A Torah Thought From the Chumash Shiur of
Rav Dovid Feinstein zt"l.
(As heard and adapted by Rabbi Aaron D. Mehlman)
כֻּלּ֖וֹ כְּאַדֶּ֣רֶת שֵׂעָ֑ר…וְיָד֤וֹ אֹחֶ֙זֶת֙…צַ֣יִד בְּפִ֑יו
"The first one came out reddish, completely covered in hair like a fur coat.”
The Torah’s detailed description of Esav’s physical appearance portends Esav’s preparedness to wreak havoc on the world.
Esav was born fully formed to indicate his readiness to work towards his objectives and fulfill his nefarious destiny in the world.
The Parsha then proceeds to describe the fetal positions occupied by each brother during their birthing process.
“Afterwards, his brother emerged, and his hand was grasping Eisav’s heel.”
By dint of having Eisav’s heel firmly in his hand we surmise that Eisav’s foot was essentially positioned in Yaakov’s face!
From the Torah’s description we further deduce that Hashem always intended for this to happen.
The hidden lesson here is that Klal Yisroel needs the heel of Eisav to be present in our lives - to ensure our nation’s spiritual success.
Eisav’s permanent dreadful presence throughout Jewish history is in truth a religious boon to the Jewish People. It’s actually good for us!
Despite our unwillingness to be confronted by something as unpleasant and difficult as “Eisav’s foot on our face,” the goy’s constant presence serves as a Policeman on the beat, depressing reprehensible behavior and encouraging strict attention to the Law.
“Yitzchak loved Eisav because he provided his mouth with game.”
On a simple level, the verse informs us that Eisav the hunter provided food for his father.
Additionally, the posuk can be interpreted to mean Eisav hunted with his actual mouth.
How so? Yitzchak became prey to his own son’s clever words and silver tongue.
As rashi explains, Eisav posed intricate halachic questions to his father to mislead him and believe Eisav was punctillious in observing Jewish Law.
We can explain this to mean that Eisav was a skilled hunter who made hunting calls using his own mouth.
A turkey hunter, for example, will use particular calls and sounds to communicate their location to attract the birds within range.
So too, Eisav used identifiable Torah “calls” to attract and communicate with his father, in the hope to ensnare and trap him.
We may ask, how was Yitzchak bamboozled by Eisav's sham ‘halachic eloquence?’
Did Yitzchok not observe his own sons’ behavior or take notice how Eisav was a prolific hunter, leaving little time for spiritual pursuits, whereas Yaakov spent all of his time “sitting in the tents,” toiling in the study of Torah?
How was he duped by the likes of Eisav?
In truth, Yitzchak understood everything!
Yitzchak believed there could and would be one unified Jewish People comprised of two illustrious partners, the learner and the earner.
Eisav would be the tomchei Torah, earning a living for those who toil all day studying the Torah, and not unlike the successful arrangement between the future Yissachar and Zevulan!
We now appreciate that it was precisely this attitude and due to this mindset that Yitzchak sought to give the valuable blessings for material success exclusively to Eisav.
Have a wonderful shabbos,
Rabbi Aaron D. Mehlman
Erev shabbos kodesh parshas Toldos 5783