In this week’s Torah portion, Toldos, we find a story filled with great intrigue. Yitzchok had aged; before his passing, he wanted to bless his firstborn, Aisov.
However, Yitzchok did not have all of the facts. Firstly, he was not aware that Aisov had already sold the rights and responsibilities that came together with being the first-born (bechor) to his brother Yaakov. Secondly, Yitzchok was under the impression that Aisov was righteous, and as such deserved his blessings. Aisov had managed to fool his father, as we discussed in the previous installment.
As an introduction to blessing his son Aisov, we read that “It came to pass when Yitzchok was old, and his eyes were too dim to see, that he called Aisov his elder son, and said to him, ‘My son.’ Aisov replied, ‘Here I am.’”
In his comments to this verse, Rashi offers a number of explanations as to why Yitzchok’s eyes had dimmed. The final explanation which Rashi offers is that it was “in order to allow Yaakov to take the blessings.”
This poses a question. Why did Hashem blind our Patriarch Yitzchok in order to enable Yaakov to receive the blessings (which were in fact his)? It seems that there was a much simpler way. G-d could have let Yitzchok know that Aisov was wicked! Had He done that, naturally the blessings would have gone to Yaakov.
The explanation is, that Hashem follows that which He commands us to do. Just as we are forbidden to speak ill of another Jew, so too did Hashem refrain from doing so. The one option to assure that Yaakov would receive the Berochos, was for Yitzchok to become blind.
Think about that. Hashem withheld information from Yitzchok in order to avoid speaking badly of Aisov. Keep in mind that Aisov and his descendants were to be enemies of the Jewish Nation throughout our long exile. Furthermore, as a result of this, Yitzchok was like a prisoner in his own house for 57 years!
How much more so is it true that each of us must never say anything which even hints at something negative regarding a fellow Jew.
The cause of our long exile is baseless hatred for our fellow Jews. The way to combat this, and thereby bring the redemption, is by baseless love.
Wishing everyone a good Shabbos and a good month,
Rabbi Shmuel Mendelsohn
Adapted from Likkutei Sichos Volume 15, Page 215
IN LOVING MEMORY OF OUR FATHER
Mr. Sholom Moshe Hacohen
ben Reb Shlomo Meir Hacohen ע”ה Cohen
Passed away Shabbos Parshas Beshalach, 13 Shevat, 5779
May His Soul be bound in the Eternal Bond of Life
DEDICATED BY HIS SON-IN-LAW AND DAUGHTER
RABBI SHMUEL AND RIFKA שי’MENDELSOHN
* * *
ר’ שלום משה הכהן בן ר’ שלמה מאיר הכהן ע”ה כהן
נפטר ש”ק פ’ בשלח, י”ג שבט, ה’תשע”ט
ת. נ. צ. ב. ה.
יו”ל ע”י חתנו ובתו שיחיו
הרה”ת ר’ שמואל ורבקה שי’ מענדלסאהן
. The source for this is Rashi’s comments to our Parshah, Bereishis 25:27.
. Our Parshah, Bereishis, Bereishis 27:1.