Thursday, April 10, 2014

Thursday's Matza Crumbs II

Traditionally, R' Frand does not give his Thursday Night Shiur on the last Thursday Night before Pesach. Rather than repost a prior year's shiur on Acharei Mos, I have blogged of some of a thoughts said over by R' Mansour on his website. (Those desiring to see prior vorts on Parshas Acharei Mos can search the blog for prior posts on the parsha). Same rules as usual apply - I have attempted to reproduce these thoughts 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' Mansour.

The Medrash writes that the day that Yaakov "stole" the brachos from Esav was Pesach. There are clues to this within the story as it is related in Parshas Toldos.

In Bereishis 27:9 Rivka tells Yaakov to take two young goats which she would make for Yitzchak. Rashi asks - did Yaakov usually eat two goats? He answers that it was the night of Pesach and the goats served two purposes - one for the Karban Pesach and one for the Karban Chagigah.

R' Mansour next quoted the Pirkei D'Rabbi Eliezer who explains that Rivka told Yaakov - tonight is a special night, the most special night of the year. It is the night of Pesach and a night of blessings below and in heavens. Don't waste the night, go and get the blessing tonight.

We see that the beracha that Yaakov received had an allusion to receiving "the dew of the heavens" (Bereishis 27:28). This is remembered the following day (the first day of Pesach) when we say Tefillas Tal.

In Bereishis 27:25 we see that not only did Yaakov follow his mother's advice to bring the goats, but he also brought his father wine. This was not among the instructions from Rivka, but it was necessary - as taught by the Baa'al Megaleh Amukos, Yaakov brought wine because it was the night of Pesach and his father needed to drink the four cups.

Later in Bereishis 27:35 Esav comes to his father and asks for a beracha, and Yitzchak responds - "ba achicha b'mirma" - your brother came in cleverness and took your blessing. R' Mansour noted that the gematria of b'mirma is 287, which is the same gematria as afikoman. Yitzchak tells his son Esav - it is halacha that one cannot eat after consuming the afikoman - so I cannot eat from your food, nor give you the beracha that you desire.

(I have heard it said this is also the reason that the children "steal" the afikoman at the seder - in order to remember that Yaakov "stole" the beracha on this night).

R' Mansour noted that Yaakov came to Yitzchak dressed as Esav. This signifies that even someone who looks like an Esav on the outside can be a good Jew on the inside and can merit receiving a beracha. The seder describes the four sons who come to the seder and this includes the evil one. Because after his teeth are blunted, he too can absorb the berachos, because inside he is a good Jew.

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