakov? Perhaps we can say that according to the Midrash which says that on the night the Beis Hamikdosh was dedicated, a malach came and planted a reed in the Mediterranean. From this the Italian peninsula was formed. We see from here that the night the Beis Hamikdosh was dedicated the seeds to it’s destruction were planted. It therefore comes out that the blessings given to Yakov of this world did not include what would eventually be Essav’s because it had not yet been created.
(27:38) “ Habracha Achas He-Loch Avi-Have you but one bracha father?” Yitzchok blessed Yakov with the name of Hashem that represents mercy. This name is equal to 26 in gematria. Yitzchok’s name is equal to 208 or eight times 26, the name of Hashem. Yakov’s name is 182 or seven times 26, there was therefore one more left for Essav.
(27:41) “Vayomer Essav B’libo Yikrivu Yimei Ayvel Avi V’Aharga es-Yakov Achi- Essav said in his heart the days of mourning for my father will come and I will then murder my brother Yakov.” We are told that when Essav will come to judgement his merit of Kibud Av will not save him from Gehenom because of this verse. Essav anxiously looked forward to his fathers death so that he could take revenge on his brother. Since Torah protects a person Essav knew that while Yakov is in mourning he would not be able to study Torah and thus Essav would have the opportunity to kill him.
(28:5) Yitzchok sent away Yakov to Lavan the brother of Rivka the mother of Yakov and Essav Rashi says he doesn't know what this is intended to teach us. The Ramban explains that in the command to take a wife from the family of Rivkah it should have also been commanded to Essav. She is also the mother of Essav. The Tur says that by sending Yakov away to avoid bloodshed she was acting like the mother of both of them.
According to the Ohr Hachaim the question is how could Yitzchok have sent Yakov to Lavan when he knew the type of Rashah Lavan was? He answers that by repeating that Lavan was the brother of Rivka who was righteous the Torah is thereby hinting that one or both of his daughters could be a suitable wife for Yakov. Secondly by saying that Rivka was the mother of Esav and Yakov the Torah reminds us that even from a Rivka, both a Yakov and an Esav could come out.
We have a difficulty in this week’s parsha. The Torah tells us that Yitzchok loved Esav because he trapped food for him? On the surface it would seem very superficial. Tzayid Befiv means he would trap him with his mouth. Asking him questions like removing maisser from salt and getting married at forty just to appear righteous. While all the time he was ravaging the countryside. He is compared to the chazzir that displays it's kosher sign on the outside. But it doesn't have the internal signs. So he worked on fooling his father to look good. And later on Yitzchok wants to give the brochos to Essav? They were already 63 years old. Yitzchok should not have been fooled. The Chidushe Harim says that Essav had tremendous Kibud Av. R. Shimon Ben Gamliale said he never came close to Essav’s Kibud Av. Whenever Esav would tend to his father he would put on special clothing. So he answers the Zechus of his Kibud Av helped him be able to fool his father. Now Rivka said that Yakov needed a tremendous zechus of Kibud Ame to counterbalance Essav’s zechus. Rivka telling Yakov, was enabling him to put his life in jeopardy for the sake of Kibud Ame. We have a rule that when Essav is up Yakov is down. This is what happened here. Essav came running in without his special clothing for the first time in front of his father. Zeh Kom Ve'zeh Nofal. When Yakov is up Essav is down. Now that Yakov was able to perform this act of Kibud Ame, it became a time for Essav’s fall. The posuk says (27:30) “Vayehe Kasher Kilah Yitzchok L’Vorech es-Yakov- And it was just after Yitzchok finished blessing Yakov.” The reason the posuk mentions this is to show us how Hashem caused the events to unfold. As soon as Yakov left, Essav walked in. There was no time for him to change into his special clothes. For the first time he stood before his father without the masking scent of Gan Eden. He stood before his father without the Zechus of Kibud Av. Now he could no longer fool his father. This is why the posuk says (30:33) “Vayecherad Yitzchok Charada Gedolah- Yitzchok was seized with a tremendous trembling.” Now Yitzchok felt the true presence of Esav standing before him without the mask of illusion that this coat from Gan Eden was able to conceal. What he sensed was the aura of evil that accompanied Esav’s entrance. This could explain why Rashi explains that the word Bimirma translated as cunning, says it means B’chochma (with smarts). What was so smart about what Yakov did? He exposed Essav for what he truly was. He didn’t just steal the brachos from Esav. He showed how Essav never really deserved them. That beneath the surface there was the stench of Gehinom. In the future when Esav’s Kibud has ended the reign of Moshiach will begin. This is referring to the Zechus of his Kibud Av.