Thursday, November 4, 2010

Thursday's Parsha Tidbits - Parshas Toldos

The following is a brief summary of a vort said over by R' Frand on the parsha. I have attempted to reproduce the vort to the best of my ability. Any perceived inconsistency is the result of my efforts to transcribe the shiur and should not be attributed to R' Frand.

Rabbi Frand began his parsha vort this evening by observing that the bracha that was given by Yitzchak to Yaakov appears to be unsuitable for Yaakov. The Torah calls Yaakov an "ish tam" or simple man, who sat in the tents and learned Torah. Meanwhile, the bracha which Yitzchak gave Yaakov was highly materialistic.

To explain this seeming contradiction, Rabbi Frand quoted the sefer Chikrei Lev, who explains that Yitzchak was aware that Esav was materialistic while Yaakov was spiritual. Yitzchak desired that Yaakov and Esav form a partnership (much like Yissachar and Zevulun did one generation later) which would allow Yaakov to learn while Esav supported him.

Esav was aware of Yitzchak's thinking and it is for this reason that the medrash recites that Esav asked his father how one gives maaser from salt. In so doing, Esav sought to give his father the impression that he was a baal tzedakah and therefore would merit the bracha that his father sought to give him.

But Esav's plan was not to be, as Rivka saw Esav for what he truly was and she was able to submarine his plan. Rabbi Frand quoted the medrash which asks - why did Rivka have to come from a family of thieves. Indeed, her brother was a thief, her father was a thief and she lived in a city of thieves. The medrash explains that Rivka had this background just so that she could use what she saw in Haran one time - to assist Yaakov in tricking Yitzchak into giving him the bracha which was intended for Esav. Rivka saw through Esav and knew that he would never support Yaakov financially. As such, she used the lessons she learned in her family home to assist Yaakov in obtaining a bracha of financial support.

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