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12

Rashi was being intellectually honest. He knew that there was something to be learned from the redundancy, but he wasn't sure what it was. Being that Rashi got much of his material from midrashic sources, chances are he just wasn't able to find a midrash addressing this fact. As to what the reason is behind the Torah mentioning that Rivka was the mother of ...


12

As other posters have pointed out, there are indeed various opinions in Jewish sources as to whether the equation of Edom with Rome is literal or metaphorical. I recall also seeing a view (though I can't recall the source) that it's specifically the early Roman patrician families who were descended from Edom, while the rest of the Italian peoples were ...


11

In a number of his talks, the Lubavitcher Rebbe zt"l points out that this demonstrates that the names of the parshiyos aren't just incipits, but reflect the theme of the parsha (and that this is generally true of the Jewish names of people and things). The difference is basically this: Parshas Noach is primarily about Noach himself, not so much about his ...


11

Eisav was "סמוך על שלחן אביו" - living at home at his parents' expense, therefore his finds and his gifts legally automatically belong to his parents - see Bava Metzia 12a/12b, R' Yom-Tob Asevilli ("Ritb"a") ibid. and Shul'han Aru'h 366:10.


11

A) Why were they having relations during the daytime? Where do you see that it says anything about daytime? B) Why were they having relations in a way that others could see? The שפתי חכמים answers your question. He says that it's impossible to say that they would have relations where people could see them. Rather, by Yitzchak closing the ...


10

The Gur Aryeh (Bereshit 25:27) writes that when making a halachic inquiry, you don't go to a lesser Rabbi in place of the greater Rabbi. Since Shem was greater, she went only to him. See the Toras Menachem in the Gutnik Chumash, where the Lubavitcher Rebbe points out that Rashi previously wrote that Shem was MalkiTzedek, high priest of G-d (Bereshit ...


10

Jake's good answer lists two possibilities. Some more: (Chizkuni) He wanted to wait until he'd know Yitzchak would have no further sons who could avenge Yaakov's death. (Daas Z'kenim) The pasuk is to be read as "[If I kill Yaakov now, I'll cause that] my father will die sooner. [So I'll wait until Yitzchak's death and then] I'll kill Yaakov." (Perush ...


9

Taken at face value, this statement is an outright lie. Though it is clearly intended to make Yitzchak think that Yaakov was actually Eisav, it is still unsettling that Yaakov (who is often thought to be the paradigm of truth) could lie like that. Therefore, Rashi gives his interpretation of how to read Yaakov's words: אנכי המביא לך ועשו הוא בכורך ...


9

The Maskil LeDavid on the verse brings a fascinating explanation. He says Rashi is explaining what Yitzchok was telling Yaakov. Yitzchok told Yaakov, I'm sending you to Lavan, but be careful, since I don't know what kind of man he is (i.e. Tzaddik or Rasha). Normally we can tell the nature of an uncle by looking at the majority of his nephews, but I have ...


8

In a midrash: Why did he repeat? Esav found Yaakov preparing lentils for his father in a dish, and told him "feed me" [=hal'iteni na min haadom]. He said, "wait, I'll prepare you another dish. I prepared this one for my father and don't want to cancel my mitzva. But if you're willing to sell your birthright, I'll give you my father's dish, which I'm ...


8

The midrash that I assume Rashi is quoting actually does say that she went to "מדרשו של שם ועבר". However, lower on that same page, it does identify Shem as the one who is the official navi (though not clear if it's talking about Rivka or Hagar). Interestingly, Abarbanel quotes the midrash as saying that she went to the beis midrash of Shem and Eiver, but it ...


7

According to Alshich, Yaakov was worried that Yitchak might notice that the dish he was served was actually goat meat, which is not an animal that one hunts, as Yitchak had told Eisav to. Therefore, Yaakov served wine with it in the hopes that with the taste of the wine mixed in, Yitzchak wouldn't pick up on the nuances of the taste of the meat he was ...


7

Two options: Read as you did, "When the mourning for my father will come, I will kill my brother Yaakov." In this case, you must explain that Eisav (who was exemplary at כיבוד אב, as Chazal said) did not want to upset Yitzchak with the death of Yaakov, and thus would wait until after Yitzchak's death. Read instead, "The days of my father's mourning [for ...


7

Chizkuni says that Yitzchak is trying to include children Rivka may have if she remarries after he dies. חזקוני בראשית פרק כז פסוק כט בני אמך: אם היא תנשא עוד אחרי מותי. Note: This deals with Yitzchak's health issues but assumes that Rivka's health was significantly better. If you take the Midrash's timeline, then Rivka was 37 years younger than ...


7

The Maharsha to Megilla 16b asks this question and explains that after the 14 years that Yaakov spent in the Yeshiva of Shem and Ever before he came to Charan Esav calmed down and Rivka sent Devorah to call Yaakov back. Since he did not return for 22 years he was punished. The Ben Yehoyada (Ben Ish Chai) writes (Megila 17a): His sin was that he remained for ...


6

Rashi to Genesis 36:2 brings down that Yehudis was not her real name. Rather Esau called her that in order to pretend to his father that she had accepted on herself the to be a proper Yehudi. So seeing as A) Yehudis was not her real name and B) that the name itself seems to be a very worthy name (from the fact that Esau chose that name to trick ...


5

Tirgum Yonathan to this pasuk: ".. and he didn't have wine, and a Malach came and gave him wine that was kept from the days of Bereshit Haolam (days of Creation?) and put it into Ya'akov's hand and he gave it to his father...". A similar commentary we find in Da'at Zekenim Meba'alei Hatosafot. Here we learn that the Malach was Michael. They add that a ...


5

Rashi is studied by trying first to understand "what is bothering Rashi?". This means that every perush was motivated by a question he had or something that was not completely clear. There are some situations, like this one, in which Rashi felt he couldn't provide the answer. But still there is a question and he wanted to bring it before us.


5

Note that the expression in Sanhedrin there is שולט - dominates. Antoninus (and Rebbi) might well agree that the evil inclination exists in utero, just that a person doesn't begin to act on it until birth. R. Shneur Zalman of Liadi makes a similar point in Tanya, ch. 13. Having previously explained that a benoni is a person who has two equally active ...


5

כשהיתה עוברת על פתחי תורה של שם ועבר יעקב רץ ומפרכס לצאת, וכשהיתה עוברת על פתחי עבודה זרה עשיו מפרכס לצאת What? Fetuses (is it feti?) can think on their own? They can sense what is on the outside? They are attracted by worldly desire? Clearly this midrash is not to be taken literally. I think that the idea this midrash is trying to convey is that Eisav ...


5

The verse is not sanctioning racism or racist attitudes. It is a statement about historical destiny based on the choices of these two boys and not about racial superiority. Judaism has a strong belief in the concept that choices made by individuals in the age of the forefathers had strong influence on the destiny of their progeny. The service mentioned here ...


5

Although Rashi (to Tehilim 2:1) quotes Menachem (ben Sruk) who says that the two terms are essentially similar, Netziv and Malbim both say basically the same thing (which Malbim repeats to Tehilim 2:1 and 117:1): A "גוי" is a bunch of people who get together, while a "לאום" is a nation with a unique identity and culture. HaKsav VeHaKabbalah, in a slightly ...


5

The sefer Yalkut HaGershoni here writes in the name of R. Tzvi Yaakov Klein: Ya’akov was very wise as we see from his cunning in dealing with Eisav and Lavan. Therefore he was called an איש תם, a man - a master - of guilelessness, and so according to the needs of the moment he would set aside his guilelessness and use cunning and deceit. However, ...


5

The sefer Sifsei Kohen here writes that he heard someone explain (דרך הלצה) that Eisav said to himself: If I kill Ya’akov now I will have to observe a period of mourning for him, and when my father also dies I will have to observe another period of mourning. Therefore, I won’t kill Ya’akov now but rather “let the days of mourning for my father draw near” and ...


5

Perhaps it is part of a chiastic structure in the local area. Consider: ויאמר אל תרד מצרימה שכן בארץ אשר אמר אליך: גור בארץ הזאת Commands ואהיה עמך ואברכך General Blessing כי לך ולזרעך אתן את כל הארצת האל The Land והקמתי את השבעה אשר נשבעתי לאברהם אביך:‏ Promise to Avraham ...


5

Many say that this refers to Eisav's children (or, from Yitzchak's perspective, Yaakov's children). Ralbag, though, doesn't have a problem with asserting that it refers to Eisav alone. (Or, of course, from Yitzchak's perspective, Yaakov alone.) Grammatically, one may refer to a single child as the "children of so-and-so". He points to "וּבְנֵי דָן חֻשִׁים" ...


5

Edom is considered by the Rabbis to be the Roman Empire, and while contemporary Western culture isn't Roman per se, it is directly descended from Roman culture and ideas. Sources: It's stated here - http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/judaica/ejud_0002_0006_0_05562.html - that the late Tanaic and Amoraic Rabbis identified Edom as the founders of ...


5

The K'li Yakar suggests that later scorners would argue additionally that one of Yitzchak's sons was evil, so the great Avraham could not be Yitzchak's father. (This is why, says the K'li Yakar, the next verse points out that Rivka's brother was the wicked Lavan, and it was from her family that Esav inherited his nature). To preempt this, Yitzchak's ...


5

The book Lev Eliyahu by Rabbi Elyah Lopian zt'l comments there that the "looking in the window" there is referring not to a window but to sorcery. i.e. he saw through some kind of sorcery, crystal ball, etc.


4

Rav Matis Weinberg in Frameworks raises your question and answers that Parshas Toldos is all about who will continue the spiritual legacy of Yitzchak, Yaakov or Eisav? Who will father the generations that follow the same path? Parshas Noach, despite being all about generations (lots of "begat"s), does not deal with the Jews who are the principal conduit for ...



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