This week we read Parshas Toldos. It tells us that our matriarch Rivkah gave birth to twins, our forefather Yaakov, and his brother Aisov; as the Torah writes, “her days to give birth were complete, and behold, there were twins in her womb.”
These twins were not identical in any way, shape, or form. This was clear even before Rivkah gave birth to them. The Torah tells us that even when she was still carrying them, “the children struggled within her ….” The struggle between the offspring of Yaakov and Aisov has indeed lasted until our time; it will continue until the ultimate Redemption.
In describing both sons, the Torah says that “the youths grew up. Aisov was a man who understood trapping (hunting), a man of the field, whereas Yaakov was an innocent man, dwelling in tents.” Rashi cites the words from this verse, “who understood trapping,” and explains as follows. “He knew how to trap and to deceive his father with his mouth. He would ask him, ‘Father, how do we tithe salt and straw?’ As a result of this, his father thought that he was scrupulous in his observance of Mitzvos.”
As we have written many times, Rashi’s focus is to teach the beginning student the simple meaning of each verse. This being the case, many commentaries raise a question. Why does Rashi not explain the verse according to its simple meaning? Why does Rashi explain Aisov’s understanding of trapping to mean that he deceived his father? It would seem that he could just as well explain it to mean that he knew how to hunt!
The Rebbe explains this by looking at the verse itself. First, it says that “Aisov was a man who understood trapping.” Only then does it tell us that he was “a man of the field.” To trap and hunt animals, one must first go out to the field. The Torah first tells us of his ability to trap, which means that the Torah discusses a different type of trapping, i.e., tricking his father.
We each have an Aisov, an evil inclination within ourselves. At every turn, the evil inclination tries to deceive us, to cause us to forget our mission as Shluchim, Hashem’s emissaries in the world. We need ceaseless vigilance in order to reach our goal despite Aisov’s trickery. In that manner will we bring Moshiach now! Each of us must go “out into the field,” into the world, to bring G-dliness into it.
I wish everyone a good Shabbos and a good month.
Rabbi Shmuel Mendelsohn Adapted from Likkutei Sichos Volume 25, Page 116
DEDICATED IN HONOR OF THE LUBAVITCHER REBBE
IN LOVING MEMORY OF
MRS. MINDEL RIVKA (MURIEL) BAS REB MENACHEM MENDEL SHLOMO ע”ה STITT
PASSED AWAY ON SHABBAT PARSHAS LECH LECHA, 10 MAR-CHESHVAN, 5782
MAY HER SOUL BE BOUND IN THE ETERNAL BOND OF LIFE
IN HONOR OF
The Soldiers of Tzivos Hashem Chaim and Aiden Oded שיחיו Morris
DEDICATED BY THEIR PARENTS
Rabbi & Mrs. Menachem M. and Chaya Mushka שיחיו Morris
. Our Parshah, Bereishis 25:24.
. Our Parshah, Bereishis 25:22.
. Our Parshah, Bereishis 25:27.