December 5, 2020 – 19 Teves 5781

Parshas VaYishlach

Yaakov Sent Messengers/Angels

Yaakov Meets Eisav

Jewish Press – Dennis Prager

First Pasuk in this Parsha:

Verse 32:4:

וַיִּשְׁלַ֨ח יַעֲקֹ֤ב מַלְאָכִים֙ לְפָנָ֔יו אֶל־עֵשָׂ֖ו אָחִ֑יו אַ֥רְצָה שֵׂעִ֖יר שְׂדֵ֥ה אֱדֽוֹם׃

Jacob sent messengers ahead to his brother Esau in the land of Seir, the country of Edom,

Rashi:                          ( וישלח יעקב מלאכים. מַלְאָכִים מַמָּשׁ (בראשית רבה:

Midrash Rabbah 75:4 – מַלְאָכִים (בראשית לב, ד), אֵלּוּ שְׁלוּחֵי בָּשָׂר וָדָם, רַבָּנָן אָמְרֵי מַלְאָכִים מַמָּשׁ.

What is Rashi telling us that they were actual angels?  There is a disagreement in the Medresh and the plain meaning is messengers.  Why is Rashi taking sides in the Machlokes especially when it really does not add anything.

After giving this much thought I believe the answer is as follows.  Rashi is telling us what Yaakov did to repair his relationship with Eisav.  He did three things:

  1.  He sent   מַלְאָכִים to Eisav. Who were these מַלְאָכִים ?   Either they were actual angels or if they were men they were prominent people.   Yaakov is showing Eisav that I hold you in high esteem and are sending you the best, the leaders of his community. .  Rashi is borrowing this term from the Midrash, but he is  not deciding who is correct in the Medresh.  This would be like  Shimon HaTzaddick meeting Alexander the Great.  The greatest person in Israel. 
  2. A gift
  3. As he was approaching Eisav he humbled himself by bowing seven times.See below my comments on Chapter 33, verse 4, Rashi and Sforno..

These three efforts and especially the last one turned Eisav’s heart from hatred to love.

Yaakov Meets Eisav:

Perek 33   –   ל״ג   

Verse 1

וַיִּשָּׂ֨א יַעֲקֹ֜ב עֵינָ֗יו וַיַּרְא֙ וְהִנֵּ֣ה עֵשָׂ֣ו בָּ֔א וְעִמּ֕וֹ אַרְבַּ֥ע מֵא֖וֹת אִ֑ישׁ וַיַּ֣חַץ אֶת־הַיְלָדִ֗ים עַל־לֵאָה֙ וְעַל־רָחֵ֔ל וְעַ֖ל שְׁתֵּ֥י הַשְּׁפָחֽוֹת׃

Looking up, Jacob saw Esau coming, accompanied by four hundred men. He divided the children among Leah, Rachel, and the two maids,

Sfrono:

                                                                                                 ועמו ארבע מאות איש שלא התכפרו פניו במנחה:                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

To tell us that he had not been appeased even by the substantial gift Yaakov had sent him.  Just like Rashi is Verse 4.

Verse 2:

וַיָּ֧שֶׂם אֶת־הַשְּׁפָח֛וֹת וְאֶת־יַלְדֵיהֶ֖ן רִֽאשֹׁנָ֑ה וְאֶת־לֵאָ֤ה וִֽילָדֶ֙יהָ֙ אַחֲרֹנִ֔ים וְאֶת־רָחֵ֥ל וְאֶת־יוֹסֵ֖ף אַחֲרֹנִֽים׃

And he put the maids and their children first, Leah and her children next, and Rachel and Joseph last.

Question:  Verse 32:8 says he divided his camp.  Why now are his family all together?  I think the answer is that once he fought the angel and was victorious, Yaakov was no longer afraid and put his family back together.

Verse 3:

וְה֖וּא עָבַ֣ר לִפְנֵיהֶ֑ם וַיִּשְׁתַּ֤חוּ אַ֙רְצָה֙ שֶׁ֣בַע פְּעָמִ֔ים עַד־גִּשְׁתּ֖וֹ עַד־אָחִֽיו

׃He himself went on ahead and bowed low to the ground seven times until he was near his brother.

Verse 4:

וַיָּ֨רָץ עֵשָׂ֤ו לִקְרָאתוֹ֙ וַֽיְחַבְּקֵ֔הוּ וַיִּפֹּ֥ל עַל־צַוָּארָ֖ו וַׄיִּׄשָּׁׄקֵ֑ׄהׄוּׄ וַיִּבְכּֽוּ׃

Esau ran to greet him. He embraced him and, falling on his neck, he kissed him; and they wept.

Rashi

ויחבקהו. נִתְגַּלְגְּלוּ רַחֲמָיו, כְּשֶׁרָאָהוּ מִשְׁתַּחֲוֶה כָּל הִשְׁתַּחֲוָאוֹת הַלָּלוּ

We see from the below Rashi that Eisv wanted to kill Yaakov all the way until he saw Yaakov bowing down to Eisav and only then did Eisav become friendly.  Refer to below Sforno.

 AND EMBRACED HIM — His pity was aroused when he saw him prostrating himself so many times (Genesis Rabbah 78:8).

Rashi:

וישקהו. נָקוּד עָלָיו; וְיֵשׁ חוֹלְקִין בַּדָּבָר הַזֶּה בַּבָּרַיְתָא דְּסִפְרֵי, יֵשׁ שֶׁדָּרְשׁוּ נְקֻדָּה זוֹ שֶׁלֹּא נְשָׁקוֹ בְּכָל לִבּוֹ, אָמַר רַבִּי שִׁמְעוֹן בֶּן יוֹחַאי, הֲלָכָה הִיא בְּיָדוּעַ שֶׁעֵשָׂו שׂוֹנֵא לְיַעֲקֹב, אֶלָּא שֶׁנִּכְמְרוּ רַחֲמָיו בְּאוֹתָהּ שָׁעָה וּנְשָׁקוֹ בְּכָל לִבּוֹ (ספרי במדבר):

 Dots are placed above the letters of this word, and a difference of opinion is expressed in the Baraitha of Sifré (בהעלותך) as to what these dots are intended to suggest: some explain the dotting as meaning that he did not kiss him with his whole heart, whereas R Simeon the son of Johai said: Is it not well-known that Esau hated Jacob? But at that moment his pity was really aroused and he kissed him with his whole heart. (Sifrei Bamidbar 69.2)

Sforno

וירץ עשו – נהפך לבו כמו רגע בהכנעותיו של יעקב כאמרם ז”ל שאחיהו השילוני קלל את ישראל בקנה הנכנע לכל הרוחות הן לו עשו כן בריוני בית שני לא היה נחרב בית מקדשנו כמו שהעיד רבי יוחנן בן זכאי באמרו (גטין פרק הנזקין) בריוני דבן לא שבקונן:

וירץ עשו, his attitude changed suddenly when he realised to what extent Yaakov had humbled himself before him. It is of great concern to us seeing that we live among the descendants of Esau, people who are arrogant, consider themselves invincible. Yaakov’s conduct vis a vis Esau teaches that the only way to escape the sword of Esau is through self degradation and gifts. This corresponds to what our sages taught us (Taanit 20) that the curses of the prophet Achiyah Hashiloni were more beneficial to the Jewish people than the blessing showered upon them by Bileam. Achiyah had cursed the Jewish people describing them as a reed which bends in all directions, a reference to someone demeaning himself rather than facing up to adversaries. (Kings I 14,15) If the Jewish people during the period of the second Temple had taken his advice to heart, the Temple would not have been destroyed. Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai testified to this when he said “if not for the militant extremists the Romans would not have destroyed the Temple.”

Baal Haturim:

וישקהו נקוד למעלה שכיון לנשכו:

וישקהו בגימטריא לנושכיהו. דור חרבות שני”ו בגימטריא עשו:

We see from the Sforno and the Baal Haturim that Eisav wanted to kill Yaakov up until the very end and once he saw Yaakov  bowing down did Esav’s heart melt.

The lesson from Rashi, Sforno, and the Ba’al Haturim is that to fight anti-semitism we must humble ourselfs, show deference, but be firm in showing the we, the Jewish people only want to bring good to the world.  When someone says something against Israel or Jews the wrong thing to do is accuse them of being an anti-semite.   Screaming anti-semitism is the wrong thing to do and embarrassing them is wrong.     Educate.   For example, AOC is not an anti-semite.  We should work with her so when she says something we do not agree with, she has a point of reference, a go to person.   Of course this will not always work, but our first response should be muted.    Have a leader in Israel or a highly respected person call them up or meet with them privately to show them the Israeli view.  I do not think many of these people are really anti-semeitc, they have a different view, a different mindset and we have to work to correct this mindset.  I believe that when Rabbi Ovadya Yosef was alive, he should have been the Israeli emissary to the Arab world, privately meeting with Arab leaders.   I worked  over 30 years in banking as a Jewish man  with a Yarmulke and my career sparkled with goodness.  I was unique so everyone knew me in the bank and I am proud now that my career is over that I was a positive influence on many employees and customers.  

Verse 10:

וַיֹּ֣אמֶר יַעֲקֹ֗ב אַל־נָא֙ אִם־ ־נָ֤ א מָצָ֤אתִי חֵן֙ בְּעֵינֶ֔יךָ וְלָקַחְתָּ֥ מִנְחָתִ֖י מִיָּדִ֑י כִּ֣י עַל־כֵּ֞ן רָאִ֣יתִי פָנֶ֗יךָ כִּרְאֹ֛ת פְּנֵ֥י אֱלֹהִ֖ים וַתִּרְצֵֽנִי׃

But Jacob said, “No, I pray you; if you would do me this favor, accept from me this gift; for to see your face is like seeing the face of God, and you have received me favorably.

Verse 11:

קַח־נָ֤א אֶת־בִּרְכָתִי֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר הֻבָ֣את לָ֔ךְ כִּֽי־חַנַּ֥נִי אֱלֹהִ֖ים וְכִ֣י יֶשׁ־לִי־כֹ֑ל וַיִּפְצַר־בּ֖וֹ וַיִּקָּֽח׃

Please accept my present which has been brought to you, for God has favored me and I have plenty.” And when he urged him, he accepted.

Rashi:

ברכתי. מִנְחָתִי, מִנְחָה זוֹ הַבָּאָה עַל רְאִיַּת פָּנִים וְלִפְרָקִים אֵינָה בָאָה אֶלָּא לִשְׁאֵלַת שָׁלוֹם, וְכָל בְּרָכָה שֶׁהִיא לִרְאִיַּת פָּנִים – כְּגוֹן וַיְבָרֶךְ יַעֲקֹב אֶת פַּרְעֹה (בראשית מ״ז:ז׳), עֲשׂוּ אִתִּי בְרָכָה דְּסַנְחֵרִיב (מלכים ב י”ח), וְכֵן לִשְׁאָל לוֹ לְשָׁלוֹם וּלְבָרְכוֹ דְּתֹעִי מֶלֶךְ חֲמָת (שמואל ב ח’) – כֻּלָּם לְשׁוֹן בִּרְכַּת שָׁלוֹם הֵן, שֶׁקּוֹרִין בְּלַעַז שלו”איר, אַף זוֹ בִּרְכָתִי מו”ן שלו”ד:

Ramban:

קח נא את ברכתי המנחה וכן עשו אתי ברכה (מלכים ב יח לא) השיבו לי מנחה וכן קח נא ברכה מאת עבדך (שם ה טו) ויקראו המנחה שישלח האדם לרצונו ברכה כי הוא שולח מאשר ברך אותו השם כענין אשר ברכך ה’ אלהיך תתן לו (דברים טו יד) כאשר אמר למעלה (לב יד) מן הבא בידו והמנחה אשר התנו בה למלך בדבר ידוע תקרא מס:

Tur Haruch:

קח נא את ברכתי. פי’ מנחתי כי המנחה שאדם שולח מרצונו נקראת ברכה לפי ששולח מרצונו מאשר ברכו ה’ והמנח’ שמביאין למלך נקראת מס:

Rosh:

קח נא את ברכתי וגו’. המינים ארורים פוקרים ואומרים שהודה יעקב לעשו על הברכות שלא אמר את מנחתי. וזריתי פרש על פניהם כתיב אשר הובאת לך משמע המובא בידים שיש בו ממש ויהבינן להו כלהו טעותייהו לפי שגער בו הקב”ה ואמר לו אני אל שדי פרה ורבה כלו’ לא עליך לתתם כי אם לי שהבטחתי לאבותיך עלי לקיים ולך אני אקיים מה שנדרתי להם והמלאך ברכו שם אחר מעשה זה וגם יצחק אמר לו גם ברוך יהיה ובהפרדו ללכת לחרן ברכו בג’ ברכות בג’ מקומות ונתן לו ברכת אבותיו ועוד דכתיב ויפצר בו ויקח ואלו כן היה נוטלם עשו ברצון שהרי נראה לו שנטלם יעקב במרמה ותשובתם נשאר מעל:

Second piece of Torah on this Parsha:

There is a fascinating Verse towards the end of the Sedra.

Chapter 36, Verse 6 and Verse 7::

וַיִּקַּ֣ח עֵשָׂ֡ו אֶת־נָ֠שָׁיו וְאֶת־בָּנָ֣יו וְאֶת־בְּנֹתָיו֮ וְאֶת־כָּל־נַפְשׁ֣וֹת בֵּיתוֹ֒ וְאֶת־מִקְנֵ֣הוּ וְאֶת־כָּל־בְּהֶמְתּ֗וֹ וְאֵת֙ כָּל־קִנְיָנ֔וֹ אֲשֶׁ֥ר רָכַ֖שׁ בְּאֶ֣רֶץ כְּנָ֑עַן וַיֵּ֣לֶךְ אֶל־אֶ֔רֶץ מִפְּנֵ֖י יַעֲקֹ֥ב אָחִֽיו׃

Esau took his wives, his sons and daughters, and all the members of his household, his cattle and all his livestock, and all the property that he had acquired in the land of Canaan, and went to another land because of his brother Jacob.

כִּֽי־הָיָ֧ה רְכוּשָׁ֛ם רָ֖ב מִשֶּׁ֣בֶת יַחְדָּ֑ו וְלֹ֨א יָֽכְלָ֜ה אֶ֤רֶץ מְגֽוּרֵיהֶם֙ לָשֵׂ֣את אֹתָ֔ם מִפְּנֵ֖י מִקְנֵיהֶֽם׃

For their possessions were too many for them to dwell together, and the land where they sojourned could not support them because of their livestock.

Rashi on Verse 7:

לא יכלה ארץ מגוריהם. לְהַסְפִּיק מִרְעֶה לַבְּהֵמוֹת שֶׁלָּהֶם (ב”ר). וּמִ”אַ: מפני יעקב אחיו. מִפְּנֵי שְׁטַר חוֹב שֶׁל גְּזֵרַת “כִּי גֵר יִהְיֶה זַרְעֲךָ” הַמֻּטָּל עַל זַרְעוֹ שֶׁל יִצְחָק, אָמַר אֵלֵךְ לִי מִכָּאן, אֵין לִי חֵלֶק לֹא בַּמַּתָּנָה, שֶׁנִּתְּנָה לוֹ הָאָרֶץ הַזֹּאת, וְלֹא בְּפִרְעוֹן הַשְּׁטָר, וּמִפְּנֵי הַבּוּשָׁה שֶׁמָּכַר בְּכוֹרָתוֹ:

 AND THE LAND OF THEIR SOJOURNINGS COULD NOT — supply sufficient pasture for the cattle which they had. A Midrashic comment (Genesis Rabbah 82)  is: on account of the bond of indebtedness involved in the decree, (Genesis 14:13) “thy seed shall be a stranger etc… and they shall afflict them etc.” that was imposed upon Isaac’s descendants. He said, “I shall go hence — I desire no part either in the gift of this land which has been made to him (to my father) nor in the payment of this bond” . Another reason why he went away was on account of the shame he felt at having sold his birthright (cf. Genesis Rabbah 82:13).

Targum Yonasan Ben Uziel on this Pasuk

וּדְבַר עֵשָו יַת נְשׁוֹי וְיַת בְּנוֹי וְיַת בְּנָתוֹי וְיַת כָּל נַפְשַׁת בֵּיתֵיהּ וְיַת גֵיתוֹי וְיַת בְּעִירוֹי וְיַת כָּל נִכְסוֹי דִי קָנָה בְּאַרְעָא דִכְנָעַן וְטַיָיל לְאַרַע אוֹחֲרִי דַהֲוָה רַמְיָא עֲלוֹי אֵימָתָא דְיַעֲקב אָחוּהִי

And Esau had taken his wives and his sons and his daughters, and all the souls of his house, and his flocks and his cattle, and all the substance which he had gotten in the land of Kenaan, and had gone into another land; for there fell upon him a fear of Jakob his brother:

Explanation:

It is fascinating that Yaakov comes back to his father and Eisav is still living there with his father.  Even though earlier in the Parsha it says that Eisav was coming from Har Seir with 400 men.  I am not sure of the answer.

The Torah gives the reason why Eisav moved away from Yaakov:

  1. Yaakov and Eisev were both wealthy, had many cattle and the land could not support both of them so Eisav moved away.

Rashi adds two other reasons:

  1. Eisav did not want his kids to go into slavery
  2. He was embarrassed that he sold his birthright

The Targum Yonasan Ben Uziel adds a fourth reason

  1. “and had gone into another land; for there fell upon him a fear of Jakob his brother”

What is Targum Yonasan Ben Uziel saying?  What fear of Yaakov?  The “Perush Yonasan” explains this enigmatic Targum as follows.  Eisav moved away because he heard that Shimon and Levy killed out Shechem and because of his fear of them Eisav left.

What does this mean?

 We know from Rashi on Verse 35:8  the full extent of the evil  of  Eisav.  Rashi says that the Torah does not mention the death of Rivka, Eisav and Yaakov’s mother .  Rashi states:

 An Agada (Genesis Rabbah 81:5) states that he there received news of another mourning for he was informed that his mother had died. — In Greek allon means “another”. — Because the time of her death was kept secret in order that people might not curse the mother who gave birth to Esau, Scripture also does not make open mention of her death (Midrash Tanchuma, Ki Teitzei 4).

The Hebrew is a little more graphic.

וְאַגָּדָה, נִתְבַּשֵּׂר שָׁם בְּאֵבֶל שֵׁנִי, שֶׁהֻגַּד לוֹ עַל אִמּוֹ שֶׁמֵּתָה (בראשית רבה), וְאַלּוֹן בִּלְשׁוֹן יְוָנִי אַחֵר, וּלְפִי שֶׁהֶעֱלִימוּ אֶת יוֹם מוֹתָהּ שֶׁלֹּא יְקַלְּלוּ הַבְּרִיּוֹת כֶּרֶס שֶׁיָּצָא מִמֶּנּוּ עֵשָׂו, אַף הַכָּתוּב לֹא פִרְסְמָהּ:

Eisav was a murderer, a plunder, hated by everyone and was able to do his evil unhindered.  However, when he heard that Yaakov had two sons who were men of strength, who would not tolerate evil, there was a new sheriff in town.  As a result Eisav left.   I got my understanding from an article written by Denis Prager in the December 4, 2020 issue of the Jewish Press

Denis Prager writes:

“Fakhrizadeh is the fifth Iranian nuclear scientist to have been killed in the last 13 years. One must assume that most, if not all, of these assassinations, whether Israel was involved or not, were carried out by Iranians – which only shows how many Iranians loathe their liberty-suppressing, life-suppressing, women-suppressing, Islamo-fascist regime. Too bad Western countries and the Western media also don’t loathe the Iranian regime (what they loathe is labeling the Iranian regime “Islamo-fascist”).”

The Israelis and before them President Trump put the Iranians on notice that there will be repercussions if they continue to pursue their evil in the world.  There is accountability and it is Israel.   This is another gift of the Israelis to the world.  Israel is already a leader in terms of  science, innovations, water desalination  in agriculture, medicine, and everything else.   Of course Israel cannot be the middle eastern policemen, but they can give the Ikranians pause.      If only the Arabs would make peace with Israel, there would be a renaissance in the entire Mideast.

Full Denis Prager Article:

Jewish Press Denis Prager – 12/4/2020 – The Israelis are Amazing and So Is the Left:

I always thought no one – including Israel – could pull off something as incredible as the July 4, 1976, raid on Entebbe, Uganda. To remind readers what happened that day:

A week earlier, on June 27, two Palestinian and two German terrorists hijacked an Air France Tel Aviv-to-Paris flight with 248 passengers on board, which they diverted to Entebbe Airport in Uganda. At the airport, the hijackers and four additional terrorists – aided by Uganda’s Idi Amin regime – held the Israelis and other Jews, and allowed the 148 non-Jewish passengers to fly on to Paris.

The terrorists announced that unless 53 Palestinian prisoners – 40 in Israel and 13 elsewhere – were released, the kidnapped Jews (and the Air France crew, all of whom heroically remained with the Jewish passengers) would be killed.

On July 4, the Israelis flew a disguised transport plane filled with Israeli commandos 2,500 miles from Israel to Entebbe. After refueling in Kenya, they landed in Entebbe, killed the terrorists, and saved nearly every hostage – all in 53 minutes.

No one had seen anything quite like the raid on Entebbe… until last week. On Friday, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the Iranian scientist considered to be “the driving force behind Iran’s nuclear weapons program for two decades,” was assassinated in Iran. To appreciate how remarkable this operation was, consider this: Fakhrizadeh traveled a different route to work every day, rode in a bulletproof car, and was accompanied by three personnel carriers that transported heavily armed bodyguards.

The assassins cut off electricity to the area surrounding the assassination and disabled all video cameras as well. They exploded a car next to Fakhrizadeh’s car and had a remote-control machine gun fire at Fakhrizadeh. The entire operation took three minutes. None of the assassins were killed or even wounded. All 12 (the number of assassins, according to Javad Mogouyi, a documentary filmmaker for Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps) got away.

One would think that every decent human being would welcome the elimination of a man whose life was dedicated to the annihilation of another country. There is, after all, no parallel in the world to the Iranian regime’s repeatedly stated goal of annihilating Israel. And Israel – to the consternation of European leaders, the United Nations, and major American media – does whatever it takes to prevent itself from being annihilated.

John Brennan, the head of the CIA under President Barack Obama, strongly condemned the Fakhrizadeh assassination. Brennan, who has never abandoned the moral values he held when he was a communist, condemned the assassination as “a criminal act” and “highly reckless” and labeled it “murder” and “state-sponsored terrorism.

He asked Iran to “resist the urge” to retaliate and “wait for the return of responsible American leadership on the global stage.” In other words, wait until the Holocaust-denying, Islamo-fascist, America-hating, genocide-seeking Iranian regime is appeased by a Democrat in the White House.

A United Nations spokesman said, “We condemn any assassination or extrajudicial killing.”

A spokesperson for the European Union called Fakhrizadeh’s killing “a criminal act” that “runs counter to the principle of respect for human rights the EU stands for.”

A New York Times opinion piece said the assassination “could strengthen hard-line factions in Iran arguing against a return to diplomacy.” This statement embodies the naiveté of the world’s left, including liberals: that evil regimes are composed of “hard-line factions” and “moderate factions.”

The author of the Times opinion piece, Barbara Slavin of the Atlantic Council, added that the foreign ministers of Britain, France and Germany should “issue a statement condemning the assassination as illegal under international law and damaging to the cause of nonproliferation.” She said, “It would be the ultimate tragedy if Israel’s aggression now led Iran to change its calculus and go for weapons.”

To the left around the world, Israel is the villain here, not Iran.

Upon returning to France, Michel Bacos – the heroic captain of the plane hijacked in 1973 who refused the opportunity to return to France and insisted on remaining with the kidnapped Jews – “was reprimanded by his superiors at Air France and temporarily suspended from duty,” according to The Jerusalem Post (Aug. 3, 2006). Such are the values of our European allies.

Miketz: December 18, 2020

Gave a Chumash Shiur on December 17, 2020 for the family via Zoom.  In attendance Karen Schwartz, Yosef Janowski, Avi Beer, Chanie Caplan, Alltie Beer, and Matt Schwartz at the end.

We are still in quarantine in Toronto.  My mother in law is coming back from Baycrest, the rehab this coming week.

Bereshis – Chapter 41- Verse:1:

וַיְהִ֕י מִקֵּ֖ץ שְׁנָתַ֣יִם יָמִ֑ים וּפַרְעֹ֣ה חֹלֵ֔ם וְהִנֵּ֖ה עֹמֵ֥ד עַל־הַיְאֹֽר׃

After two years’ time, Pharaoh dreamed that he was standing by the Nile,

Rashi:

                                                                                             ויהי מקץ. כְּתַרְגּוּמוֹ מִסּוֹף, וְכָל לְשׁוֹן קֵץ סוֹף הוּא:       

על היאר. כָּל שְׁאָר נְהָרוֹת אֵינָם קְרוּיִין יְאוֹרִים חוּץ מִנִּילוּס, מִפְּנֵי שֶׁכָּל הָאָרֶץ עֲשׂוּיִם יְאוֹרִים יְאוֹרִים בִּידֵי אָדָם וְנִילוּס עוֹלֶה בְּתוֹכָם וּמַשְׁקֶה אוֹתָם, לְפִי שֶׁאֵין גְּשָׁמִים יוֹרְדִין בְּמִצְרַיִם תָּדִיר כִּשְׁאָר אֲרָצוֹת:

Targum Onkelys –   וַהֲוָה מִסּוֹף תַּרְתֵּין שְׁנִין וּפַרְעֹה חָלֵם וְהָא קָאֵם עַל נַהֲרָא:

Targum Yonasun Ben Uziel:

ויהי וַהֲוָה מִסוֹף תַּרְתֵּין שְׁנִין עָאל דוּכְרָנָא דְיוֹסֵף קֳדָם מֵימְרָא דַיְיָ וּפַרְעה הֲוָה חָלִים וְהָא קָאִי עַל נַהֲרָא  – It was at the end of two years, that the remembrance of Joseph came before the Word of the Lord. And Pharaoh dreamed, and, behold, he stood by the river. 

Midrash 89:4

וּפַרְעֹה חֹלֵם (בראשית מא, א), וְכָל הַבְּרִיּוֹת אֵינָן חוֹלְמִין, אֶתְמְהָא, אֶלָּא חֲלוֹם שֶׁל מֶלֶךְ שֶׁל כָּל הָעוֹלָם כֻּלּוֹ הוּא.

“and Pharoah dreamt” – and do not all people dream?! Rather the dream of a king is regarding (or perhaps belonging to) the entire world.  

Questions on this Pasuk:

  1. The word וַיְהִ֕י is normally language use when the Torah is talking about troubled times.  Here Yoseph is about to be freed and go from a prisoner and slave to the Viceroy of Egypt.  The #2 man in the country and the one responsible for the entire country,  This is a time of joy.  
  2. Rashi says that  מִקֵּ֖ץ means at the end.  A) are there different translations of this word?  The Torah does not specifically say the end of what event.
  3. It says  שְׁנָתַ֣יִם יָמִ֑ים.  It means two years, why not use the words שנתים שנים?
  4. חֹלֵ֔ם עֹמֵ֥ד ,הַיְאֹֽר׃ – all are written חסר and not   מלא
  5.  הַיְאֹֽר׃ – Rashi says that this refers to the Nile.  Why not say the Nile river.  It would have said Pishon because I do not think it was called the Nile river at the time?
  6. The Ohr HaCahim asks another question.  The language of וּפַרְעֹ֣ה חֹלֵ֔ם implies that at the end of two years Pharah was already dreaming.  Proper language would be that at the end of two years, Pharaoh dreamt.   וחָלַם פרעה 

Answers:

Question #1)

The word וַיְהִ֕י is normally language used when the Torah is talking about troubled times.  Here Yoseph is about to be freed and go from prisoner and slave to the Viceroy of Egypt.  The #2 man in the country and the one responsible for the entire country,  

            The Ohr HaChaim Hakodesh has three answers: 

A)  This is the start of the exile of Egypt 

B)  The pain of the entire world that will be thrust into a severe famine for seven years     

C)  Pain of Yoseph who was imprisoned an extra two years 

Language of the Ohr HaChaim HaKadosh:

ויהי מקץ. טעם אומרו לשון צער. כי עתה יתחיל לסובב סיבת גלות מצרים. והגם שהגלות כבר נגזרה גזירתו משנים קדמוניות, הלא אמרו רבותינו כי לא נגזר שיהיה במצרים שהוא כור הברזל, וכמו שכתבו התוס’ במס’ שבת (י:) וכמו שכתב הראב”ד (פ”ו הל’ תשובה) כי המצרים הוסיפו לצער יותר ממה שאמר הכתוב ועבדום וענו וגו’:

עוד אמר לשון צער לצד בשורת רעב כי הקב”ה כביכול לו צר בצרת עולמו, וצא ולמד ממה שדרשו ז”ל (מגילה י:) בפסוק (שמות יד כ) ולא קרב זה אל זה וגו’:

עוד ירמוז לצערו של אותו צדיק שנתעכב עד ששלמו ב’ שנים אחר חלומו של שר המשקים כי אז היה לו לצאת כאומרם ז”ל (ב”ר פ’ פ”ט) וז”ל בשביל שאמר כי אם זכרתני והזכרתני ניתוספו ב’ שנים, הרי שהוסיפו לו ב’ שנים בצער, ותמצא שאמרו ז”ל (שם) ויהי מקץ קץ שם לחושך. ולפי זה יכוין על זה הדרך ויהי מסיבת קץ שהוא יצר הרע שנקרא קץ כל בשר והוא סיבה לצערו של צדיק שנתים ימים. ובזה הרווחנו גם כן תחלת זה החשבון של שנתים שהוא לחלומו של שר המשקים שהיה זמן זכירת יוסף לטובה, וטעם ב’ שנים בשביל שאמר זכרתני והזכרתני כנגד כל זכירה מנע ה’ זכרונו בראש השנה שהוא זמן הזכרון:

 Question #2)

Rashi says that  מִקֵּ֖ץ means at the end.  A) are there different translations of this word?  The Torah does not specifically say the end of what event.

Answer:    I do not fully understand the Sifsei Chachomim who says –  מקץ. פירש”י כתרגומו מסוף ופי’ כן דלא תימא מתחלה כמו מקצה שלש שנים תוציא את כל מעשר תבואתך שפי’ מתחלת שנה שלישית  . 

The Tur and the Tur HaAroch discusses the word  מקץ.    The Baal Haturim says:  

נאמר כאן מקץ ונאמר באברהם מקץ עשר שנים (לעיל טז ג) מה להלן עשר שנים אף כאן עשר שנים.  ופירוש ויהי מקץ דהיינו לסוף עשר שנים ועוד שנתיים  

 The Baal Haturim explains the Pasuk as saying that Joseph was in jail for 12 years.   It says here מקץ and it says by Avrohom in Bereshis 16:3 – “מִקֵּץ֙ עֶ֣שֶׂר שָׁנִ֔ים”,  therefore the word מקץ  means 10 years, plus another two years. Yoseph spent a total of 12 years in prison. 

For additional color see the below Tur Haruch from Sefaria.

ויהי מקץ שנתים ימים. פי’ לסוף ב’ שנים הי’ זה המעש’ שפרעה חלם ולא פי’ מתי התחילו ב’ שנים ונראה שהיה לסוף ב’ שנים מיציא’ שר המשקה מבית הסוהר שהי’ גם יוסף ראוי לצאת אלא שנתאח’ ב’ שנים על שתלה בטחונו בבשר ודם ונמצא שהי’ תפוש י”ב שנים שלא היה עבד בבית אדוניו אלא שנה דכתיב ויהי ברכת ה’ בבית ובשדה דהיינו קיץ וחורף וט’ שנים הי’ תפוש קודם לשר המשקה והאופה והיו הם תפושים עמו שנה כדכתיב ויהיו ימים במשמר פי’ שנה ואחריהם ב’ שנים אלא שקשה הא דאיתא במדרש ולכך חטאו שר המשקים והאופה כדי שידברו בסרחונם וישכחו מלדב’ ביוסף ואם לא חטאו עד ט’ שני’ אחריו א”כ הרב’ דברו בט’ שנים ואיפשר שחטאו מיד ונמשך הדבר מיום ליום שלא נתפשו עד אחר ט’ שנים ויש שסומכין אותו על הפסוק כתיב הכא מקץ וכתיב התם מקץ עשר שנים מה התם עשר אף הכא עשר:

 Question #3)

It says  שְׁנָתַ֣יִם יָמִ֑ים.  It means two years, why not use the words שנתים שנים?   I saw some Meforshim but I do not have a good answer.

 Question #4)

חֹלֵ֔ם עֹמֵ֥ד ,הַיְאֹֽר  – all are written חסר and not  מלא

I do not have a good answer for this.  Other than the real story of this Parsha is hidden.

Question #5)

 הַיְאֹֽר׃ – Rashi says that this refers to the Nile.  Why not say the Nile river.  It would have said Pishon because I do not think it was called the Nile river at the time?

Both Onkelys and Targum Yonasan Ben Uziel translate הַיְאֹֽר as river.  Do they argue on Rashi or not?  You can say they don’t because the word itself does translate in river, Rashi is using the ה – הידעה.  Even though I would think that Targum Yonasan Ben Uziel would have been more specific.

Sifsei Chacomin discusses this – כל שאר נהרות אינם קרויין יאורים חוץ מנילוס כו’. ה”פ דק”ל למה כתיב על היאור בה”א הידיעה אלא ודאי ה”פ היאור הידוע הנזכר לעיל וקאי על הד’ נהרות שכתובים בפ’ בראשית (לעיל ב יא) וא”כ למה לא כתיב בכאן נהר כמו שכתוב שם אלא ודאי אי הוה כתיב נהר לא הייתי יודע על איזה נהר קאי שד’ נהרות כתובים לעיל לכך כתיב יאור כלומר הנהר שעשוים יאורים דכל שאר נהרות אינן קרויין יאורין חוץ מנילוס כמו שמפרש ואזיל ונילוס היינו פישון הנזכר לעיל בפרשת בראשית כדפירש רש”י שם וכל שאר נהרות דנקט רש”י קאי אשאר ג’ נהרות הכתובים בבראשית:

שכל הארץ עשויין יאורים יאורים בידי אדם ונילוס עולה כו’. דקשה לו כיון דקאי אאחד מד’ נהרות         הנזכרים בבראשית למה לא הזכיר אותו בשמו המיוחד אלא לפי שעשוי יאורים יאורים על ידי בני אדם לכן        קראו בשם יאור וכל שאר נהרות אינם עשויים כן:

Question #6)

The Ohr HaCahim asks another question.  The language of וּפַרְעֹ֣ה חֹלֵ֔ם implies that at the end of two years Pharah was already dreaming.  Proper language would be that at the end of two years, Pharaoh dreamt.   וחָלַם פרעה 

The Ohr HaChaim has two answers. I love his second answer and will explain it here:

 ועוד אפשר שיכוין לומר כי שנתים ימים ופרעה חולם בתמידות חלום זה אלא שלא היה יודע שחלם ולסוף שנתים חלם ולא שכח: 

The Ohr Hachaim is saying that during the entire two years Pharaoh was dreaming the dream of the cows and grains;  however he forgot it every morning.  At the end of the two years he dreamt and did not forget.  What does the Ohr HaChaim mean?  The redemption via the dreams of Pharaoh were to happen two years earlier and already existed.  When Yoseph added the two words and Harshem delayed Joseph’s redemption for two years, Hashem did not pull the dreams  back.  They already existed in the world.   Perhaps if Yosef could have done Tshuvah his redemption would have occurred before two years.

I think the Ohr HaChaim is saying something more profound.  Pharaoh forgot not because Hashem made him forget, but because he did not care.  He was not a benevolent ruler who truly cared about the Egyptians.  He was a typical tyrannical ruler who only cared about himself, his power,  and ruled harshly, with evil.  This is why he forgot. His dreams were not able to break through from his dream state to his consciousness.  There were  undercurrents in the world from Hashem that hard times were coming and also one one of redemption.   Had he been a ruler who truly cared about his subjects, such as a Dovid Hamelech or an Abraham Lincoln, he would have plugged into the Ratzon Hashem and remembered the dream.   Perhaps, if Pharaoh remembered the dream Yoseph would have been freed earlier because he would  have been needed to save the world.  This is what the Ohr HaChaim is telling us.  There are times of tremendous change in the world, of Siattah Dismayah in the world.  The world is changing, with Hashem putting the change into the spiritual atmosphere of the world where anyone with proper spiritual sensitivity can sense and plug into the Tatzon Hashem.

There are leaders who understood the undercurrent of a changing world and took their efforts into a new direction and did great things because they were plugged into the Ratzon Hashem.  In 1967 after the six day war, there was a new dimension Hashem put into the world, it was a world of T’shuvah.   The Lubavitcher Rebbe plugged into this new feeling in the world for a return to Judaism and his efforts became supercharged.  He made this a reality.   The Rebbe started his Tefillin campaign to bring light to the world.  The Rebbe understood that putting Tefillin on Jewish men is not a small unimportant feat.  It would change the life of the person  and bring positive results to the Jewish world.  The Lubavitcher also cared about the world at large and many non-Jewish people came to him for a blessing.

The second one was Theodore Herzl.  He came from the secular side.  He saw that the Jewish people were not going to survive Europe.  He was able to plug into the Ratzon Hashem due to his desire to help his fellow Jews and be the agent of change.  He plugged into the Ratzon Hashem just like Pharaoh could have.   Theodore Herzl created the reality of a Jewish state from a dream.    He died at 44 from the strain of efforts.  Martin Brody has a beautiful essay on the repentance of Theordoe Herzl and I have spoken about the complete Tshuva of Herzl.  Both are on my website, Kotzk.com,

Chapter 41 – Verse 2:

וְהִנֵּ֣ה מִן־הַיְאֹ֗ר עֹלֹת֙ שֶׁ֣בַע פָּר֔וֹת יְפ֥וֹת מַרְאֶ֖ה וּבְרִיאֹ֣ת בָּשָׂ֑ר וַתִּרְעֶ֖ינָה בָּאָֽחוּ׃

When out of the Nile there came up seven cows, handsome and sturdy, and they grazed in the reed grass. 

יפות מראה. סִימָן הוּא לִימֵי שֹׂבַע, שֶׁהַבְּרִיּוֹת נִרְאוֹת יָפוֹת זוֹ לָזוֹ, שֶׁאֵין עֵין בְּרִיָּה צָרָה בַחֲבֶרְתָּהּ:: 

Compare this Rashi to Onkleys who say Rashi but in the last two words of the Pasuk. 

Onkelys                                :וְהָא מִן נַהֲרָא סָלְקָן שְׁבַע תּוֹרָן שַׁפִּירָן לְמֶחֱזֵי וּפַטִּימָן בְּשָׂר וְרָעְיָן בְּאַחֲוָה:

Onkelys is saying Pshat like this Medresh – 89:4 – 

 וַתִּרְעֶינָה בָּאָחוּ, אַהֲבָה וְאַחֲוָה בָּעוֹלָם, וְכֵן הוּא אוֹמֵר (ישעיה ל, כג):  יִרְעֶה מִקְנֶיךָ בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא כַּר נִרְחָב, כִּירִי עֶבֶד קִירִי אָדוֹן. וְכֵן הוּא אוֹמֵר (תהלים עב, ג): יִשְׂאוּ הָרִים שָׁלוֹם, אָמַר רַב אַחָא נָשְׂאוּ הָרִים נְשִׂיאָתָן שָׁלוֹם לָעָם.

Targum Yonasan Ben Uziel does not pick up on this concept at all.

וְהָא מִן נַהֲרָא סַלְקַן שְׁבַע תּוֹרָתֵי שַׁפִּירָן לְמֵיחֲמֵי וּפַטִימָן בִּשְרָא וְרַעֲיָין בְּגוֹי גוּמַיָא

and, behold, from the river came up seven oxen good-looking and fat-fleshed; and they grazed in the midst of the sedges.

Rashi                    (11 – באחו. בָּאֲגַם, מריש”ק בְּלַעַז, כְּמוֹ יִשְׂגֶּא אָחוּ (איוב ח

 Sefaria: IN THE REED-GRASS — in the marshy land. old French marais; English, marsh.  Similar is (Job 8:11) “Can reed-grass (אחו) grow?”

Artscroll:   In the Swamp i.e.   בָּאֲגַם – in the marshland, marese in Old French. It is like   אָחוּ in  יִשְׂגֶּא אָחוּ  in “(Would) a swamp flourish”

However Rashi seems to contradict himself from the Pasuk in Iyuv 8:11 where Rashi says –  ביצה מריש”ק בלע”ז:   The question is what is the translation of  אחו.  Here Rashi says swamp and the Ibn Ezra says it is either a valley where there is foliage or it is  a name of a specific plant. Perhaps Rashi feels that the old France word of מריש”ק is the meaning of אחו and  ביצה.       

Iyuv 8:11הֲיִֽגְאֶה־גֹּ֭מֶא בְּלֹ֣א בִצָּ֑ה יִשְׂגֶּה־אָ֥חוּ בְלִי־מָֽיִם                  ׃

Can papyrus thrive without marsh? Can rushes grow without water?

Rashi in Iyuv 8:13:

היגאה גומא. זאת יאמרו אין הגומא גדל אלא בעוד שהביצה לחה במימיה ובליחלוחיה, ביצה מריש”ק בלע”ז:

Can papyrus shoot up They will say this: Papyrus cannot grow except when the marsh is wet with its water and its moisture. בִצָה is marese in Old French, a marsh.

Ibn Ezra:   בלא בצה – כמו: ביצאותיו וגבאיו.  

אחו – ענינו צמחי אחו, כמו: ותרעינה באחו. 

Mezudas Tzion: ( אחו. שם צמח מה וכן ותרענה באחו (בראשית מא  2 

________________________________________________________________________________

Chapter 41 Verse 16:

וַיַּ֨עַן יוֹסֵ֧ף אֶת־פַּרְעֹ֛ה לֵאמֹ֖ר בִּלְעָדָ֑י אֱלֹהִ֕ים יַעֲנֶ֖ה אֶת־שְׁל֥וֹם פַּרְעֹֽה׃

Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, “Not I! God will see (respond) to Pharaoh’s welfare.”

Both Sefaria and Artscroll translated the word ־שְׁל֥וֹם פַּרְעֹֽה׃ as the welfare of Pharah.  I believe that there are better words.   Yoseph was only asked to interpret the dream yet he said more, that upon hearing the bad news, God will additionally show Pharah a path to navigate through the bad times and will restore Pharaoh’s peace of mind, his equilibrium.  Joseph is saying that I will not only be interpreting your dream, but I will bring you solutions from God that will bring you peace of mind.  When people have a need or want advice, it is not enough to just listen and give advice, but to also embrace them and make them feel protected, that everything will be okay.  It is also emotional support.  

This is a little off topic.  When my mother moved to Lakewood, NJ in 1980 to take care of her parents, once they heard that my mother was coming, they felt better.  It was my mother’s presence that made them feel that everything will be okay. 

Allstate is the Good Hands People.  

Chapter 41 Verse 45:

וַיִּקְרָ֨א פַרְעֹ֣ה שֵׁם־יוֹסֵף֮ צָֽפְנַ֣ת פַּעְנֵחַ֒ וַיִּתֶּן־ל֣וֹ אֶת־אָֽסְנַ֗ת בַּת־פּ֥וֹטִי פֶ֛רַע כֹּהֵ֥ן אֹ֖ן לְאִשָּׁ֑ה וַיֵּצֵ֥א יוֹסֵ֖ף עַל־אֶ֥רֶץ מִצְרָֽיִם׃

Pharaoh then gave Joseph the name Zaphenath-paneah; and he gave him for a wife Asenath daughter of Poti-phera, priest of On. Thus Joseph emerged in charge of the land of Egypt.—

Targum Yonasan Ben Uziel:

וּקְרָא פַרְעה שְׁמֵיהּ דְיוֹסֵף גַבְרָא דִטְמִירָן מְפַרְסֵם וִיהַב לֵיהּ יַת אָסְנַת דִילֵידַת דִינָה לִשְׁכֶם וּרְבֵיתָה אִיתַּת פּוֹטִיפֶרַע רַבָּא דְטָנִיס לְאִינְתּוּ וּנְפַק יוֹסֵף שַׁלִיט עַל אַרְעָא דְמִצְרַיִם

And Pharaoh called the name of Joseph, The man who revealeth mysteries. And he gave him Asenath, whom Dinah had borne to Shekem, and the wife of Potiphera prince (Rabba) of Tanis had brought up, to be his wife. And Joseph went forth as ruler over the land of Mizraim.

It was very appropriate that Yoseph would marry his niece’s daughter.  Asnath’s grandmother was Leah and mother was Dinah.  She was the daughter of great people.  See my Torah on Bersehich 34:1 –  וַתֵּצֵ֤א דִינָה֙ בַּת־לֵאָ֔ה אֲשֶׁ֥ר יָלְדָ֖ה לְיַעֲקֹ֑ב לִרְא֖וֹת בִּבְנ֥וֹת הָאָֽרֶץ׃. 

Daas Zekanim:

ויתן לו את אסנת. וא”ת יוסף שהי’ מלך איך נשא בת הדיוט. ונ”ל לפי שמתחלה הי’ יוסף עבד לפוטיפר אמר בלבו אם לא אעשה רצונו לישא בתו יזלזלני וילשין אותי שהייתי עבדו אשאנה ויכבדני. ועוד י”ל שנשאה מפני שהית’ מזרע יעקב כדפי’ רש”י בפ’ וישלח דבת דינה הית’ משכם ותלה לה יעקב אבינו קמיע בצוארה והשליכה והובאה למצרים ע”י נס כדפרישית וגדלה פוטיפר בביתו ולכך נקראת על שמו כמו שמצינו גבי משה רבינו ע”ה אלה בני בתיה וגו’. וכשעבר יוסף בכל ארץ מצרים יצאו כל הנשים לראות יפיו של יוסף כדכתיב בנות צעדה עלי שור וכל אחת זורקת לו חפץ או תכשיט וזו לא היה לה מה לזרוק וזרקה לו הקמיע שהיה בצוארה ועיין בו וראה שהיא מזרעו של יעקב ונשאה:

Sferno:

ויצא יוסף על ארץ מצרים יצא מלפני פרעה באופן מורה שהיה שליט על כל ארץ מצרים

, Yoseph  walked away from Pharaoh  in a bearing of royalty which indicated that he was now the ruler

 over the whole nation

Yospeh walked away from Pharaoh in a manner that he was ruler of the entire nation of Egypt.  The Sferno is saying Joseph’s entire bearing changed, he looked regal.   Took on the persona of  someone who was incharge.  It showed on his face, in his mannerisms, how he spoke, and in every action he took.

Chapter 41: Verse 47:

וַתַּ֣עַשׂ הָאָ֔רֶץ בְּשֶׁ֖בַע שְׁנֵ֣י הַשָּׂבָ֑ע לִקְמָצִֽים׃-During the seven years of plenty, the land produced in abundance.

Look at Rashi and Onkelys.  This is very confusing and I could not understand the Pasuk.

Chapter 41: Verse 51

וַיִּקְרָ֥א יוֹסֵ֛ף אֶת־שֵׁ֥ם הַבְּכ֖וֹר מְנַשֶּׁ֑ה כִּֽי־נַשַּׁ֤נִי אֱלֹהִים֙ אֶת־כָּל־עֲמָלִ֔י וְאֵ֖ת כָּל־בֵּ֥ית אָבִֽי׃

Joseph named the first-born Manasseh, meaning, “God has made me forget completely my hardship and my parental home.”

What is the Pshat in this name?

Chapter 41: Verse 55

וַתִּרְעַב֙ כָּל־אֶ֣רֶץ מִצְרַ֔יִם וַיִּצְעַ֥ק הָעָ֛ם אֶל־פַּרְעֹ֖ה לַלָּ֑חֶם וַיֹּ֨אמֶר פַּרְעֹ֤ה לְכָל־מִצְרַ֙יִם֙ לְכ֣וּ אֶל־יוֹסֵ֔ף אֲשֶׁר־יֹאמַ֥ר לָכֶ֖ם תַּעֲשֽׂוּ׃

And when all the land of Egypt felt the hunger, the people cried out to Pharaoh for bread; and Pharaoh said to all the Egyptians, “Go to Jo-seph; whatever he tells you, you shall do.”—

ותרעב כל ארץ מצרים AND THE LAND OF EGYPT WAS FAMISHED — for all the grain they had stored up rotted except that of Joseph (cf. Genesis Rabbah 91:5).   He asked them “Why did you yourselves not lay up corn? Did he not publicly announce that years of famine were coming?” They answered him, “We gathered in much, but it has rotted”. He said to them, “If this be so — what he saith to you, do. See, he laid a decree upon the produce and it rotted; what will happen if he lays a decree upon us that we should die!” (cf. Genesis Rabbah 91:5)

Pharaoh was duplicitous.  He could have told Joseph not require circumcision.  He included himself with the common man and said  that Joseph is a demon, a Rasputin.  Yoseph can control nature and I, the mighty Sungod, is powerless.  Pharaoh knew that this is rubbish.  He wanted to find a scapegoat and someone to blame when the people were suffering. This is the first case of setting up a scapegoat if things go bad.   This is the first instance of anti-Semitism where the Jew is viewed as controlling the world, even nature itself.

Chapter 41, Verse 21:

וַיֹּאמְר֞וּ אִ֣ישׁ אֶל־אָחִ֗יו אֲבָל֮ אֲשֵׁמִ֣ים ׀ אֲנַחְנוּ֮ עַל־אָחִינוּ֒ אֲשֶׁ֨ר רָאִ֜ינוּ צָרַ֥ת נַפְשׁ֛וֹ בְּהִתְחַֽנְנ֥וֹ אֵלֵ֖ינוּ וְלֹ֣א שָׁמָ֑עְנוּ עַל־כֵּן֙ בָּ֣אָה אֵלֵ֔ינוּ הַצָּרָ֖ה הַזֹּֽאת׃

They said to one another, “Alas, we are being punished on account of our brother, because we looked on at his anguish, yet paid no heed as he pleaded with us. That is why this distress has come upon us.”

Fascinating Ohr HaChaim:

ויאמרו וגו’ אבל. תיבת אבל אין לה משמעות כאן. והמתרגם אמר בקושטא. וגם עליה דן אנכי למה הוצרכו לומר בקושטא. עוד למה האריכו לשון לומר אשר ראינו וגו’ ולא אמרו סתם, ועוד היה להם לומר אשר מכרנוהו שהוא תכלית העון.

ואולי שנתכוונו לומר להיות שצדדו בטעם צרה זו אם הוא בשביל מכר יוסף ודחו טעם זה כפי מה שכתבתי למעלה (ל”ז כ’) שכפי הדין דנוהו להריגה ואם כן המכר שעשו לו הוא אדרבה מדת החסד, ואם על שגרמו צרת אביהם אדרבה דבר זה יוסיף לו מכאוב ולא יעשה ה’ יסורי עון צער אביהם בדבר שיגדל עוד צער על צערו, ואשר על כן לא מצאו עון ואמרו אבל אשמים וגו’ אשר ראינו וגו’ פי’ שעל כל פנים היה להם לרחם עליו בראות אחיהם מתחנן על סכנת נפשו ונתאכזרו עליו ודבר זה מגונה לצדיקים לעשותו על כן באה וגו’:

Ohr HaChaim 37:20

ועתה לכו וגו’. פי’ לכו שקודם שיגיע הוא אצלם הם ילכו לקראתו, ולזה דקדק לומר ועתה באותו עת עצמו לכו. וטעמם לצד הזריזות והמהירות אשר לא יכלו לסבול עד שיגיע אליהם. ולזה תמצא שלא עכבו בהגיעו אצלם אלא תיכף ומיד כאשר בא עשו מה שעשו, ואומרם ונהרגהו על דרך אומרם ז”ל (ב”ק כו.) עשרה בני אדם שהרגו אדם אחד אם כולם יחד פטורים. לזה נתחכמו ואמרו ונהרגהו יחד שבזה יהיו פטורים מדיני אדם:

ואומרו ונשליכהו וגו’ ואמרנו פירוש שכשנשליכהו בבורות מן הסתם חולדה וברדלס המצויים בבורות יאכלוהו ובזה נוכל לומר חיה רעה אכלתהו לא שיאמרו חיה רעה הרגתהו ובזה אין מוציאין מפיהם דבר שקר: 

ואם תאמר על מי סמכו שבטי יה להרוג את הנפש ומה גם נפש צדיק אחיהם, והגם שיעצו להרוג אותו בדרך שאינם חייבין כמו שכתבנו אף על פי כן אינן פטורים מדיני שמים וה’ יבוא במשפט:

אולי שהאחים דנו בו דין עד זומם כי מצינו שהוא הביא דבתם רעה אל אביהם ואמר דברים שיתחייבו מיתה על עדותו, ההוא אמר שאכלו אבר מן החי, ההוא אמר שהם בעלי עריות, ועל כל אחת מהם בני נח מתחייבים מיתה, ובן נח נהרג על פי עד אחד בלא עדים ובלא התראה ועל עדות הקרובים ג”כ (רמב”ם הל’ מלכים פ”ט) אשר על כן דנו בו משפט עד זומם ופטורים הם מדיני שמים. אלא דלצד דיני אדם אינם פטורים כי אין להם הזמה לזה נתחכמו להמיתו כולן יחד שבזה אין חיוב לכולן כמו שכתבנו, אבל לדין השמים הם פטורים מטעם שידעו נאמנה כי הוא ביקש להורגם, וכל זה הוא סיבת הסיבות לעשות ה’ אשר זמם, ואולי שרמזו בדבריהם שיעשו תשובה לבסוף ואין לך דבר שעומד בפני התשובה, והוא אומרו ועתה ואמרו ז”ל (ב”ר פ’ כ”א) ואין ועתה אלא תשובה וזה דרך דרש: 

PARSHAS VAYICHI 2020

Shabbos Parshas VaYechi – January 2, 2020

Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks Torah – The Conflict of Brothers

Yosef’s Forgiveness 

Resh Lakish and Repentance

Life of My Mother Jean Morgenstern

April 1865 – The Month That Saved America by Jay Winick

President Abraham Lincoln and General Ulysses S. Grant

Surrender at Appomattox

The First Ramban on Parshas VaYechi

The First Kli Yakar on Parshas VaYechi

The Right Honourable
The Lord Sacks
Sacks smiling

Family Update:

We drove back from Toronto to Chicago this past Sunday. December 28th.   My  mother-in-law came back from Baycrest where she was rehabbing from surgery for a broken hip.  She has not changed.    Serka came down with Covid and we decided to head back to Chicago.   Serka  still has a loss of smell and taste.  She finished her quarantine since she got Covid and tested positive.  I have to quarantine for another week.  I am listening to Carlbach as I am writing this.

On Shabbos, I read about 100 pages of the book, April 1865 – The Month that Saved America by Jay Winik written in 2001.

Rabbi Sacks:

Rabbi Sacks has a 7 page Torah Vort in his book  Covenant and Conversation titled, The Future of the Past.   Rabbi Sacks focuses on Bereshis 50:19-20 –  Pages 341-342:

The brothers told Joseph the following in Verse 50:15- 16

  וַיְצַוּ֕וּ אֶל־יוֹסֵ֖ף לֵאמֹ֑ר אָבִ֣יךָ צִוָּ֔ה לִפְנֵ֥י מוֹת֖וֹ לֵאמֹֽר׃

So they sent this message to Joseph, “Before his death your father left this instruction:

כֹּֽה־תֹאמְר֣וּ לְיוֹסֵ֗ף אָ֣נָּ֡א שָׂ֣א נָ֠א פֶּ֣שַׁע אַחֶ֤יךָ וְחַטָּאתָם֙ כִּי־רָעָ֣ה גְמָל֔וּךָ וְעַתָּה֙ שָׂ֣א נָ֔א לְפֶ֥שַׁע עַבְדֵ֖י אֱלֹהֵ֣י אָבִ֑יךָ וַיֵּ֥בְךְּ יוֹסֵ֖ף בְּדַבְּרָ֥ם אֵלָֽיו׃

So shall you say to Joseph, ‘Forgive, I urge you, the offense and guilt of your brothers who treated you so harshly.’ Therefore, please forgive the offense of the servants of the God of your father.” And Joseph was in tears as they spoke to him. 

Joseph probably knew that his father never told his brothers what they claimed.  Rabbi Sacks says ”Yet Joseph takes his brothers seriously – not because he believes them but because the very fact that they say this indicates that they are still feeling anxious and guilty.  His response is majestic in its generosity, as follows:

וַיֹּ֧אמֶר אֲלֵהֶ֛ם יוֹסֵ֖ף אַל־תִּירָ֑אוּ כִּ֛י הֲתַ֥חַת אֱלֹהִ֖ים אָֽנִי׃       

But Joseph said to them, “Have no fear! Am I a substitute for God?

וְאַתֶּ֕ם חֲשַׁבְתֶּ֥ם עָלַ֖י רָעָ֑ה אֱלֹהִים֙ חֲשָׁבָ֣הּ לְטֹבָ֔ה לְמַ֗עַן עֲשֹׂ֛ה כַּיּ֥וֹם הַזֶּ֖ה לְהַחֲיֹ֥ת עַם־רָֽב׃

Besides, although you intended me harm, God intended it for good, so as to bring about the                                     present  result—the survival of many people. 

Rabbi Sacks writes in page 342 of his book,  “As we have already discussed, this final scene is the resolution of one of  the central problems of the book of Genesis:  the continuing theme of sibling rivalry.  A book replete with tensions, hatred and competition ends with forgiveness.  This closing is essential to the biblical drama of redemption, for if brothers cannot live together, how can nations?  And if nations cannot live together, how can the human world survive?  Only now with the reconciliation of Joseph and his brothers, can the story move on to ther birth of Isael as a nation, passing from the crucible of slavery  to the constitution of freedom as a people under the sovereignty of God.”

April 1865 – The Month That Saved the Union:

How appropriate that  over Shabbos  I read about 100 pages from Jay Winik’s book, April 1865.   The Civil War pitted brother against brother.  It is the same theme that Rabbi Sacks talks about, the need to heal the rupture so that the future can move forward.  President Abraham understood that just like he won the war, he had to win the peace.  

I quote from page 208 of Jay Winik’s book, “After four bloody years of reaching for the Confederacy’s jugular, Lincoln’s humanity is unchanged,  This avatar of total war is a staunch advocate of a soft peace, a generous peace, a magnanimous peace, just as Grant has carried out at Appomattox.   It is his River Queen doctrine writ large.  So passionately does he feel about this matter that he will directly tell his cabinet today, in no uncertain words, there is “no greater or more important [issue] before us, or any future Cabinet” than Reconstruction.”

Surrender At Appomattox:

Jay Winik writes on page 193.  “Appomattox was not preordained.  There were no established rules or well-worn script.  If anything, retribution had been the larger and longer precedent.  So, if these moments teemed with hope — and they did — it was largely due to two men, who rose to the occasion, to Grant’s and Lee’s respective actions; one general, magnanimous in victory, the other, gracious and equally dignified in defeat, the two of them, for their own reasons and in their ways, fervently interested in beginning the process to bind up the wounds of the last four years.  And yes. If, paradoxically these were among Lee’s finest hours, and they were, so, too, were they Grant’s greatest moments.”

General Ulysses S. Grant treated General Robert E. Lee and the surrender of Lee’s army with dignity and tenderness.  The Union allowed General Lee’s men to surrender with dignity.  There was a stacking of the arms and acknowledgment that the men who were surrendering were honorable and deserving of respect.   General Grant carried out President Abraham Lincoln’s orders at City Point (General Grant’s command post) that there will be no bloody work and no  hangings.  This was atypical of war where the victors exact punishment on the defeated army with hangings, killings, and brutality.

The second half of Rabbi Jonathan Sack’s Torah is what I want to explain and is what animates me.

Yoma 86B states in the name of Resh Lakish:

אמר ריש לקיש גדולה תשובה שזדונות נעשות לו כשגגות שנאמר (הושע יד, ב) שובה ישראל עד ה’ אלהיך כי כשלת בעונך הא עון מזיד הוא וקא קרי ליה מכשול איני והאמר ריש לקיש גדולה תשובה שזדונות נעשות לו כזכיות שנאמר (יחזקאל לג, יט) ובשוב רשע מרשעתו ועשה משפט וצדקה עליהם (חיה) יחיה לא קשיא כאן מאהבה כאן מיראה

Reish Lakish said: Great is repentance, as the penitent’s intentional sins are counted for him as unwitting transgressions, as it is stated: “Return, Israel, to the Lord your God, for you have stumbled in your iniquity” (Hosea 14:2). The Gemara analyzes this: Doesn’t “iniquity” mean an intentional sin? Yet the prophet calls it stumbling, implying that one who repents is considered as though he only stumbled accidentally in his transgression. The Gemara asks: Is that so? Didn’t Reish Lakish himself say: Great is repentance, as one’s intentional sins are counted for him as merits, as it is stated: “And when the wicked turns from his wickedness, and does that which is lawful and right, he shall live thereby” (Ezekiel 33:19), and all his deeds, even his transgressions, will become praiseworthy? The Gemara reconciles: This is not difficult: Here, when one repents out of love, his sins become like merits; there, when one repents out of fear, his sins are counted as unwitting transgressions.

Rabbi Sacks asks – we understand that repentance can change your intent  from intentional sins to unwitting transgressions.    However, how does your deliberate sin count as merits.  How do you change the reality of what you did? It has been done, it is part of the past.  Even the Pasuk that Resh Lakish brings down in Ezekial does not support what Resh Lakish says.  The Pasuk says that he will live in the future but not that his past wrongdoing is a merit.

Rabbi Sacks answered that “once the brothers had undergone complete repentance, their original intent was cancelled out.  It was now possible to see the good, as well as the bad consequences of their act – and to attribute the former (good acts) to them.  Strpped of their initial aim, the act could instead be defined by what part it played in a providential drama whose outcome was only now fully apparent in retrospect.”  God wanted Joseph to be sold down to Egypt.  If the brothers had not sold Joseph perhaps on  his way back home, Joseph would have been kidnapped.  What the brothers did was wrong, however, now since they regretted their actions, their original intent is cancelled out and their sale of Joseph  is part of God’s divine plan.  This is what Yosef told the brothers in Verses 50:19-20.  

This is the story of my mother’s life.  She made major  mistakes in her life.  She had to pick herself off the mat, fight for everything, suffer setbacks, and in the end this humble person whose prospects for a good life initially seemed unattainable, became the matriarch of a glorious family.   Her children and grandchildren flourished, raised beautiful families, found success in America, and lived the American dream.   When my mother died in late 2017 she had over 140 living children, grandchildren, great grandchildren.  The number is now approaching 150.  My mother’s mistakes ended up becoming the foundation for a great and glorious family.  Her mistakes became merits.     This is what my sister Karen told my mother after my mother got sick.  My mother was confined to the house and no longer able to come and go.  All she did was sit and replay her  life in her mind.    She expressed her anguish to Karen about her mistakes.  Karen responded, Ma look what your mistakes produced, a Pesach and an Arela and their families.  Look at Lisa and Mitch.  We should only be so lucky.

I must add that my grandparents Sholem and Chana Feigal Sklar came to America and stayed Orthodox.  They did not change.  My grandfather did not change in America, kept his beard, and lived his life as he lived in Europe.    Zedi had 6 brothers and sisters in America that came before him and none remained Orthodox.  They told him that here in America you have to become American and shave your beard.  Initially, his siblings did have success with Esther Diamond brothers getting PHDs from the University of Chicago and working on the Manhattan project.  However, in 2020 all  his 6 brothers and sisters may have 50 descendants, only two Orthodox.  However in terms of success in America Zedi and Bubi’s kids have succeeded beyond expectations in 1923 living on Maxwell Street.  They now have over 250 descendents including Torah scholars, doctors, lawyers, businessmen and of course myself.

I saw a very nice Ramban at the beginning of the Sedra:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nachmanides

ויחי יעקב בארץ מצרים שבע עשרה שנה כבר הזכרתי (לעיל מג יד) כי רדת יעקב למצרים הוא גלותינו היום ביד החיה הרביעית (דניאל ז ז) רומי הרשעה כי בני יעקב הם עצמם סבבו רדתם שם במכירת יוסף אחיהם ויעקב ירד שם מפני הרעב וחשב להנצל עם בנו בבית אוהב לו כי פרעה אוהב את יוסף וכבן* לו והיו סבורים לעלות משם ככלות הרעב מארץ כנען כמו שאמרו (לעיל מז ד) לגור בארץ באנו כי אין מרעה לצאן אשר לעבדיך כי כבד הרעב בארץ כנען והנה לא עלו אבל ארך עליהם הגלות ומת שם ועלו עצמותיו   וזקני פרעה ושריו העלוהו ועשו עמו אבל כבד וכן אנחנו עם רומי ואדום אחינו הסיבונו ביאתינו בידם כי כרתו ברית עם הרומיים ואגריפס המלך האחרון לבית שני ברח אליהם לעזרה ומפני הרעב נלכדו אנשי ירושלים והגלות ארך עלינו מאד לא נודע קצו כשאר הגליות ואנחנו בו כמתים אומרים יבשו עצמותינו נגזרנו לנו ויעלו אותנו מכל העמים מנחה לה’** ויהיה להם אבל כבד בראותם כבודנו*** ואנחנו נראה בנקמת ה’ יקימנו ונחיה לפניו****:

*I thought this was not true.  I have written that Pharaoh viewed Yosef as his hatchet man based on a Pasuk in Miktaz.  Perhaps both are true that he did love Yoseph.  At the same time when needed, he made Yoseph a scapegoat and his hatchet man.  

** I believe this was fulfilled in the first half of the 20th century starting with the Balfour Declaration and ending with 1948 when the State of Israel was declared.

*** Perhaps this is what has and is what is happening over the last 50 years starting with the UN and spreading to the EU. They cannot accept Israel’s great success and use it to better the Arab world and the entire world.  Rather than harnessing the entrepreneurship and energy of Israel, they choose to attempt to hurt and destroy Israel, keeping over 1 Billion people enslaved to poverty, religious fanatics, megalomaniacs, without hope for the future.   

**** We want the world to be a partner with the Jews and Israel, and not face retribution.

I also spent time on this Kli Yakar:   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shlomo_Ephraim_Luntschitz

ויחי יעקב בארץ מצרים וגו’. למה פרשה זו סתומה, אלא כיון שנפטר יעקב התחיל השעבוד ד״א שבקש לגלות הקץ ונסתם ממנו. ד״א שנסתמו ממנו כל צרות שבעולם. כך היא הנוסחא בב״ר (צו א) כפי הנראה שאין סמך מן המקרא לכל הדרשות האלו וכולם כמתנבאים. ואשר נראה לי בזה לפי שמצינו כאן סתימה שלא כדרך הפרשיות הסתומות שבתורה שיש בהם ריוח לפחות כשיעור פרשה סתומה, וכאן אין ריוח כלל ודאי שכונת עזרא הסופר להסמיך פסוק ויחי לפסוק שלפניו וישב ישראל בארץ גושן ויאחזו בה ויפרו וירבו מאד ויחי יעקב וגו’. כאילו היה הכל פסוק אחד, ע״כ נחלקו ג’ לשונות אלו במשמעות דורשין.

כי ללשון ראשון הדורש, שכיון שנפטר יעקב התחיל השיעבוד יהיה קישור שני פסוקים אלו על זה האופן, כי מתחילה אמר וישב ישראל בארץ גושן הורה בלשון ישיבה שהיה להם ישיבה של שלוה ומנוחה, ויאחזו שהיה להם גם אחוזה בארץ ויפרו וירבו מאד, וכל זה היה בזמן ויחי יעקב כי בחייו עמד להם זכות יעקב שזכו לכל אלה, מכלל שבמותו פסק זכותו ופסק הכל, כי לא היה להם עוד ישיבה של שלום מצד השעבוד, וכ״ש שלא היחה להם אחוזה בארץ כי עבדים המה, וכן לא ניתן להם לפרות ולרבות כי בקשו להמעיטם ע״י העינוי באמרם פן ירבה, ולפי זה היתה מיתת יעקב סבת השעבוד.

ונוכל לומר בהפך זה, שהתחלת השעבוד היה סבת מיתתו כי קיצר הקדוש ברוך הוא שנותיו שלא הגיע לימי אבותיו שלא יראה בשעבוד בניו, כי בא הזמן של ועבדום וענו אותם. לכך נאמר ויקרבו ימי ישראל למות ואמרו רבותינו ז״ל (בר״ר צו ד) כל מי שנאמר בו קריבה לא הגיע לימי אבותיו, ובדרך זה יהיה הסמיכות מבואר ג״כ כמו בדרך ראשון, ומספר י״ז שנה דנקט לומר שמכירתו של יוסף שהיה בן י״ז שנה, גרם להם שלא ישבו בשלום במצרים כ״א י״ז שנה.

וללשון שלישי הדורש, לפי שנסתמו ממנו כל צרות שבעולם יאמר הכתוב אע״פ שהיה כל ימיו בצרה וגרות כמ״ש ימי מגורי ק״ל שנה מעט ורעים, מ״מ לגודל השלוה שהיה לו תוך י״ז שנים שראה ישיבת בניו בשלום ויאחזו בארץ ויפרו וירבו נשכחו ממנו כל הצרות הראשונות שעברו עליו והיו כלא היו, לכך נאמר ויהי ימי יעקב שני חייו קמ״ז שנה כי אותן ק״ל שנים לא היו נחשבים מכלל ימי חייו לגודל צרותיו, ועכשיו למפרע נחשבו כולם שני חייו, וזה לפי שנסתמו ממנו כל הצרות שעברו וכאילו היה חי חיים נעימים ועריבים בכל שנותיו, שהרי באמת יוסף היה חי, לכך סמך ויחי יעקב אל הפסוק הקודם, ומה שהשמיט רש״י לשון זה לפי שנראה לו שהיינו הך הלשון ראשון כאשר הוא מבואר למבין בהתבוננות מעט.

ואולם הלשון השני הדורש, שבקש לגלות הקץ ונסתלקה ממנו השכינה, לפי שבא לתרץ מהו שאמר ויחי יעקב בארץ מצרים י״ז שנה מאי קמ״ל, וכי עדיין לא ידענו שהיה במצרים י״ז שנה, שהרי בבואו לפני פרעה אמר ימי מגורי ק״ל שנה, וא״כ למה הוצרך לומר שהיה חי במצרים י״ז שנה, ועוד למה לא הזכיר לשון זה באברהם ויצחק או אמהות, אלא ודאי שבא להורות שפרשה השכינה ממנו, לפי שנאמר למעלה ותחי רוח יעקב אביהם, שפירושו ששרתה עליו השכינה מדקאמר רוח יעקב, וסד״א ששרתה עליו רוח הקודש כל הימים עד יום מותו, קמ״ל ויחי יעקב בארץ מצרים כי בבואו למצרים חי יעקב אבל לא רוח יעקב שנסתלקה ממנו השכינה מיד, לפי שאמר אמותה הפעם אחרי ראותי את פניך, וא״כ מיד היה מוכן אל הצואה לצוות מחמת מיתה והיה חושש הקב״ה פן יגלה הקץ על כן נסתלקה ממנו השכינה, ועדיין לא ידענו מאיזו טעם נסתלקה שכינה ממנו, ע״כ באה פרשה זו סתומה לסמכה לפסוק וישב ישראל בארץ גושן, לפי שמהידוע שימשך נזק גדול מן ידיעת הקץ, כי הדורות הקודמים היודעים שהגאולה לא תהיה בימיהם לא ידרשו את פני ה’ לבקש על הגאולה ועל התמורה.

וכן פירש בעקידה, על המדרש (ילקו״ש קנז מט) האומר כשבקש יעקב לגלות הקץ אמר הקב״ה ולא אותי קראת יעקב (ישעיה מג כב) ר״ל שלא היית חס על כבודי, כי מידיעה זו ימשך נזק זה שלא יקראו אותי ולא יבקשו פני הדורות הקודמים ויבקשו לישב וכמתיאשים מן הגאולה, על כן סתם וחתם ה’ הקץ האחרון כדי שבכל דור ודור יבקשו את פני ה’ ואת דוד מלכם ויהיו מחכים קץ ישועתו תמיד, כאשר בעונינו מדה זו מצוייה בינינו אפילו בזמן שאין הקץ נודע מ״מ רבים המה עמי הארץ המתישבים בארצות העמים ובונין להם בתים ספונים וחשובים ושל אבנים בנין הקיום, ובסבה זו לעולם אינן דורשין את פני ה’ בכל לב להביאם אל ארצם, וע״כ הקב״ה מניחם שמה, 

ולהנחה זו פסוק וישב ישראל בארץ גושן. מדבר באשמת ישראל, שבקשו להיות חושבים ולהיות להם אחוזה בארץ לא להם, ונזק זה בא להם לפי שקץ גלות מצרים היה נודע להם, על כן הדורות הראשונים אשר ידעו בבירור כי לא בימיהם תהיה הגאולה ההוא בקשו להם ישיבה של קבע ואחוזה בארץ מצרים, על כן סמך לפסוק זה פסוק ויחי יעקב דלהורות שנזק זה הנמשך לאותן הדורות מחמת שהיה קצם נודע גרם לויחי יעקב אבל לא רוח יעקב, כי אם יעקב לבדו היה חי כדי שלא יגלה הקץ לאחרון ושלא יתפשט נזק זה לדורות.

Jean Morgenstern – Second Yahrzeit

Shayna Bas Sholem and Chana Feigel 

December 30, 2020 – 16 Teves 5781 

My grandparents Sholem and Chana Feigel Sklar came to America in late 1923.  My mother was born on April 27, 1924.  Shirley was already born back in Europe, Beverly came in 1929, and the last girl, Altie, was born in 1939.

It was an immigrant life.  The 1929 depression hit when my mother was five. The depression helped shape my mother’s life.  My mother married her first husband in 1943 and had two kids. Pesach in 1943 and Arela in 1946.  She divorced and married my father in 1948.  My older sister, Lisa, was born in 1950. I entered this world right before Kol Nidrei 1953. The baby of the family, Karen, was born in 1955.   My mother was a typical housewife who took care of the kids while my father worked.  She had no independence. She did not have a license, and had no money of her own.  It was not a good marriage and my parents divorced in 1966.    My mother got a divorce in a time when there was a stigma, and the emotional turmoil must have been draining. She was 42 and had to build up her life.  She had a job in the typing pool of Kemper Insurance, however, pay was low.  

Her first success was when she learned how to drive.  Our next-door neighbor, the Marrettis, helped teach Ma how to drive and she got her license.  This gave her independence.  She purchased their white car.  Pesach actually drove the car Chal Hamoad Succos from Chicago to Toronto to work.  I  remember Pesach saying, that to stay up, he would say “50 miles to Kalamaaazoo, Kalamaaazoo.  25 miles to Kalamaaazoo.”  Her next life success was when she bought a brand new green, 1971 Plymouth Duster.  One of the greatest smells in the world from Hashem is the new car smell.  My mother got to experience it in a car bought with her own money.   These two successes may seem small to most people but to my mother they were affirming that she is a success.

The green Duster became famous in Lakewood, and with the Chase boys driving it, sometimes in questionable circumstances.

In 1980  Ma was 56 years old and she moved to Lakewood to take care of her parents.  Uncle Yosef (Yasif) called and said that she has to come to Lakewood to take care of her parents, otherwise they would  end up in a nursing home.  I had a number of conversations with my mother.  I was very direct with her, but always told her during every conversation that it was her choice.   She decided to move to Lakewood.  Just by the mere mention that Ma was coming, Bubi and Zedi felt better.  My mother had an aura of competence, that she will take care of everything, everything will be fine.

In 1993 after my Bubi dies, Ma moves back to Chicago.  She was always there for everyone.  She took care of Naftali, gave him a quality of life that is unsurpassed.  She once told Sidney that God has to make her live a long life because she has to take care of Naftali. She took the boys to and from Yeshiva and took Hudi to  college every day. She  brought pizza to the boys in Telz and would let them go to Blockbuster Video to rent movies when their parents were out of town. She brought Challah and groceries for us, and so many other favors that are innumerable.   Every night as my mother laid down to sleep, she had to go over in her mind her schedule for the next day.  I admit I was a big beneficiary of Ma’s largesse and I make no excuses for it.   

This all changed in 2014 when my mother turned 90 and her health started to deteriorate,   לֹא־אוּכַ֥ל ע֖וֹד לָצֵ֣את וְלָב֑וֹא. 

Ma is the person referred to in the following Torah Temimah in this week’s Sedra.  What Siaatta Dismaya I had in finding the Torah Temimah.  The Torah Temimah decided to put in an obscure Avos D’Rav Noson on this week’s Torah portion.   I believe that this was put in by the Torah Temimah just for my mother.   The 11th Perek of Avos D’Rav Nosson states that Rabbi Tarfon says that people die because of idleness.  Even if someone does not have a job  because he or she  does not need it, they should still find any type of work and not be idle.  This was my mother; she had responsibility up until age 90.  It was amazing that my mother in her 80s was as active as someone in their 50s.  This kept her alive, relevant, young and integral to the family  She was needed and was always present.  Contrast this with people who retire and have nothing to do. They sit on a couch and just deteriorate.  I saw this happen to a close relative of mine.

ויגוע ויאסף. א”ר טרפון. אין אדם מת אלא מתוך הבטלה, שנאמר ויגוע ויאסף מזאין באור לזה, והמפרש עמל הרבה בדברים דחוקים, ונראה פשוט דסמך ארישא דקרא ויכל יעקב לצות את בניו ויגוע ויאסף, וכל זמן שהיה מצוה היה חי, ומכיון שפסק מלצוות גוע, ורמז הוא שאין אדם מת אלא מתוך הבטלה, ונ”מ בזה מבואר בפרק זה באדר”ן שישתדל כל אדם לתור לו איזו מלאכה להתעסק בה אף שא”צ לה רק שלא ישב בטל, ומסמיך זה אפסוקים שונים, יעו”ש. וע’ מש”כ השייך לענין זה לעיל בפ’ נח בפ’ ויום ולילה לא ישבתו. [אדר”נ פ’ י”א].

My mother was also a living example of a Rashbam in Shmos 22:6, cited below.

The Torah talks about two types of Shomrim – guardians in Parsha Mishpatim.  One is someone who watches a vessel and if it gets stolen the Shomer does not have to compensate the owner.  The second Shomer is someone who agrees to watch an animal.  If the animal is stolen the Shomer has to pay the owner for his loss.   The Gemora says the reason why the first Shomer is exempt from compensation is that he is an unpaid guardian while the second one is paid for his services therefore he has to accept more responsibility and if the animal is stolen,he must pay the owner for his loss.   The difference is whether or not the Shomer is paid for his services.

However, the Rashbam says that this is not the plain meaning for the text.  The Rashbam explains  that in the case of the guardian who agrees to watch a vessel, he just puts it on a shelf and only agrees to exert minimal effort and therefore less responsibility.    However, in the second case the Shomer has agreed to actually watch an animal.  

Since an animal takes much more effort, the Shomer has agreed that he will make an extra effort to properly watch the animal.   Therefore, he has to pay if the animal is stolen despite not being compensated.  The difference is in what the guardian agreed to do upfront.  Of course, in this world, the  Bais Din cannot force the guardian to pay unless he is being compensated, however, theologically he should have to pay.  In life we have to take on responsibility even if it may cost us.   We can never just wash our hands and say, “not my problem”.  We may lose sleep and become emotionally beat up, but we have to be counted.  In life we have to be engaged, and responsible for our family, for our world.   We do not want to be superficially connected, acting freely and not being bothered.  We cannot let life go by taking cruises, having one day fold into the next day just worried about ourselves or what to wear, what to eat, and where to vacation.  This is not true life. We have to be responsible. 

Perhaps you can say that this is also an interpretation in the Gemara in Shabbos 31A:  

אָמַר רָבָא: בְּשָׁעָה שֶׁמַּכְנִיסִין אָדָם לְדִין, אוֹמְרִים לוֹ: נָשָׂאתָ וְנָתַתָּ בָּאֱמוּנָה?

With regard to the same verse, Rava said: After departing from this world, when a person is brought to judgment for the life he lived in this world, they say to him in the order of that verse: Did you conduct business faithfully?

The plain meaning is as stated “Did you conduct business faithfully?”  However perhaps the saying of Rava also means did you carry yourself and did you give of yourself faithfully?  Did you escape responsibility or were you connected? Did you, for the last years of your life, just sit on the couch involved in your narcissistic needs? Or were you there for your family, your friends and other Jews?  Hashem understands that for most of one’s life people are working and raising kids. But afterwards, in retirement, in the last 10+ years of your life,  were you counted or absent?  Rabbi Efraim Twerski said that my Pshat is farfetched.  I said that I will call it Drush. 

Rashbam – Shmos 22:6:

כי יתן איש אל רעהו כסף או כלים לשמור – בפרשה זו פוטר את השומר מגנבה ואבדה ובפרשה שניה מחייבו בגנבה ואבדה. ופירשו רבותינו: ראשונה בשומר חנם, שניה בשומר שכר. ולפי פשוטו של מקרא: פרשה ראשונה שכתוב בה: כי יתן איש אל רעהו כסף או כלים לשמר – מטלטלין הם ולשומרם בתוך ביתו כשאר חפציו נתנן לו, לפיכך אם נגנבו בביתו פטור, כי שמרן כשמירת חפציו. אבל פרשה שניה שכתוב בה: כי יתן איש אל רעהו חמור או שור או שה וכל בהמה לשמור – ודרך בהמות לרעות בשדה ודאי כשהפקידם על מנת לשומרם מגנבים הפקידם לו ואם נגנבו חייב.

Summation:

I believe that this is who my mother was. She was always accepting extra responsibly and gave her utmost to others. Up until the age 90 she was actively involved with all her kids, whether it was carpools, shopping, or being that extra pair of hands for whoever needed help.

Parshas VaYetza 2020

November 28, 2020

Week of Thanksgiving.  We had our Thanksgiving dinner at Eli’s condo in Lakeview.  I spent Shabbos in Lakeview and davened at Anshe Sholem at their 7:45 AM minyan.  At 10:40 I went to Chabad of East Lakeview to teach Torah.

Parshas VaYetza

Chapter 29 verses 16 -31

Outline of my Torah – Everything in red is my flow of the Torah.  Everything else is additional beautiful Torah for more depth.  

  1. Verse 16 and 17 – two problems with Leah being the older sister
  2. Leah’s soft eyes
  3. Leah’s payer not to marry Eisav and God’s acceptance of her prayers
  4. Verse 21 – Yaakov’s extra words of  כִּ֥י מָלְא֖וּ יָמָ֑י based on Rashi’s intepertation
  5. Verse 22 – Medrash of conversation between Lavan and his community.
  6. Verse 31 – Did Lavan hate Leah or was it more benign.  Ramban and Medrash

Verse 16:

וּלְלָבָ֖ן שְׁתֵּ֣י בָנ֑וֹת שֵׁ֤ם הַגְּדֹלָה֙ לֵאָ֔ה וְשֵׁ֥ם הַקְּטַנָּ֖ה רָחֵֽל׃

Now Laban had two daughters; the name of the older one was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel.

My Torah:

The Torah is foreshadowing the problem.  Yaakov already met Rochal and felt that she was his Zivig – his soulmate.  However, there is a problem.  Rochel had an older sister.  Many people do not want a younger sister to marry before an older sister.  They  did not have to deal with this now because Leah had seven years to get married.  

There is a second problem brought out by the next Pasuk and also resolved.  Leah was “destined” to marry Eisav, however, she prayed to Hashem for her not to marry Eisav.  As the Rov wrote that Leah would not accept her fate of marrying an evil man.  Hashem answered her prayers and she was to marry Yaakov and not only that she would marry Yaakov before Rachel.  Based on  the Medresh this was a problem for Leah but for Yaakov and Rochel.  How can they let their sister marry an evil man.   This problem was resolved by Leah’s prayers and Hashem’s response.      

Verse 17:

וְעֵינֵ֥י לֵאָ֖ה רַכּ֑וֹת וְרָחֵל֙ הָֽיְתָ֔ה יְפַת־תֹּ֖אַר וִיפַ֥ת מַרְאֶֽה     

Rashi:

רכות  — She thought she would have to fall to the lot of Esau and she therefore wept continually, because everyone said, “Rebekah has two sons, Laban has two daughters — the elder daughter for the elder son, the younger daughter for the younger son” (Genesis Rabbah 70:16) .  I would say that according to Rashi the translation would be teary.  She was always crying.  Rashi does not bring down the second half of the Medresh.The Midrash says that this pasuk is speaking about her praise.  She did not want to marry Eisav as she knew he was evil.  She prayed to Hashem and was answered and not only did she marry Yaakov, but she preceded her sister.   

Rashi is based on the following Midrash Rabbah 70:16:

עֵינֵי לֵאָה רַכּוֹת (בראשית כט, יז), אֲמוֹרָאִי דְּרַבִּי יוֹחָנָן תִּרְגֵּם קוֹדְמוֹי וְעֵינֵי לֵאָה הֲווֹ רַכִּיכִין, אֲמַר לֵיהּ עֵינוֹהִי דְּאִמָּךְ הֲווֹ רַכִּיכִין, וּמַהוּ רַכּוֹת, רַכּוֹת מִבִּכְיָה, שֶׁהָיוּ אוֹמְרִים כָּךְ הָיוּ הַתְּנָאִים,וְ הַגְּדוֹלָה לַגָּדוֹל וְהַקְּטַנָּה לַקָּטָן, וְהָיְתָה בּוֹכָה וְאוֹמֶרֶת יְהִי רָצוֹן שֶׁלֹא אֶפֹּל בְּגוֹרָלוֹ שֶׁל רָשָׁע. אָמַר רַב הוּנָא קָשָׁה הִיא הַתְּפִלָּה שֶׁבִּטְלָה אֶת הַגְּזֵרָה, וְלֹא עוֹד אֶלָּא שֶׁקָּדְמָה לַאֲחוֹתָה,

Matnas Chuna – תְּנָאִים means agreemnt between Levan and Rivka. 

 Razv –  people thought that this was destined from Hashem .

If I were to translate רַכּ֑וֹת   I would say soft.  Soft eyes on a woman are beautiful.  It means she has empathy, she is welcoming, non-judgmental.  To quote William Shakespeare    The Eyes are a window to your soul. 

This is how Onkelyes and the Rashbam translate  רַכּ֑וֹת – 

Rashbam:

רכות – נאות וור”ש בלע”ז. וכלה שעיניה נאות אין כל גופה צריך בדיקה. ועיניים שחורות אינן רכות כלבנות..]

רכות – רכות, beautiful; our sages in Taanit 24 say that when a prospective bride has beautiful eyes, the bridegroom need not have the rest of her body checked out for possible blemishes. Black eyes are not considered as beautiful as white ones. [I suppose the reference is to blue ones. Ed.]

It is interesting that the Rashbam in the Gemara on 123A translates  רכות ממש – עיניה נוטפות דמעה:   Like Rashi here in Chumash.

Artscroll and Lubavitch Gutnick- Leah had tender eyes , while Rachel was beautiful of form and beautiful of appearance.  I do not know what “tender” means.

Sefaria -Leah had weak eyes; Rachel was shapely and beautiful.

Ohr  Chaim:

עיני לאה רכות וגו’. אין ראוי לספר הכתוב גנאי הצדקת אם הבנים שבטי יה ח”ו אלא נתכוין להודיע שאין מציאות ללבן להחליפם כי משונית היתה לאה מרחל, כי לאה מלבד שלא היתה יפיפיה אלא שעוד לה שעיניה רכות והוא ענף מכיעור הגוף, ורחל לא מלבד שלא היה בה כיעור אלא שהיתה יפת תואר ויפת מראה, ומעתה הרי ננעלו בפני לבן אופן הרמאות ובטלו רמאותיו:

ועיני לאה רכות, Leah’s eyes were soft, etc. It is not customary for the Torah to reveal physical blemishes of such righteous people as our matriarchs. Therefore, the meaning of this comment must be to tell the reader that Laban could never have claimed that Rachel was Leah or vice versa because even their eyes were totally different. Leah was not only not as beautiful as her sister Rachel, but she suffered from a blemish, i.e her eyes were not attractive. Since Leah and Rachel were so different from one another in their external appearance Laban had no way of cheating on Jacob by palming off the wrong daughter on him

Daas Zekeinim:

ועיני לאה רכות. לשון רך וטוב כלומר שהיתה נראית יפה מתוך שהיו עיניה יפות ונראית רכה וילדה אבל רחל היתה משובחת ביפיה אלא שהיו עיניה כואבות מן הבכי לפי שראתה שתפול לגורלו של עשו לפי שהיתה עקרה ויגרשנה יעקב וישאנה עשו:

Bartenura:

ועיני לאה רכות שהיתה סבורה לעלות בגורלו של עשו וכו’ קשה מנא לו. י”ל לפי שדרך המקרא לספר בשבחן של צדיקים ולא בגנותן ותמיד תמצא שהכתו’ אומ’ שהאמהות יפות תואר ולא נכתב כאן עיני לאה רכות אלא לשבחה שהיתה סבורה לעלות בגורלו של עשו והיינו שכתו’ למעלה שם הגדולה כלומ’ שמתוך שהיא היתה הגדולה לכך היו עיניה רכות שהיו הכל אומרים גדולה לגדול:

Verse 18

וַיֶּאֱהַ֥ב יַעֲקֹ֖ב אֶת־רָחֵ֑ל וַיֹּ֗אמֶר אֶֽעֱבָדְךָ֙ שֶׁ֣בַע שָׁנִ֔ים בְּרָחֵ֥ל בִּתְּךָ֖ הַקְּטַנָּֽה׃           

Jacob loved Rachel; so he answered, “I will serve you seven years for your younger daughter Rachel.”

Verse 19:

וַיֹּ֣אמֶר לָבָ֗ן ט֚וֹב תִּתִּ֣י אֹתָ֣הּ לָ֔ךְ מִתִּתִּ֥י אֹתָ֖הּ לְאִ֣ישׁ אַחֵ֑ר שְׁבָ֖ה עִמָּדִֽי׃

Laban said, “Better that I give her to you than that I should give her to an outsider. Stay with me.”

Notice – Lavan does not bring up the problem of their being an older unmarried sister.  

Ohr Chaim:

ויאהב יעקב את רחל. פי’ לא לצד יופיה אלא לצד מה שרחל בת זוגו:

ויאהב יעקב את רחל. Jacob loved Rachel. The reason the Torah mentions her name again is to tell us that Jacob did not love Rachel on account of her beauty but on account of the fact that she was the life-partner destined for him.

או יאמר על דרך אומרם ז”ל (שבת כה:) בדין זיווג תלמיד חכם שצריך שתהיה לו אשה נאה כנגד יצר הרע, והגם כי ישתנה יעקב למעליותא שמושלל מיצר הרע, עם כל זה התורה תלמד לאדם דעת:

Alternatively, we may approach the verse by citing Shabbat 25 where we are told that a Torah scholar should have an outwardly attractive wife so as to minimise temptations by the evil urge. Even though Jacob was on a spiritually far higher level and did not present much of a target for the evil urge, it is prudent to take whatever precautions against the evil urge that are feasible.

Verse 20:

וַיַּעֲבֹ֧ד יַעֲקֹ֛ב בְּרָחֵ֖ל שֶׁ֣בַע שָׁנִ֑ים וַיִּהְי֤וּ בְעֵינָיו֙ כְּיָמִ֣ים אֲחָדִ֔ים בְּאַהֲבָת֖וֹ אֹתָֽהּ׃

So Jacob served seven years for Rachel and they seemed to him but a few days because of his love for her.

Medresh:

 אָמַר רַבִּי חֲנִינָא בַּר פָּזִי, נֶאֱמַר כָּאן אֲחָדִים (בראשית כז, מד): וְיָשַׁבְתָּ עִמּוֹ יָמִים אֲחָדִים, וְנֶאֱמַר לְהַלָּן אֲחָדִים, מַה כָּאן שֶׁבַע שָׁנִים אַף לְהַלָּן שֶׁבַע שָׁנִים.

Orach Chaim HaKodesh:

ויעבוד יעקב ברחל וגו’. טעם אומרו ברחל פירוש היה מפרסם בשעת עבודה כי בעד רחל היה עובד והיא לו חלף עבודתו מלבן, גם מפרסם לשלול לאה לבל ישכח הדבר ותהיה כפירה בינו ובינו:

ויעבד יעקב ברחל, Jacob served for Rachel, etc. The reason the Torah mentions ברחל is that Jacob made a public announcement at the time that his service with Laban was for Rachel and that her hand in marriage was the wages Laban had agreed to pay him in return for his service. A major reason he made this public pronouncement was to make it clear that he did not serve for Leah.

Verse 21:

וַיֹּ֨אמֶר יַעֲקֹ֤ב אֶל־לָבָן֙ הָבָ֣ה אֶת־אִשְׁתִּ֔י כִּ֥י מָלְא֖וּ יָמָ֑י וְאָב֖וֹאָה אֵלֶֽיהָ׃

Then Jacob said to Laban, “Give me my wife, for my time is fulfilled, that I may cohabit with her.”

Onkelys, Targum Yonashan Ben Uziel and Rasham all say that I worked my seven years and fulfilled my agreement.   

                                                                                                         כי מלאו ימי – שבע שנים עבדתיך.

These words are extra because the previous verse says that Yaakov worked his seven yours. The simple answer is that the Torah is recording Yakov’s words to Lavan.  

 However, Rashi does not give the simple explanation.  Rashi says –  מלאו ימי. שֶׁאָמְרָה לִי אִמִּי

Yakov is telling Levan, not only did I fulfil my agreement with you to work for seven years, but my mother told me that I will be with you for יָמִים אֲחָדִים, and now I want to go back to your sister, Rivka.  Yakov was thinking that this is a benign statement and that Levan would agree and say, great go back to your mother, my sister.  Thank you for the loyal seven years of work.   However, instead Levan who was out for himself  did not say sure, no problem, Lavan 

 was worried about what it would mean to him and his city as the below Medresh states.  Levan schemed to get Yaakov to stay longer for personal benefit, not what would be for the benefit of Yaakov and Levan’s own sister.

We always meet people at work and even Jewish leaders who will always look out what is best for them.  At work, if someone left us and went for a better job at another bank, or a customer who left us, many of my bosses would be upset and not cooperate with the customer.  They would say about the employee who left, let us work against him.  Never mind that the employee had to leave for their own future or the customer had a much better deal.  I say this time and time again.

Text to Rabbi Moshe Revach:

In the Haskafah part of the Shiur this morning, I want to relate what was said to my Torah.   Yaakov added the extra words of Ki Malu Yami that he is telling Laban he is returning home and as a result Lavan  plotted. It is not that Yaakov could have prevented it but perhaps him marrying Leah would not have done through deception. 

I still think this is a great lesson for life that Chazal has said.  Be brief and to the point.  Every extra word you say can have far reaching effects.

This kind of fits in with a later Ohr Hachaim.

Rabbi Revah’s answer:

Nice. Maskim.

Verse 22:

 – וַיֶּאֱסֹ֥ף לָבָ֛ן אֶת־כָּל־אַנְשֵׁ֥י הַמָּק֖וֹם וַיַּ֥עַשׂ מִשְׁתֶּֽה׃ –  And Laban gathered all the people of the place and made a feast.

וַיֶּאֱסֹף לָבָן אֶת כָּל אַנְשֵׁי הַמָּקוֹם וַיַּעַשׂ מִשְׁתֶּה (בראשית כט, כב), כִּנֵּס כָּל אַנְשֵׁי מְקוֹמוֹ, אָמַר לָהֶם יוֹדְעִים אַתֶּם שֶׁהָיִינוּ דְחוּקִים לְמַיִם וְכֵיוָן שֶׁבָּא הַצַּדִּיק הַזֶּה לְכָאן נִתְבָּרְכוּ הַמַּיִם, אֲמַרִין לֵיהּ וּמָה אַהֲנֵי לָךְ, אֲמַר לְהוֹן אִין בָּעֲיִין אַתּוּן אֲנָא מְרַמֵּי בֵיהּ, וְיָהֵב לֵיהּ לֵאָה דְּהוּא רְחִים לַהֲדָא רָחֵל סַגִּי, וְהוּא עָבֵד הָכָא גַּבְּכוֹן שִׁבְעָה שְׁנִין אוֹחֳרִין. אֲמַרִין לֵיהּ עֲבֵיד מַה דַּהֲנֵי לָךְ. אֲמַר לְהוֹן הָבוּ לִי מַשְׁכּוֹן דְּלֵית חַד מִנְּכוֹן מְפַרְסֵם, וְיַהֲבוּן לֵיהּ מַשְׁכּוֹנִין, וַאֲזַל וְאַיְתֵי עֲלֵיהוֹן חֲמַר מְשַׁח וְקוֹפָר, הֱוֵי לָמָּה נִקְרָא שְׁמוֹ לָבָן הָאֲרַמִּי שֶׁרִמָּה בְּאַנְשֵׁי מְקוֹמוֹ. וְכוּלֵּי יוֹמָא הֲווֹ מְכַלְּלִין בֵּיהּ וְכֵיוָן דְּעָל בְּרַמְשָׁא אֲמַר לְהוֹן מָה הוּא כְּדֵין, אֲמַרִין לֵיהּ אַתְּ גָּמַלְתְּ חֶסֶד בִּזְכוּתָךְ, וְהָיוּ מְקַלְּסִין קוֹדְמוֹי וְאָמְרִין הָא לַיָא הָא לַיָא, הִיא לֵאָה הִיא לֵאָה. בְּרַמְשָׁא אֲתוֹן מַעֲלָתָא וַחֲפוֹן בּוֹצִינַיָא. אָמַר לָהֶן מַהוּ כְּדֵין, אָמְרֵי לֵיהּ מָה אַתְּ סָבוּר דַּאֲנַן דִּכְרִין דִּכְוַתְכוֹן. וְכָל הַהוּא לֵילְיָא הֲוָה צָוַח לָהּ רָחֵל, וְהִיא עָנְיָא לֵיהּ. בְּצַפְרָא וְהִנֵּה הִיא לֵאָה, אָמַר לָהּ מָה רַמָּיְתָא בַּת רַמָּאָה, לָאו בְּלֵילְיָא הֲוָה קָרֵינָא רָחֵל וְאַתְּ עֲנֵית לִי. אָמְרָה לֵיהּ אִית סַפָּר דְּלֵית לֵיהּ תַּלְמִידִים, לֹא כָךְ הָיָה צוֹוֵחַ לָךְ אֲבוּךְ, עֵשָׂו, וְאַתְּ עָנֵי לֵיהּ. וַיֹּאמֶר אֶל לָבָן מַה זֹּאת עָשִׂיתָ לִי וגו’, וַיֹּאמֶר לָבָן לֹא יֵעָשֶׂה כֵן וגו’, מַלֵּא שְׁבֻעַ זֹאת וגו’. אָמַר רַבִּי יַעֲקֹב בַּר אַחָא מִכָּאן שֶׁאֵין מְעָרְבִין שִׂמְחָה בְּשִׂמְחָה, אֶלָּא מַלֵּא שְׁבֻעַ זֹאת וגו’.

Verse 23:

וַיְהִ֣י בָעֶ֔רֶב וַיִּקַּח֙ אֶת־לֵאָ֣ה בִתּ֔וֹ וַיָּבֵ֥א אֹתָ֖הּ אֵלָ֑יו וַיָּבֹ֖א אֵלֶֽיהָ׃

When evening came, he took his daughter Leah and brought her to him; and he cohabited with her.—

וַיִּתֵּ֤ן לָבָן֙ לָ֔הּ אֶת־זִלְפָּ֖ה שִׁפְחָת֑וֹ לְלֵאָ֥ה בִתּ֖וֹ שִׁפְחָֽה׃

Laban had given his maidservant Zilpah to his daughter Leah as her maid.—

וַיְהִ֣י בַבֹּ֔קֶר וְהִנֵּה־הִ֖וא לֵאָ֑ה וַיֹּ֣אמֶר אֶל־לָבָ֗ן מַה־זֹּאת֙ עָשִׂ֣יתָ לִּ֔י הֲלֹ֤א בְרָחֵל֙ עָבַ֣דְתִּי עִמָּ֔ךְ וְלָ֖מָּה רִמִּיתָֽנִי׃

When morning came, there was Leah! So he said to Laban, “What is this you have done to me? I was in your service for Rachel! Why did you deceive me?”

וַיֹּ֣אמֶר לָבָ֔ן לֹא־יֵעָשֶׂ֥ה כֵ֖ן בִּמְקוֹמֵ֑נוּ לָתֵ֥ת הַצְּעִירָ֖ה לִפְנֵ֥י הַבְּכִירָֽה׃

Laban said, “It is not the practice in our place to marry off the younger before the older.

Verse 27:

מַלֵּ֖א שְׁבֻ֣עַ זֹ֑את וְנִתְּנָ֨ה לְךָ֜ גַּם־אֶת־זֹ֗את בַּעֲבֹדָה֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר תַּעֲבֹ֣ד עִמָּדִ֔י ע֖וֹד שֶֽׁבַע־שָׁנִ֥ים אֲחֵרֽוֹת׃

Wait until the bridal week of this one is over and we will give you that one too, provided you serve me another seven years.”

וַיַּ֤עַשׂ יַעֲקֹב֙ כֵּ֔ן וַיְמַלֵּ֖א שְׁבֻ֣עַ זֹ֑את וַיִּתֶּן־ל֛וֹ אֶת־רָחֵ֥ל בִּתּ֖וֹ ל֥וֹ לְאִשָּֽׁה׃

Jacob did so; he waited out the bridal week of the one, and then he gave him his daughter Rachel as wife.—

וַיִּתֵּ֤ן לָבָן֙ לְרָחֵ֣ל בִּתּ֔וֹ אֶת־בִּלְהָ֖ה שִׁפְחָת֑וֹ לָ֖הּ לְשִׁפְחָֽה׃

Laban had given his maidservant Bilhah to his daughter Rachel as her maid.—

Verse 30:

וַיָּבֹא֙ גַּ֣ם אֶל־רָחֵ֔ל וַיֶּאֱהַ֥ב גַּֽם־אֶת־רָחֵ֖ל מִלֵּאָ֑ה וַיַּעֲבֹ֣ד עִמּ֔וֹ ע֖וֹד שֶֽׁבַע־שָׁנִ֥ים אֲחֵרֽוֹת׃

And Jacob cohabited with Rachel also; indeed, he loved Rachel more than Leah. And he served him another seven years.

Medresh:

וַיָּבֹא גַּם אֶל רָחֵל וַיֶּאֱהַב גַּם אֶת רָחֵל מִלֵּאָה וגו’ (בראשית כט, ל), אָמַר רַבִּי יְהוּדָה בַּר סִימוֹן בְּנֹהַג שֶׁבָּעוֹלָם פּוֹעֵל עוֹשֶׂה מְלָאכָה עִם בַּעַל הַבַּיִת שְׁתַּיִם וְשָׁלשׁ שָׁעוֹת בֶּאֱמוּנָה וּבַסּוֹף הוּא מִתְעַצֵּל בִּמְלַאכְתּוֹ, בְּרַם הָכָא מָה הָרִאשׁוֹנוֹת שְׁלֵמוֹת אַף הָאַחֲרוֹנוֹת שְׁלֵמוֹת, מַה הָרִאשׁוֹנוֹת בֶּאֱמוּנָה אַף הָאַחֲרוֹנוֹת בֶּאֱמוּנָה. אָמַר רַבִּי יוֹחָנָן כְּתִיב (הושע יב, יג): וַיִּבְרַח יַעֲקֹב שְׂדֵה אֲרָם וַיַּעֲבֹד יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּאִשָּׁה וגו’, אָמַר לָהֶם דֻּגְמָא שֶׁלָּכֶם דּוֹמָה לְיַעֲקֹב אֲבִיכֶם, מַה יַּעֲקֹב אֲבִיכֶם עַד שֶׁלֹא נָשָׂא אִשָּׁה נִשְׁתַּעְבֵּד, מִשֶּׁנָּשָׂא אִשָּׁה נִשְׁתַּעְבֵּד, אַף אַתֶּם מִשֶּׁלֹא נוֹלַד גּוֹאֵל נִשְׁתַּעְבַּדְתֶּם, מִשֶּׁנּוֹלַד גּוֹאֵל אַתֶּם מִשְׁתַּעְבְּדִים.

Verse 31:

וַיַּ֤רְא יְהוָה֙ כִּֽי־שְׂנוּאָ֣ה לֵאָ֔ה וַיִּפְתַּ֖ח אֶת־רַחְמָ֑הּ וְרָחֵ֖ל עֲקָרָֽה׃

The LORD saw that Leah was unloved and he opened her womb; but Rachel was barren.

Ramban:

כי שנואה לאה הנה לאה רמתה באחותה גם ביעקב כי אם נאמר שנהגה כבוד באביה שאחז בה והכניסה אליו ואל תמר בו היה לה להגיד או לרמוז כי היא לאה אף כי היתה מתנכרת כל הלילה ולפיכך לא הכירה עד שראה אותה בבקר ולכן שנאה יעקב והאלהים יודע כי להנשא אל הצדיק עשתה כן ורחם עליה וכך אמרו בבראשית רבה (עא ב) כיון שראה יעקב מעשים שרמתה לאה באחותה נתן דעתו לגרשה וכיון שפקדה הקב”ה בבנים אמר לאמן של אלו אני מגרש וזה טעם “וירא אלהים” כי חמל עליה שלא יעזבנה ויש אומרים (הרד”ק) כי שתים נשים שהאחת אהובה מאד תקרא השניה שנואה כנגדה כמו שאמר ויאהב גם את רחל מלאה לא ששנאה והיתה בושה בדבר וראה אלהים את עניה:

That Leah was hated: Behold Leah tricked her sister and also Yaakov. For if we say that she was behaving respectfully to her father who grabbed her and brought her into him and she must not cross him, then she should have said or hinted that she was Leah. Rather, she disguised herself all night and therefore, he did not recognize her until he saw her in the morning. And therefore, Yaakov hated her. But God knows that she did it in order to be married to a righteous man, and He had mercy on her. And thus they said in Bereishit Rabba (71:2) “When Yaakov saw the actions that Leah tricked her sister he intended to divorce her. And when God gave her children, he said ‘shall I divorce the mother of these?'”And this is the reason “God saw” that He had pity on her that he should not leave her. And there are those who say (the Radak) that two wives were one is very beloved, the second is called “hated.” As it says, ” he loved Rachel more than Leah”–not that he hated her. And it was embarrassing and God saw her oppression.

Hemek Daver:

וירא ה׳ כי שנואה לאה. הוא ית׳ ראה כי התנהגותו עמה הוא מחמת שנאה ממש אע״ג שמ״מ נוהג עמה דיני אישות:

Sferno:

כי שנואה לאה – שהכיר בה אחר כך סימני עקרה כאמרו ויפתח את רחמה וחשב שבשביל זה הסכימה להטעותו:      

, because after his first meeting with her Yaakov recognised that Leah bore the symptoms of a woman who is unable to have children, Yaakov had thought that the reason Leah had been willing to deceive him was because of her awareness of her barrenness.

ורחל עקרה היתה עקרה כטבעה ונשארה כך עד שהאל יתב’ פתח את רחמה:

She remained in such a state until G’d took pity on her and opened her womb.

Medresh:

וַיַּרְא ה’ כִּי שְׂנוּאָה לֵאָה וגו’ (בראשית כט, לא), (תהלים סט, לד): כִּי שֹׁמֵעַ אֶל אֶבְיוֹנִים ה’ וְאֶת אֲסִירָיו לֹא בָזָה, אָמַר רַבִּי בִּנְיָמִין בֶּן לֵוִי לֹא רֹאשׁוֹ שֶׁל פָּסוּק הַזֶּה סוֹפוֹ וְלֹא סוֹפוֹ רֹאשׁוֹ, לֹא הָיָה צָרִיךְ קְרָא לְמֵימַר אֶלָּא כִּי שׁוֹמֵעַ אֶל אֶבְיוֹנִים וְאֶת אֲסִירִים לֹא בָזָה, אוֹ כִּי שׁוֹמֵעַ אֶל אֶבְיוֹנָיו ה’ וְאֶת אֲסִירָיו וגו’, אֶלָּא כִּי שֹׁמֵעַ אֶל אֶבְיוֹנִים ה’, אֵלּוּ יִשְׂרָאֵל, דְּאָמַר רַבִּי יוֹחָנָן בְּכָל מָקוֹם שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר דַּל עָנִי וְאֶבְיוֹן, בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל הַכָּתוּב מְדַבֵּר, וְאֶת אֲסִירָיו לֹא בָזָה, אֵלּוּ הָעֲקָרוֹת שֶׁהֵן אֲסוּרוֹת בְּתוֹךְ בָּתֵּיהֶן וַעֲלוּבוֹת, וְכֵיוָן שֶׁהַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא פּוֹקְדָן בְּבָנִים הֵן נִזְקָפוֹת. תֵּדַע לְךָ שֶׁכֵּן לֵאָה שְׂנוּאַת הַבַּיִת הָיְתָה, וְכֵיוָן שֶׁפְּקָדָהּ הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא נִזְקָפָה, הֲדָא הוּא דִכְתִיב: וַיַּרְא ה’ כִּי שְׂנוּאָה 

דָּבָר אַחֵר (תהלים קמה, יד): סוֹמֵךְ ה’ לְכָל הַנֹּפְלִים, אֵלּוּ הָעֲקָרוֹת, שֶׁהֵם נוֹפְלִין בְּתוֹךְ בָּתֵּיהֶם. (תהלים קמה, יד): וְזוֹקֵף לְכָל הַכְּפוּפִים, כֵּיוָן שֶׁהַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא פּוֹקְדָן בְּבָנִים הֵן נִזְקָפוֹת. תֵּדַע לְךָ שֶׁכֵּן לֵאָה שְׂנוּאַת הַבַּיִת הָיְתָה וְכֵיוָן שֶׁפְּקָדָהּ הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא נִזְקָפָה, הֲדָא הוּא דִכְתִיב: וַיַּרְא ה’ כִּי שְׂנוּאָה לֵאָה, 

Another answer: (op. cit. 145) “God supports all those who have fallen” – these are the barren, whose [status] have “fallen” within their households. And “straightens the bent” – when the Holy One, Blessed be He rewards them with children, they straighten up [in joy.] Similarly, Leah was hated by her household, and when the Holy One, Blessed be He visited her [and gave her pregnancy], she was straightened.

כִּי שְׂנוּאָה לֵאָה שֶׁעָשְׂתָה כְּמַעֲשֵׂה הַשְֹּׂנוּאִים, שֶׁהָיְתָה אוֹמֶרֶת לְהִנָּשֵׂא לַשֹּׂוֹנֵא [נסח אחר: שהיתה אמורה לשונא], שֶׁכָּךְ הָיוּ הַתְּנָאִים שֶׁיְּהֵא גָדוֹל נוֹשֵׂא לַגְּדוֹלָה וְהַקָּטָן נוֹשֵׂא לַקְּטַנָּה, וְהָיְתָה בּוֹכָה וְאוֹמֶרֶת יְהִי רָצוֹן שֶׁלֹא אֶפֹּל בְּחֶלְקוֹ שֶׁל רָשָׁע. אָמַר רַב הוּנָא קָשָׁה הִיא הַתְּפִלָּה שֶׁבִּטְלָה אֶת הַגְּזֵרָה, וְלֹא עוֹד אֶלָּא שֶׁקָדְמָה לַאֲחוֹתָהּ, וְהָיוּ הַכֹּל סוֹנְטִין בָּהּ, מְפָרְשֵׁי יַמִּים הָיוּ סוֹנְטִין בָּהּ, מְהַלְּכֵי דְרָכִים הָיוּ סוֹנְטִין בָּהּ, אַף הַגִּתִּיּוֹת מֵאֲחוֹרֵי הַקּוּרִים הָיוּ סוֹנְטִין בָּהּ וְהָיוּ אוֹמְרִים לֵאָה זוֹ אֵין סִתְרָהּ כְּגִלּוּיָהּ, נִרְאָה צַדֶּקֶת וְאֵינָהּ צַדֶּקֶת, אִלּוּ הָיְתָה צַדֶּקֶת לֹא הָיְתָה מְרַמָּה בַּאֲחוֹתָהּ.

.

That is the same concept by “And God saw that Leah was hated” – “that Leah was hated” – that she behaved in the manner of the “hated”, since she was supposed to marry “the hater” [, Esav] (other mss. read “Assessed by the hater”) since that was the custom, the firstborn [Esav] marry the firstborn [Esav] and the younger one [Ya’akov] marry the younger one [Rachel]. Therefore Leah cried and said: “May it be your will, God, that I do not become the possession of an evildoer.” R’ Huna said: Davening is a strong force, that it annulled the decree, and not only that, but that it made her come before her sister [for marriage. Because of this] everyone would mock her: The unemployed people mocked her, the travelers mocked her, and even the ladies behind their backs mocked her, saying, “This Leah, her inside is not like her outside; she appears righteous but is not really righteous. For if she were righteous she would not have cheated her sister [and would have let her marry first.]

 רַבִּי חָנִין בְּשֵׁם רַבִּי שְׁמוּאֵל בַּר רַבִּי יִצְחָק אָמַר, כֵּיוָן שֶׁרָאָה אָבִינוּ יַעֲקֹב מַעֲשִׂים שֶׁרִמָּה לֵאָה בַּאֲחוֹתָהּ, נָתַן דַּעְתּוֹ לְגָרְשָׁהּ, וְכֵיוָן שֶׁפְּקָדָהּ הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא בְּבָנִים, אָמַר לְאִמָּן שֶׁל אֵלּוּ אֲנִי מְגָרֵשׁ, וּבַסּוֹף הוּא מוֹדֶה עַל הַדָּבָר, הֲדָא הוּא דִכְתִיב (בראשית מז, לא): וַיִּשְׁתַּחוּ יִשְׂרָאֵל עַל רֹאשׁ הַמִּטָּה, מִי הָיָה רֹאשׁ מִטָּתוֹ שֶׁל אָבִינוּ יַעֲקֹב לֹא לֵאָה.

 Rabbi Chanin in the name of Rabbi Shmuel son of Rabbi Yitzchak said: When Yaakov our Forefather saw matters, that Leah had “cheated” her sister, he made up his mind to divorce her, but when she was blessed with children, he said: “To the mother of these I am divorcing?” And in the end he admitted he was wrong, and that is the meaning of the verse: (Genesis 47) “And Yisrael [Yaakov] bowed low at the head of the bed,” [and head of the bed is a euphemism for Leah, as she was the first one of his conjugal bed.] “And Rachel was barren,” said Rabbi Yitzchak, Rachel was the main part of the household, as it says

 וְרָחֵל עֲקָרָה, אָמַר רַבִּי יִצְחָק, רָחֵל הָיְתָה עִקָּרוֹ שֶׁל בַּיִת, כְּמָה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: וְרָחֵל עֲקָרָה, עִקָּרָה רָחֵל. אָמַר רַבִּי אַבָּא בַּר כַּהֲנָא רֹב מְסֻבִּין עִקָּר שֶׁל לֵאָה הָיוּ, לְפִיכָךְ עוֹשִׂים רָחֵל עִקָּר, וְרָחֵל עֲקָרָה, רָחֵל הָיְתָה עִקָּרוֹ שֶׁל בַּיִת. תָּנֵי רַבִּי שִׁמְעוֹן בֶּן יוֹחָאי, לְפִי שֶׁכָּל הַדְּבָרִים תְּלוּיִין בְּרָחֵל, לְפִיכָךְ נִקְרְאוּ יִשְׂרָאֵל עַל שְׁמָהּ (ירמיה לא, טו): רָחֵל מְבַכָּה עַל בָּנֶיהָ. וְלֹא סוֹף דָּבָר לִשְׁמָהּ, אֶלָּא לְשֵׁם בְּנָה (עמוס ה, טו): אוּלַי יֶחֱנַן ה’ צְבָאוֹת שְׁאֵרִית יוֹסֵף. וְלֹא סוֹף דָּבָר לְשֵׁם בְּנָהּ, אֶלָּא לְשֵׁם בֶּן בְּנָהּ, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ירמיה לא, יט): הֲבֵן יַקִּיר לִי אֶפְרַיִם

, “And Rachel was barren (akarah)” – It’s main part (ikrah) was Rachel. Said Rabbi Abba son of Cahana, since most of the diners [at Ya’akov’s table] were Leah’s [progeny, as a courtesy] they named Rachel as the main part, as it says, “And Rachel was barren (akarah)” – It’s main part (ikrah) was Rachel. Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai said: Since all these matters [i.e. helping Leah cheat the system] were done by Rachel, therefore the Children of Israel were called by her name, (Jeremiah 31): “Rachel cries for her children,” and there was no end to her name, as her children’s names lived on, as it says in (Amos 5): “Perhaps the Lord of Hosts will have compassion on the remnant of Joseph [a son of Rachel]” – now her son’s name was recalled. And her son’s name did not die out either, as it says (Jeremiah 31) “How precious is my son Ephraim [, Joseph’s son and Rachel’s grandson.”

Verse 32:

וַתַּ֤הַר לֵאָה֙ וַתֵּ֣לֶד בֵּ֔ן וַתִּקְרָ֥א שְׁמ֖וֹ רְאוּבֵ֑ן כִּ֣י אָֽמְרָ֗ה כִּֽי־רָאָ֤ה יְהוָה֙ בְּעָנְיִ֔י כִּ֥י עַתָּ֖ה יֶאֱהָבַ֥נִי אִישִֽׁי׃

Leah conceived and bore a son, and named him Reuben; for she declared, “It

Parshas Chaya Sara – November 14, 2020

November 10, 2020 – first day out of quarantine.  I was very depressed yesterday because I had no clue what Rabbi Revah was talking about  in the Shiur,  I spent 3.5 hours working on the Shiur and I am 75%restored.  I think I now understand the Shiur.  The next day I am again depressed because the Shiur was above me.  I have to review.

Bubi Blanche is doing as expected.  Serka is going tonight to visit for the allotted three hours.  

First Vort on the Sedra:

Pasuk 23:2 says:

וַתָּ֣מָת שָׂרָ֗ה בְּקִרְיַ֥ת אַרְבַּ֛ע הִ֥וא חֶבְר֖וֹן בְּאֶ֣רֶץ כְּנָ֑עַן וַיָּבֹא֙ אַבְרָהָ֔ם לִסְפֹּ֥ד לְשָׂרָ֖ה וְלִבְכֹּתָֽהּ׃

Rashi comments as to why the city was called:

בקרית ארבע. עַל שֵׁם אַרְבַּע עֲנָקִים שֶׁהָיוּ שָׁם, אֲחִימָן שֵׁשַׁי וְתַלְמַי וַאֲבִיהֶם. דָּ”אַ עַל שֵׁם אַרְבַּע זוּגוֹת שֶׁנִקְבְּרוּ שָׁם אִישׁ וְאִשְׁתּוֹ, אָדָם וְחַוָּה, אַבְרָהָם וְשָׂרָה, יִצְחָק וְרִבְקָה, יַעֲקֹב וְלֵאָה (בראשית רבה):

Rashi brings down two reason when Chevron was called קִרְיַ֥ת אַרְבַּ֛ע.  

  1. It was named after the four giants who lived there
  2. The four pairs buried in Cnevron

Thesource of the first reason is from a Verse in Yehushua 14>15 – וְשֵׁ֨ם חֶבְר֤וֹן לְפָנִים֙ קִרְיַ֣ת אַרְבַּ֔ע הָאָדָ֧ם הַגָּד֛וֹל בָּעֲנָקִ֖ים ה֑וּא וְהָאָ֥רֶץ שָׁקְטָ֖ה מִמִּלְחָמָֽה׃ 

The name of Hebron was formerly Kiriath-arba: [Arba] was the great man among the Anakites. And the land had rest from war.

Rashi on Verse 14:15 in Yehoshua

הָאָדָם הַגָּדוֹל בָּעֲנָקִים הוּא אֲבִיהֶם שֶׁל אֲחִימָן שֵׁשַׁי וְתַלְמַי, אַרְבַּע הָיָה שְׁמוֹ. דָּבָר אַחֵר: עַל שֵׁם הָאָב וּשְׁלשָׁה בָּנִים, שֶׁכֵּן קוֹרֵא אוֹתָם (שם יג כב): יְלִידֵי הָעֲנָק.

The greatest man among the giants. The father of Achimon, Sheishai, and Talmai was Arba.7Chevron was the home of these four famous giants, the three brothers and their father. Another explanation: [It was called Kiryas-arba, the city of four]8 because of the father and the three sons, for they are referred to as the offspring of the “Anak,” [the giant].9

Rashi in Yehoshua gives two reasons and Rashi selected the second reason that he gave in Yehoshua for here in Chaya Sarah.  

How are we to understand the second explanation in Rashi here in Bereshis that the city was called קִרְיַ֥ת אַרְבַּ֛ע because of the four pairs buried in Chevon when in Yehoshua we are told that it is because of the four giants?  

The Netziv in Hemek Davar answers this question that this second explanation is not the reason why the city is called קרית ארבע, but rather why Hashem arranged it that Sarah would die in   קרית ארבע .  Because that is where she was to be buried.   Sara and Avrohom lived in Beer Sheva, with Chevron being roughly 20 miles north of Chevron, and Har Hamoriah being 15 miles north of Chevron.   As the Netziv says  משום הדרש ששם ראוי להקבר ארבע אבות העולם and her death there was a sign to Avrohom to bury her in  קִרְיַ֥ת אַרְבַּ֛ע .

The problem with the Hemek Davar is that it seems based on Rashi’s Bereshis 21:24 that Avrohim moved to Chevron 12 years before the Akedah.  Rashi as follows:

ימים רבים. מְרֻבִּים עַל שֶׁל חֶבְרוֹן. בְּחֶבְרוֹן עָשָׂה כ”ה שָׁנָה וְכָאן כ”ו, שֶׁהֲרֵי בֶּן ע”ה שָׁנָה הָיָה בְּצֵאתוֹ מֵחָרָן, אוֹתָהּ שָׁנָה וַיָבֹא וַיֵּשֶׁב בְּאֵלֹנֵי מַמְרֵא, שֶׁלֹּא מָצִינוּ קֹדֶם לָכֵן שֶׁנִּתְיַשֵּׁב אֶלָּא שָׁם, שֶׁבְּכָל מְקוֹמוֹתָיו הָיָה כְּאוֹרֵחַ חוֹנֶה וְנוֹסֵעַ וְהוֹלֵך, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר וַיַּעֲבֹר אַבְרָם, וַיַּעְתֵּק מִשָּׁם, וַיְהִי רָעָב בָּאָרֶץ וַיֵּרֶד אַבְרָם מִצְרַיְמָה (בראשית י”ב), וּבְמִצְרַיִם לֹא עָשָׂה אֶלָּא שְׁלֹשָׁה חֳדָשִׁים שֶׁהֲרֵי שְׁלָחוֹ פַרְעֹה מִיָּד, וַיֵּלֶךְ לְמַסָּעָיו עַד וַיָּבֹא וַיֵּשֶׁב בְּאֵלֹנֵי מַמְרֵא אֲשֶׁר בְּחֶבְרוֹן (שם י”ג), שָׁם יָשַׁב עַד שֶׁנֶּהֱפְכָה סְדוֹם, מִיָּד וַיִּסַּע מִשָּׁם אַבְרָהָם מִפְּנֵי בוּשָׁה שֶׁל לוֹט וּבָא לְאֶרֶץ פְּלִשְׁתִּים, וּבֶן צ”ט שָׁנָה הָיָה, שֶׁהֲרֵי בַשְּׁלִישִׁי לְמִילָתוֹ בָּאוּ אֶצְלוֹ הַמַּלְאָכִים, הֲרֵי כ”ה שָׁנָה, וְכָאן כְּתִיב יָמִים רַבִּים, מְרֻבִּים עַל הָרִאשׁוֹנִים, וְלֹא בָא הַכָּתוּב לִסְתֹּם אֶלָּא לְפָרֵשׁ, וְאִם הָיוּ מְרֻבִּים עֲלֵיהֶם שְׁתֵּי שָׁנִים אוֹ יוֹתֵר הָיָה מְפָרְשָׁם, וְעַל כָּרְחֲךָ אֵינָם יְתֵרִים יוֹתֵר מִשָּׁנָה, הֲרֵי כ”ו שָׁנָה; מִיָּד יָצָא מִשָּׁם וְחָזַר לְחֶבְרוֹן, וְאוֹתָהּ שָׁנָה קָדְמָה לִפְנֵי עֲקֵדָתוֹ שֶׁל יִצְחָק י”ב שָׁנִים, בְּסֵדֶר עוֹלָם:

The problem is that is Bereshis  22:19  וַיָּ֤שָׁב אַבְרָהָם֙ אֶל־נְעָרָ֔יו וַיָּקֻ֛מוּ וַיֵּלְכ֥וּ יַחְדָּ֖ו אֶל־בְּאֵ֣ר שָׁ֑בַע וַיֵּ֥שֶׁב אַבְרָהָ֖ם בִּבְאֵ֥ר שָֽׁבַע׃ .    Abraham then returned to his servants, and they departed together for Beer-sheba; and Abraham stayed in Beer-sheba.

If Avrohom was living in Chevron why did he go to Beer Sheva after the Akeda.  The simple answer is that  while living in Chevron, Avrohom and Sarah went back to Beer Sheva at times and when the Akedah happened Avrohom was in Beer Sheva.  After i re[read Rashi on Verse 22”19 it appears that I am correct.

וישב אברהם בבאר שבע. לֹא יְשִׁיבָה מַמָּשׁ, שֶׁהֲרֵי בְּחֶבְרוֹן הָיָה יוֹשֵׁב, י”ב שָׁנִים לִפְנֵי עֲקֵדָתוֹ שֶׁל יִצְחָק יָצָא מִבְּאֵר שֶׁבַע וְהָלַךְ לוֹ לְחֶבְרוֹן, כְּמוֹ שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר וַיָּגָר אַבְרָהָם בְּאֶרֶץ פְּלִשְׁתִּים יָמִים רַבִּים, מְרֻבִּים מִשֶּׁל חֶבְרוֹן הָרִאשׁוֹנִים, וְהֵם כ”ו שָׁנָה, כְּמוֹ שֶׁפֵּרַשְׁנוּ לְמַעְלָה:

She died in Chevron to tell Avrohom that this is to be the place of her burial and why?  What was so special about Chevron.  The answer could be based on Rabbi Leibtag’s Shiur via Zoom to Boca Raton Synagogue on November 10, 2020.  Chevron is the place where Hashem told Avrohom in Bersehis Verse 18:19 why he is chosen by Hashem to discuss Sedom’s fate.  Avrohom represents Gods desire for the world to live with  צְדָקָ֖ה וּמִשְׁפָּ֑ט and Avrohom is to teach the world this message.     Power is not to be achieved for power’s sake and for domination and subjugation;  but for justice and charity, to feed the poor, to uplift the people of their kingdom and the entire world.  Avrohom will teach his children the message of  צְדָקָ֖ה וּמִשְׁפָּ֑ט and his children will forever continue to spread this message.       This is in contrast to Sedom who were evil and did not practice justice and charity.  This is the paradigm for Jewish leaders which was first achieved by Dovid Hamelech, see below.

Besersis – verse 19:19:   כִּ֣י יְדַעְתִּ֗יו לְמַעַן֩ אֲשֶׁ֨ר יְצַוֶּ֜ה אֶת־בָּנָ֤יו וְאֶת־בֵּיתוֹ֙ אַחֲרָ֔יו וְשָֽׁמְרוּ֙ דֶּ֣רֶךְ יְהוָ֔ה לַעֲשׂ֥וֹת צְדָקָ֖ה וּמִשְׁפָּ֑ט לְמַ֗עַן הָבִ֤יא יְהוָה֙ עַל־אַבְרָהָ֔ם אֵ֥ת אֲשֶׁר־דִּבֶּ֖ר עָלָֽיו׃

For I have singled him out, that he may instruct his children and his posterity to keep the way of the LORD by doing what is just and right, in order that the LORD may bring about for Abraham what He has promised him.”

Chevron represents the theological center for the Jewish people.  This is where Avrohom was told his legacy, the mission for his children  This mission for Jewish power was first achieved in the time of Dovid in the following Verses:

Schmuel 2 Verses 7:14-15

וַ.  .  .   וַיּ֤וֹשַׁע יְהוָה֙ אֶת־דָּוִ֔ד בְּכֹ֖ל אֲשֶׁ֥ר הָלָֽךְ

He stationed garrisons in Edom—he stationed garrisons in all of Edom—and all the Edomites became vassals of David. The LORD gave David victory wherever he went.

וַיִּמְלֹ֥ךְ דָּוִ֖ד עַל־כָּל־יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל וַיְהִ֣י דָוִ֗ד עֹשֶׂ֛ה מִשְׁפָּ֥ט וּצְדָקָ֖ה לְכָל־עַמּֽוֹ׃

David reigned over all Israel, and David executed true justice among all his people.

1 Chronicles 18:14 –  וַיִּמְלֹ֥ךְ דָּוִ֖יד עַל־כָּל־יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל וַיְהִ֗י עֹשֶׂ֛ה מִשְׁפָּ֥ט וּצְדָקָ֖ה לְכָל־עַמּֽוֹ׃

Rashi says on this   Pasuk:

משפט וצדקה. משך עצמו מלהלחם עוד ומלצאת ולבא עוד במלחמה והיה יושב ושופט תמיד ישראל בצדקה:

These theme of  צְדָקָ֖ה וּמִשְׁפָּ֑ט  appears throughout Tanach as the goal of the Jewish people.

F.  Yehuda & David and concept of teshuva

תהילים פרק עב

א  לִשְׁלֹמֹה:    אֱלֹהִים–מִשְׁפָּטֶיךָ, לְמֶלֶךְ תֵּן; וְצִדְקָתְךָ לְבֶן-מֶלֶךְ. ב  יָדִין

עַמְּךָ בְצֶדֶק;    וַעֲנִיֶּיךָ בְמִשְׁפָּט.-  יִשְׁפֹּט עֲנִיֵּי עָם יוֹשִׁיעַ, לִבְנֵי אֶבְיוֹן;

וִידַכֵּא עוֹשֵׁק…. י  מַלְכֵי תַרְשִׁישׁ וְאִיִּים,    מִנְחָה יָשִׁיבוּ;מַלְכֵי שְׁבָא וּסְבָא אֶשְׁכָּר

יַקְרִיבוּ. יא וְיִשְׁתַּחֲווּ-לוֹ כָל-מְלָכִים כָּל-גּוֹיִם יַעַבְדוּהוּ. יב  כִּי-יַצִּיל, אֶבְיוֹן מְשַׁוֵּעַ;

וְעָנִי, וְאֵין-עֹזֵר לוֹ. יג  יָחֹס, עַל-דַּל וְאֶבְיוֹן;וְנַפְשׁוֹת אֶבְיוֹנִים יוֹשִׁיעַ.

G.    What could have saved Jerusalem – according to Yirmiyahu

ירמיהו כ – 

    א כֹּה אָמַר ה’, רֵד בֵּית-מֶלֶךְ יְהוּדָה; וְדִבַּרְתָּ שָׁם, אֶת

הַדָּבָר הַזֶּה.  

ב וְאָמַרְתָּ, שְׁמַע דְּבַר-ה’, מֶלֶךְ יְהוּדָה, הַיֹּשֵׁב עַל-כִּסֵּא

דָוִד:  אַתָּה וַעֲבָדֶיךָ וְעַמְּךָ, הַבָּאִים בַּשְּׁעָרִים הָאֵלֶּה. 

 ג כֹּה אָמַר ה’, עֲשׂוּ מִשְׁפָּט וּצְדָקָה, וְהַצִּילוּ גָזוּל, מִיַּד עָשׁוֹק; וְגֵר יָתוֹם

וְאַלְמָנָה אַל-תֹּנוּ, אַל-תַּחְמֹסוּ…   ד  כִּי אִם-עָשׂוֹ תַּעֲשׂוּ אֶת-הַדָּבָר

הַזֶּה—וּבָאוּ בְשַׁעֲרֵי הַבַּיִת הַזֶּה מְלָכִים יֹשְׁבִים לְדָוִד עַל-כִּסְאוֹ…

ה  וְאִם לֹא תִשְׁמְעוּ ..-בִּי נִשְׁבַּעְתִּי נְאֻם-ה’, כִּי-לְחָרְבָּה יִהְיֶה הַבַּיִת הַזֶּה.

H. To “know God” – according to Yirmiyahu

In his ensuing rebuke of King Yehoyakim:

יג הוֹי בֹּנֶה בֵיתוֹ בְּלֹא-צֶדֶק, וַעֲלִיּוֹתָיו בְּלֹא מִשְׁפָּט…

.  טו הֲתִמְלֹךְ, כִּי אַתָּה מְתַחֲרֶה בָאָרֶז; אָבִיךָ הֲלוֹא אָכַל וְשָׁתָה, וְעָשָׂה

מִשְׁפָּט וּצְדָקָה–אָז, טוֹב לוֹ.  טז דָּן דִּין-עָנִי וְאֶבְיוֹן, אָז טוֹב;

הֲלוֹא-הִיא הַדַּעַת אֹתִי, נְאֻם-ה’.

The words of the Hemek Davar:

בקרית ארבע. לפי הפשט הוא אדון העיר או בונה העיר. אבל הרי נזכר כ״פ חברון ולא נזכר שם הלז. מזה יצא דרשת חז״ל כונה שניה כפרש״י ומשום זה היתה סיבה מן השמים שתמות בחברון אע״ג שהיתה דירתה עם אברהם בבאר שבע כמבואר גם אחר העקידה וישב אברהם בבאר שבע. וגם להלן כתיב ויצחק בא מבוא באר לחי רואי והוא יושב בארץ הנגב. והיינו באר שבע כדכתיב לעיל כ׳ א׳ ויסע משם אברהם ארצה הנגב. אבל שרה מתה באיזה סבה ממסבב הסבות בחברון. או כאשר שמעה מדבר העקידה הלכה אחרי אברהם ויצחק חיי רוחה ובאשר הלכו לארץ המוריה והוא ביהודה סמוך לחברון. באה לשם ומתה. וטעם סיבה זו מה׳ הוא באשר היתה קרית ארבע וע״כ הוא משום הדרש ששם ראוי להקבר ארבע אבות העולם. ואדה״ר היה הראשון לקבורה שם ואיש לא ידע מזה:

I emailed the below Torah to Rabbi Menachem Leibtag and he responded:

Thank you

and a very nice summary –

and it’s fine,

just one typo I found

This is in contract to Sedom… 

s/b in ‘contrast’ 

2)  Torah Vort:

Verse 23:5 says – וַיַּעֲנ֧וּ בְנֵי־חֵ֛ת אֶת־אַבְרָהָ֖ם לֵאמֹ֥ר לֽוֹ׃

The last two words of  לֵאמֹ֥ר לֽוֹ׃ are extra?

 The Hemek Dvar answers that they are not extra –

 לאמר לו. המה נתיישבו מה להשיב. ושלחו אחד מהם לאמר לו תשובתם. Meaning they talked about it among themselves and then sent a representative  to speak to Avrohom,   This does not seem to be a fully satisfying answer.  

Verse 23:8 says:

וַיְדַבֵּ֥ר אִתָּ֖ם לֵאמֹ֑ר אִם־יֵ֣שׁ אֶֽת־נַפְשְׁכֶ֗ם לִקְבֹּ֤ר אֶת־מֵתִי֙ מִלְּפָנַ֔י שְׁמָע֕וּנִי וּפִגְעוּ־לִ֖י בְּעֶפְר֥וֹן בֶּן־צֹֽחַר׃

and he said to them, “If it is your wish that I remove my dead for burial, you must agree to intercede for me with Ephron son of Zohar.

Rashi says:

פגעו לי. לְשוֹן בַּקָּשָׁה כְּמוֹ: אַל תִּפְגְּעִי בִּי (רות א’):

Translated as  –  ופגעו לי — This phrase signifies entreaty, as (Ruth 1:16) “Do not entreat (תפגעי) me”.

Rashi is telling us that the translation of וּפִגְעוּ־לִ֖י is not “introduce me to Ephron” , but rather they should request of  Ephron to  give the מְעָרַ֤ת הַמַּכְפֵּלָה֙ to me.  They were to make the sales pitch and not Avrohom, and this is what Onkelus says – 

וּמַלֵּיל עִמְּהוֹן לְמֵימָר אִם אִית רַעֲוָא בְנַפְשְׁכוֹן לְמִקְבַּר יָת מִיתִי מִן קֳדָמַי קַבִּילוּ מִנִּי וּבְעוּ לִי מִן עֶפְרוֹן בַּר צוֹחַר:

Insight – Avrohom did this very wisely.  He did not negotiate with Efron directly.  He asked the people of Ches to talk to Ephron, they should convince Ephon should sell his field to Avrohoim.  Avrohom gave ownership in what Avrohom wanted to the people of Ches, so that they will convince Eforn to sell.  This would make it easier for Avrohom to purchase the field.   This is a beautiful negotiation tactic to get buy-in from those around you.

Vort 3)

Verse 23:9

וְיִתֶּן־לִ֗י אֶת־מְעָרַ֤ת הַמַּכְפֵּלָה֙ אֲשֶׁר־ל֔וֹ אֲשֶׁ֖ר בִּקְצֵ֣ה שָׂדֵ֑הוּ בְּכֶ֨סֶף מָלֵ֜א יִתְּנֶ֥נָּה לִ֛י בְּתוֹכְכֶ֖ם לַאֲחֻזַּת־קָֽבֶר׃

Let him sell me the cave of Machpelah that he owns, which is at the edge of his land. Let him sell it to me, at the full price, for a burial site in your midst.”

Rashi says:  המכפלה. בַּית וַעֲלִיָּה עַל גַּבָּיו. דָּ”אַ שֶׁכְּפוּלָה בְּזוּגוֹת (עירובין נ”ג

Rashi defines for us the word מכפלה as a cave that had two floors.

Rashbam:

מערת המכפלה – כל הבקעה קרויה מכפלה כמו: ככר הירדן וכן מוכיח לפנינו: שדה עפרון אשר 

במכפלה.

The Rashbam translates  הַמַּכְפֵּלָה֙ as the name of valley where Efron’s property was located.  Ephron’s cave was located in the area called מַּכְפֵּלָה֙.  Proof is that in 23:17 the Torah says וַיָּ֣קָם שְׂדֵ֣ה עֶפְר֗וֹן אֲשֶׁר֙ בַּמַּכְפֵּלָ֔ה אֲשֶׁ֖ר לִפְנֵ֣י מַמְרֵ֑א .  This fits in beautifully with the Rashbam, the field located in Machpelah which is before Mamre stood .  .   .  But according to Rashi what does verse 17 mean.  If Macpelah is a cave, what is the field in the cave?

Flow of the Pesukim:

 Avrohom tells Efron in Verse 9,  I want to purchase your cave.  Eforn answers in Verse  11 s and says I will give you the field and also the cave in it (the field).  Seemingly Efron is being magnanimous by saying you can not only have the cave but I will give you the entire field.  In verse 13 Avrohom responds to Efrorn’s offer and says I will purchase the field.  I really do not want it as a gift because all I need is the cave.  I will pay for your generous offer of the field and the cave will be a gift to me.  This is what Avrohom says, “I will purchase the field”. Avrohom does not mention the cave because Avrohom understood that Efron was offering the field because Efron really wanted to be paid.     Avrohom thus responded and said I will purchase the field and the cave is a throw in.  This gave Efron cover because he initially said to Avrohom in front of the people of Ches,  Avorhom responded in verse 13 by saying I will buy the field and the cave is really a free bonus to me.  Ephfron can appear magnanimous to his people while getting the  money he wanted.   

With this we can answer another question.  Verse 23:16 – וַיִּשְׁמַ֣ע אַבְרָהָם֮ אֶל־עֶפְרוֹן֒ וַיִּשְׁקֹ֤ל אַבְרָהָם֙ לְעֶפְרֹ֔ן אֶת־הַכֶּ֕סֶף אֲשֶׁ֥ר דִּבֶּ֖ר בְּאָזְנֵ֣י בְנֵי־חֵ֑ת אַרְבַּ֤ע מֵאוֹת֙ שֶׁ֣קֶל כֶּ֔סֶף עֹבֵ֖ר לַסֹּחֵֽר.

The Torah did not need to say וַיִּשְׁמַ֣ע אַבְרָהָם֮.  The pasuk could have left these two words out and started with וַיִּשְׁקֹ֤ל אַבְרָהָם֙ לְעֶפְרֹ֔ן and the pasuk would have made perfect sense.  Now with what I said,  the וַיִּשְׁמַ֣ע אַבְרָהָם֮  is needed and makes sense, וַיִּשְׁמַ֣ע אַבְרָהָם֮ means he listened and understood that Ephron wanted to be compensated for the cave, but was in a bind because the people of Ches did say we will give you a burial spot for free.   This Is what Ephron was really requesting.    Avrohom understood that the out for Ephron was that Avrohom will purchase the field, which was never asked for,  and makes sense that Avrohom should purchase.  Epron throws in the cave for free and  appears to be a generous man, and everyone is happy.  

Now we can explain verse 17 –   וַיָּ֣קָם ׀ שְׂדֵ֣ה עֶפְר֗וֹן אֲשֶׁר֙ בַּמַּכְפֵּלָ֔ה אֲשֶׁ֖ר לִפְנֵ֣י מַמְרֵ֑א הַשָּׂדֶה֙ וְהַמְּעָרָ֣ה אֲשֶׁר־בּ֔וֹ וְכָל־הָעֵץ֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר בַּשָּׂדֶ֔ה אֲשֶׁ֥ר בְּכָל־גְּבֻל֖וֹ סָבִֽיב׃

Based on my above Torah that Avrohom was only purchasing the field and the rest were throw-ins the Pasuk makes sense. Why did the Pasuk say שְׂדֵ֣ה twice?  Because  Avrohom acquired the field as that was their sales agreement and by acquiring the field he acquired (the following) the field, the cave, and the trees. 

Based on this I would prefer the Artscroll translation over Sefaria.

 Sefaria translates this Pasuk as –  “So Ephron’s land in Machpelah, near Mamre—the field with its cave and all the trees anywhere within the confines of that field—passed.”

Artscroll translates Verse 17 as “And Ephron’s field, that was in Machpelah that was facing Mamre “stood” – the field, and the cave within it and all the trees in the field , within its entire boundary all around.”

The Bais Halevi says something similar to my Torah:

ויתן לי את מערת המכפלה אשר בקצה שדהו גו’, השדה נתתי לך והמערה אשר בו לך נתתיה. הנה אברהם לא ביקש רק המערה כי רק היא לבד נצרכה לו אז ואמר לו אשר בקצה שדהו כאומר כי לא יתקלקל השדה ע”י מכירת המערה יען כי המערה היא בקצה השדה, ועפרון השיב לו במרמה כי נותן לו במתנה השדה והמערה ובזה הראה לדעת דע”י לקיחת המערה גם השדה תקולקל ע”י דריסת הרגל וע”כ אמר כי נותן לו במתנה גם את השדה. ואברהם הבין כוונתו ואמר לו אם אתה שמעני נתתי כסף השדה. דישלם לו דמי כל השדה ובה הרי נכלל גם המערה אשר בקצהו: 

Vort 4)  Rabbi Efrem Goldberg in his weekly Chumash Shiur.

 וַתָּ֣מָת שָׂרָ֗ה בְּקִרְיַ֥ת אַרְבַּ֛ע הִ֥וא חֶבְר֖וֹן בְּאֶ֣רֶץ כְּנָ֑עַן וַיָּבֹא֙ אַבְרָהָ֔ם לִסְפֹּ֥ד לְשָׂרָ֖ה וְלִבְכֹּתָֽהּ׃ 

Rashi:  לספוד לשרה ולבכתה. וְנִסְמְכָה מִיתַת שָׂרָה לַעֲקֵדַת יִצְחָק לְפִי שֶׁעַל יְדֵי בְּשׂוֹרַת הָעֲקֵדָה, שֶׁנִּזְדַּמֵּן בְּנָהּ לִשְׁחִיטָה וְכִמְעַט שֶׁלֹּא נִשְׁחַט, פָּרְחָה נִשְׁמָתָהּ מִמֶּנָּה וּמֵתָה

Rabbi Yisroel Meir Druk askes why did Rashi choose to say that the עֲקֵדַת was tied into Sarah’s death only when he came to eulogize and cry for his wife.  Rashi should have said iron the first asuk or the the first half of this pasuk.  Rabbi Druk answers that the test of the עֲקֵדַת continued even after sarah died.  How would Avrohom react.  Would he regret performing the Akedah or would he take it with faith in God and never question.  Even though Avrohom did the right thing, something bad happened.  Avrohom showed that he understood that the reason why Sarah died is because it was her time to die, not the Akedah.  Rabbi Druk also used this to explain why Avorhom eulogized Sarah and then cried.  Had he cried first, people would think that Avrohom possibly regarded listening to God and maybe he should have pushed back.  Thereof Avrohom first eulogized her, told over her sterling ife,  and  only then did he cry.  People would understand that he was crying over the loss of his great wife.

The final test of Avrohom was not the Akedah,  but the final test was his negotiations with Eforn.  Would Avrohom lose his cool with a petty and a bad fatih person.  Avrohom did not and passed the test.  

Friday November 6, 2020: Torah on Parshas VaYera

This Torah is written in Bubbi Blanche’s Apartment for a Refuah Shelaima for Bubbi – Blima Bas Zelda Baila.

Vort #1)  The story of Avrohom continues.  At the beginning of the Parsha it was three days after the circumcision and God came to visit Avrohom.   Three days earlier God changed Avrohom’s and Sarah’s names.  To Avrohom God added a “hey” and to Sarah he removed a “Yud” and replaced it with a “Hey”.

Both new names tell us a change in both of them.  They will become or maybe they already have become world figures, meaning that their influence will be felt over the entire world.  Avrohom will be the Av – father of the entire world and Sarah will be the princess over the entire world.   It seems that names have an influence on someone’s life.  By the Bris Ben HaBisarim, on the Pasuk Bereshis 15:5 Rashi says that based on astrology – nature Avrom cannot have kids, but Avrohom will be able to have kids.  God directs Avrohom to name his future son “Yitzchok”, and previously Hagar to name her kid “Yishmael” so we see that names are significant.  Avrrohom called Yishmael by the name God had instructed Hagar.  This shows Avrohom being intertwined with God.  It is as if he instinctively knew God’s thoughts.  

Vort #2)    Verse 18:2 – 

וַיִּשָּׂ֤א עֵינָיו֙ וַיַּ֔רְא וְהִנֵּה֙ שְׁלֹשָׁ֣ה אֲנָשִׁ֔ים נִצָּבִ֖ים עָלָ֑יו וַיַּ֗רְא וַיָּ֤רָץ לִקְרָאתָם֙ מִפֶּ֣תַח הָאֹ֔הֶל וַיִּשְׁתַּ֖חוּ אָֽרְצָה׃

Translation of Sefaria:  Looking up, he saw three men standing near him. As soon as he saw them, he ran from the entrance of the tent to greet them and, bowing to the ground

Translation of Artscroll:  He lifted his eyes and saw: And behold three men were standing before him.  He saw, and he ran toward them from the entrance of the tent, and bowed toward the ground. 

Translation is important and reading words properly are important.  The Torah uses the word   וְהִנֵּה֙ – and behold.  Sefaria ignores the   וְהִנֵּה֙ and also ignores the second  וַיַּ֗רְא.

I believe even Artscoll who acknowledges the word וְהִנֵּה֙ and translates it “behold” cannot convey the full meaning of the word וְהִנֵּה֙ – this word animates the scene.

The Torah uses the word וְהִנֵּה֙ .    This word paints the scene for us, we can feel what Avrohom felt, and not only that we can picture ourselves in the tent with Avrohom.  Picture the scene – Avrohom was looking out and saw nothing.  All of a sudden it seems out of nowhere, three men appear.  An excitement flows through his body, joy spreads through him, which calls Avrohom to action.  We all have had this experience.  Looking up and unexpectedly seeing a relative, a friend, and we are full of emotion.  

Rashi – נצבים עליו. לְפָנָיו, אֲבָל לָשׁוֹן נְקִיָּה הוּא כְּלַפֵּי הַמַּלְאָכִים:

Rashi uses the word נְקִיָּה.  Artscoll does say clean but adds i.e. respectful. Sefaria is similar and translates Rashi as, “ this is a more fitting expression to use of angels.”    However, the word in the Rashi is נְקִיָּה and not  כבוד.   I think that Rashi is telling us something more, two possible explanations.

1)  When we show proper respect and use proper speech, we are clean, we are uplifted.  We become a better person, someone more refined.`

2)  When we speak properly towards Hashem and his representatives in this world we bring God down into this world, we bring Holiness into this world.       I believe that Rashi can also be expanded to include when we glorify Hashen, we bring holiness into our world.

This I believe is what the Kotzker meant when he said, my job is to bring God into this world, perhaps based on this Rashi.

I have to look up the Kotzher for the exact words that were used.  

Vort 3)  Chapter 18 Verse 10:

There is a difference between Rashi and Orach Chaim HaKodeh how to translate the pronouns of וְה֥וּא אַחֲרָֽיו in the following Verse”

                               וַיֹּ֗אמֶר שׁ֣וֹב אָשׁ֤וּב אֵלֶ֙יךָ֙ כָּעֵ֣ת חַיָּ֔ה וְהִנֵּה־בֵ֖ן לְשָׂרָ֣ה אִשְׁתֶּ֑ךָ וְשָׂרָ֥ה שֹׁמַ֛עַת פֶּ֥תַח הָאֹ֖הֶל וְה֥וּא אַחֲרָֽיו

Then one said, “I will return to you next year, and your wife Sarah shall have a son!” Sarah was listening at the entrance of the tent, which was behind him.

Rashi translates וְה֥וּא אַחֲרָֽיו  like the above which is both like Sefaria and Artscroll as follows:

                                                                                                           והוא אחריו. הַפֶּתַח הָיָה אַחַר הַמַּלְאָךְ:  

The Orach Chaim HaKodesh translates    והוא אחריו slightly differently, as follows:

ושרה שומעת מודיע הכתוב כי הבשורה לשרה בשרו כמאמר ה’ בשליחות, והוא אומרו ושרה שומעת וגו‘ והוא המבשר אחריו. וראיתי במדרש כי אף על פי כן נתיסר המלאך על אשר לא דבר הבשורה מפיו אליה ודבר לאברהם, והמלאכים יענשו על השוגג ועל שנוי כל שהוא:

Orach Chaim – And he (the angel) was behind the tent.

Rashi:              And the tent was behind him (the angel.)

 The question is does it make a difference whether we translate as Rashi or as the Orach Chaim?  Perhaps not, but there is a major question, the words of  והוא אחריו are completely extra.  The Posuk said that she was listening, so what do these two words add?

I do not have an answer for this question.

Vort 4)  This was sent out in an email  on November 7, 2020:

Guten Motzei Shabbos.  I offer this Torah in honor and memory of our two great leaders who passed away this weekend.  Rabbi Dovid Feinstien and Rabbi Jonathan Sacks.  I am listening to Rabbi Shlomo Calrbach’s Selichos, Ashrei and Kadish.  Beautiful.

Over Shabbos I asked a question on Pasuk 18:10 on the needs for two words of   והוא אחריו 

וַיֹּ֗אמֶר שׁ֣וֹב אָשׁ֤וּב אֵלֶ֙יךָ֙ כָּעֵ֣ת חַיָּ֔ה וְהִנֵּה־בֵ֖ן לְשָׂרָ֣ה אִשְׁתֶּ֑ךָ וְשָׂרָ֥ה שֹׁמַ֛עַת פֶּ֥תַח הָאֹ֖הֶל וְה֥וּא אַחֲרָֽיו׃

Then one said, “I will return to you next year, and your wife Sarah shall have a son!” Sarah was listening at the entrance of the tent, which was behind him.

There is a major question, the words of  והוא אחריו are completely extra.  Thee Posuk said that she was listening, so what do these two words add.

We can perhaps answer based on a  beautiful Orach Chaim translated as follows:

ושרה שומעת מודיע הכתוב כי הבשורה לשרה בשרו כמאמר ה’ בשליחות, והוא אומרו ושרה שומעת וגו‘ והוא המבשר אחריו. וראיתי במדרש כי אף על פי כן נתיסר המלאך על אשר לא דבר הבשורה מפיו אליה ודבר לאברהם, והמלאכים יענשו על השוגג ועל שנוי כל שהוא:

“And Sarah was listening” –  the Pasuk is telling us that  the news (of the impending birth) was delivered as Hashem wanted, and that is why the Verse says, “she was listening at the entrance of the tent and he was beyond her,” meaning  the angel made his announcement in close proximity to her so she can hear.  This is the first half of the Orach Chaim. 

But it is still difficult because the Torah said that she was listening, so why does it say “he was behind her”.

The Orach Chaim Hakodesh continues and brings in a Medresh.

 וראיתי במדרש כי אף על פי כן נתיסר המלאך על אשר לא דבר הבשורה מפיו אליה ודבר לאברהם, והמלאכים יענשו על השוגג ועל שנוי כל שהוא

Translated as –  (Although the commandment of Hashem was delivered)  the angels were punished for not delivering  the news directly to her, but through speaking to Avrohom.  Angels are punished even for unintentional errors and for even the slightest deviation from what they were sent to do.  (Artscroll).    Meaning the commandment from Hashem was to speak to her directly and they did not do this.

What happened because of their slight deviation and what was the punishment?

I propose as follows:

In verse 18:9 the angels asked where is Sarah?  Meaning they wanted to fulfil their mission of delivering the impending birth to Sarah directly.  Avrohom tersely says, she is in the tent.  Meaning there is no need for her to come out, she can hear from the tent.  The angels should have responded, we need her to come out because our mission is to deliver this message of  great news, directly to her, however, words fail them.  This is like you are in a meeting with your boss about something important and  your boss says something that is a roadblock, and you do not get your way.    Words fail you and afterwards you kick yourself that you did not respond properly and you could have responded property to deflect the roadblock and possibly gotten your way.   This happened to me plenty of times when I was presenting in front of loan committee at the bank.

Verse 10 continues and says that they fulfilled their mission by telling Avrohom the news, with Sarah listening.   The Torah tells us    וְה֥וּא אַחֲרָֽיו.    These words are extra to convey that the angel did not fulfill his mission properly because he was behind her, he did not deliver the news directly to her.   

What happened as a result? Verses 11, 12, and 13.  Sarah laughed in derision.  Had he told her directly she would have seen the intensity in his and the other angels eyes, their body language, their Godliness, and would have been overjoyed and it would have been a different laughter, just like Avrohom’s laughter in Verse 17:17.  In Kotzk, Torah had to be given over in the presence of the Rebbe and student.  That is why they never committed Torah to writing.

This is the result of not listening and fulfilling Hashem’s instructions 100%,  even this slight deviation caused Sarah to say something improper and to be embarrassed.  

Perhaps you can say that this is their  punishment of their actions.  They assumed that Sarah would be happy and even if she reacted as she did,  they did not think it would be an issue.  She was a very righteous person, full of charity,  and one misplaced emotion would not be an issue, and would not be brought up to her to embarrass her.  However, it did cause embarrassment and they were the cause of Sarah’s embarrassment.  Imagine if one of us unintentionally caused problems and embarrassment for someone, we would have a week of sleepless nights.   There are plenty of Midrashim that speak of the  emotions of angels.   Especially the angel here who is one of the big four.   

This is what the Orach Chaim HaKodesh means to convey and what the words of  והוא אחריו  tell us.  

Vort 5)   Another lesson from the Torah that when you have great news as Avromon did about having a son and he could have told Sarah, Hashem still  wanted to be the one to deliver the joyous news.  Tell great news directly, not through a third party for obvious reasons.   The joy is magnified.   

Vort 6)   Chapter 18 Verse 9:

 וַיֹּאמְר֣וּ אֵׄלָׄ֔יׄוׄ אַיֵּ֖ה שָׂרָ֣ה אִשְׁתֶּ֑ךָ וַיֹּ֖אמֶר הִנֵּ֥ה בָאֹֽהֶל׃

When does is use the word to refer to Sarah’s tent as בָאֹֽהֶל and not  אֹ֖הֱלָה   as in 18:6 וַיְמַהֵ֧ר אַבְרָהָ֛ם הָאֹ֖הֱלָה אֶל־שָׂרָ֑ה .  .  . 

Vort 7)  Chapter 18 Verse 10:

 וַיֹּ֗אמֶר שׁ֣וֹב אָשׁ֤וּב אֵלֶ֙יךָ֙ כָּעֵ֣ת חַיָּ֔ה וְהִנֵּה־בֵ֖ן לְשָׂרָ֣ה אִשְׁתֶּ֑ךָ וְשָׂרָ֥ה שֹׁמַ֛עַת פֶּ֥תַח הָאֹ֖הֶל וְה֥וּא אַחֲרָֽיו׃ 

  Why did the Torah describe Sarah’s tent as being behind them.  It was a separate tent.  Verse 18:6 seems to imply that Sarah has a separate tent, but this and the previous Verse may seem to suggest that it was one tent, with dividers.  Either way this is not a relevant point and off subject.

Vort 8)   Chapter 18 Verses 13, 14, and 15:

וַיֹּ֥אמֶר יְהוָ֖ה אֶל־אַבְרָהָ֑ם לָ֣מָּה זֶּה֩ צָחֲקָ֨ה שָׂרָ֜ה לֵאמֹ֗ר הַאַ֥ף אֻמְנָ֛ם אֵלֵ֖ד וַאֲנִ֥י זָקַֽנְתִּי׃

הֲיִפָּלֵ֥א מֵיְהוָ֖ה דָּבָ֑ר לַמּוֹעֵ֞ד אָשׁ֥וּב אֵלֶ֛יךָ כָּעֵ֥ת חַיָּ֖ה וּלְשָׂרָ֥ה בֵֽן׃

וַתְּכַחֵ֨שׁ שָׂרָ֧ה ׀ לֵאמֹ֛ר לֹ֥א צָחַ֖קְתִּי כִּ֣י ׀ יָרֵ֑אָה וַיֹּ֥אמֶר ׀ לֹ֖א כִּ֥י צָחָֽקְתְּ׃ 

  1.  Why ambush Sarah?  She was a righteous woman and even if she slipped up here, her emotions got the better of her.  Why call her out?   
  2. God is the one who told Avrohom that Sarah laughed?  They were having a meal and God tells Avrohom, your wife laughed?  Seems odd.  
  3. Rashi said that Hashem changed the words of Sarah from “my husband is old” to “I am  old”.  However, Sarah effectively said that she is old in Verse 12  וַתִּצְחַ֥ק שָׂרָ֖ה בְּקִרְבָּ֣הּ לֵאמֹ֑ר אַחֲרֵ֤י בְלֹתִי֙ הָֽיְתָה־לִּ֣י עֶדְנָ֔ה וַֽאדֹנִ֖י זָקֵֽן׃ .   Say it was an omission, not a change of words.  Technically yes, but in verse 12  she meant that I am old. Verse 11 basically said the same thing as a narrator.  וְאַבְרָהָ֤ם וְשָׂרָה֙ זְקֵנִ֔ים בָּאִ֖ים בַּיָּמִ֑ים חָדַל֙ לִהְי֣וֹת לְשָׂרָ֔ה אֹ֖רַח כַּנָּשִֽׁים׃.

October 24, 2020: Shabbos Parshas Noah

Dream

Blanche Noble – Janowski

Rabbi Leibush Noble

Rabbi Yehuda Leib Graubart

Kotzker Rebbe on Parshas Noah

Netziv

Daniel Glenner

Jewish Geography

Shabbos Parshas Noah – October 24, 2020:

Dream:
Friday night I had a disturbing dream.  I dreamt that my body floated off my bed and headed straight up to the heavens.  I felt completely detached from this world and I was never coming back.  I ended up in a line.  A person looked me up and down and said my body is not perfect, meaning I had sinned.  He then put his hand on my chest to stop me.  I stopped in another line and I was next to a construction person wearing tan overalls and wisecracking.  I had to strongly shake myself awake.   I did not want to be trapped in my dream.

Rabbi Leibush Noble and Rabbi Yehuda Leib Graubart:

I got up at 7:00 AM and went downstairs to study.  I needed a Siddur to say Birchas Hatorah and could not find one.  I knew that Jerry Noble had given me a Siddur used by his grandfather, Rabbi Leibush Noble, along with a set of Malbim Chumoshim.   The below is a picture of Rabbi Yehuda Leibush Noble.

Picture taken in 1946

SCOPE AND CONTENT

Item is a photograph of Beverley Kelman on her first birthday. Pictured in the photograph with Beverley are her father Marvin Lister, mother Ruth Lister, grandfather Rabbi Leibish Noble, and grandmother Bella. Rabbi Noble was the first principal of Eitz Chaim, Toronto’s second-oldest Jewish day school. The photograph was taken at the family home that Ruth and Marvin Lister shared with Ruth’s parents Bella and Rabbi Leibish Noble at 73 Borden St., Toronto.

ADMINISTRATIVE HISTORY

Rabbi Leibish Noble immigrated to Toronto in 1912. The outbreak of World War I hampered his effort to bring over his wife Bella and two young daughters Gertrude and Mary (Miriam).

I spoke to Beverley about this picture and about life with her grandparents.  Uncle Marvin Lister even in 1946 had a hard time with working because he was Shomer Shabbos.  He had a hard time finding a permanent job.  Marvin was a good guy.  Beverely has some great stories from that time period.  I encouraged her to write them down and share with the family.

This picture speaks to me about that generation of Jews who were in the Army during World War II. This is the first Jewish next generation born in North America starting out their lives standing  with their immigrant parents.  Rabbi Leibush Noble and his wife Zelda Baila look youthful who look like they still have many years of active life left in them.   At the time of the picture Florence and Rosie were still single.    All the Noble sisters were very pretty.

Instead of the Siddur, I picked up my wife’s grandfather’s, Reb Leibush Noble’s Malbum on Chumosh Bereshis.  The sefer was published in 1892.    He learned the Malbim on a regular basis.  He held it in his holy hands, learning from it.   My grandfather Reb Sholem Sklar, Bubi Jean’s father, praised his one father Reb Avormon Shmuel Sklar of Krinki that his father knew all the laws of Shabbos, was an expert in טומא וטהרה, and thirdly knew every Mablim by heart.  This shows how precious the Malbim was to the Jews of eastern Europe and that the Malbim was Rabbi Leibush Noble’s go to Chumash.

I opened it to Sefer Noah and found the following picture tucked into the first page of Parshas Noah. 

This is a picture from the Yiddish paper announcing the death of Rabbi Yehuda Leib Graubart known as “Der Stashover Rebbe”.  Please see http://www.billgladstone.ca/j-b-salsberg-and-rabbi-yehuda-leib-graubart/ for more details about Rabbi Yehuda Leib Graubart.

Rabbi Graubart, known as the Mahril Graubart was the Rebbe of our grandfather, Rabbi Yehuda Leibush Noble.    

Rabbi Yehuda Leibush Noble wrote on the top of the picture, ה נח ב בחודש חשון תרצח translated into as 

“Thursday, of the week that Noah is read, on the second day of the month of Cheshvan, 1937”.  At the bottom of the picture he wrote   נפטר – passed away. 

This year Rabbi Graubart’s Yahrzeit was on Tuesday, October 20, 2020.  My guess is that Rabbi Noble did not want to forget the Yahrzeit of his Rebbe.

Why did I stumble on this picture the Shabbos morning?  Is there a message?   The mere fact that I found something my grandfather wanted to preserve and that I held the Sefer that he learned from is humbling.  I could never live up to the righteous and accomplishments of Rabbi Yehuda Leibush Noble in 2 lifetimes.  I gave this some thought and the following is what I spoke after davening in our garage minyan. 

Blanche Noble – Janowski  –  my mother-in-law:

Last Tuesday my mother-in-law fell in her apartment and broke her hip.  She was operated on Thursday, the 22nd and moved to Baycrest on Friday for rehab.  

There is a great verse in Parshas Noah.  Verse 9:23 says:

וַיִּקַּח֩ שֵׁ֨ם וָיֶ֜פֶת אֶת־הַשִּׂמְלָ֗ה וַיָּשִׂ֙ימוּ֙ עַל־שְׁכֶ֣ם שְׁנֵיהֶ֔ם וַיֵּֽלְכוּ֙ אֲחֹ֣רַנִּ֔ית וַיְכַסּ֕וּ אֵ֖ת עֶרְוַ֣ת אֲבִיהֶ֑ם וּפְנֵיהֶם֙ אֲחֹ֣רַנִּ֔ית וְעֶרְוַ֥ת אֲבִיהֶ֖ם לֹ֥א רָאֽוּ׃

But Shem and Japheth took a cloth, placed it against both their backs and, walking backward, they covered their father’s nakedness; their faces were turned the other way, so that they did not see their father’s nakedness.

This is a great verse.  It talks about the great respect Noah’s two sons had for their father.   Rabbi Leibush Noble towards the end of his life had cancer.  He lived by his daughter, Blanche Noble-Janowski.  Rabbi Leibush Noble was a holy Jew.  My mother-in-law took care of his emotional needs, physical needs, and medical needs.  She fulfilled the Mitzvah of honoring one’s mother and father as it is written in the Torah.  May the memory of her parents reward her for the kindness she did for her parents and she should have a speedy recovery.  May she dance at Mendy Bernstein upcoming wedding and her great-grandchildren weddings, including Chani, Tzvi, Eli, Hudi, and Sholoem Morgenstern.

Kotzker on Parshas Noah

The Kotzkerin the Sefer Ohel Torah brings down the following Medresh, Bereshis 30:8:

 הָיָה, אָמַר רַבִּי יוֹחָנָן כָּל מִי שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר בּוֹ הָיָה, מִתְּחִלָּתוֹ וְעַד סוֹפוֹ הוּא צַדִּיק. הֲתִיבוּן לֵיהּ (they arked him)  וְהָכְתִיב (יחזקאל לג, כד): אֶחָד הָיָה אַבְרָהָם וַיִּירַשׁ אֶת הָאָרֶץ, מֵעַתָּה הוּא תְּחִלָּתוֹ וְהוּא סוֹפוֹ. אֲמַר לְהוֹן אַף הִיא לָא תַבְרָא,

 (Even this is not a question)    דְּהָא רַבִּי לֵוִי בְּשֵׁם רֵישׁ לָקִישׁ אָמַר בֶּן שָׁלשׁ שָׁנִים הִכִּיר אַבְרָהָם אֶת בּוֹרְאוֹ וכו’, 

I think that the answer for Rebi Yochanan is that he is learning like Reb Levi in the name of Resh Lakish that Avrohon recognized Hashem at three years old.   When Avrohom first had understanding of the world around him at three years old,  he recognized Hashem,  Before three he was too young to understand good and evil, life, and the society around him.  Therefore we are within our rights to say that Avrohom was a Tzaddik from the beginning of his life, when he had דעת to discern between good and evil, which was when he turned three.

The Medresh continues:

רַבִּי חֲנִינָא וְרַבִּי יוֹחָנָן תַּרְוֵיהוֹן אָמְרִין בֶּן אַרְבָּעִים וּשְׁמוֹנֶה שָׁנָה הִכִּיר אַבְרָהָם אֶת בּוֹרְאוֹ, וּמַה אֲנִי מְקַיֵּם הָיָה, שֶׁהָיָה מְתֻקָּן לְהַדְרִיךְ כָּל הָעוֹלָם כֻּלּוֹ בִּתְשׁוּבָה. (בראשית ג, כב): הֵן הָאָדָם הָיָה, מְתֻקָּן לְמִיתָה, נָחָשׁ (בראשית ג, א): הָיָה, מְתֻקָּן לְפֻרְעָנוּת, קַיִן (בראשית ד, ב): הָיָה, מְתֻקָּן לְגָלוּת, אִיּוֹב (איוב א, א): הָיָה, מְתֻקָּן לְיִסּוּרִין, נֹחַ הָיָה, מְתֻקָּן לַנֵּס, משֶׁה (שמות ג, א): הָיָה, מְתֻקָּן לַגּוֹאֵל, מָרְדְּכַי (אסתר ב, ה): הָיָה, מְתֻקָּן לִגְאֻלָּה. רַבִּי לֵוִי וְרַבָּנָן, רַבִּי לֵוִי אָמַר כָּל מִי שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר בּוֹ הָיָה, רָאָה עוֹלָם חָדָשׁ

However according to  רַבִּי חֲנִינָא וְרַבִּי יוֹחָנָן you cannot answer as we just did, because they say that Avrohom recognized Hashem at 48.  Therefore we cannot say that Avrohom was a Tzadik מִתְּחִלָּתוֹ וְעַד סוֹפוֹ.     Therefore they have a different understanding of the word הָיָה to mean מְתֻקָּן – predestined.  They also re-interpret the  הָיָה of Noah to  mean he was predestined to be saved. 

The Artscroll said that it seems we have a contradiction in Reb Yochanan.  They change the first Reb Yochanan to Reb Yehonason.

Who was Noah’s grandfather,  מְתוּשֶׁ֗לַח – Methuselah.  Rashi on Verse 7:4 says – “ FOR YET SEVEN DAYS — These are the seven days of mourning for the righteous man Methuselah for whose honour the Holy One, blessed be He, had regard, and therefore postponed punishment. Go and calculate the years of Methuselah and you will find that they came to an end (i. e. he died) in the six hundredth year of Noah’s life (which coincided with the date of the Flood) (Sanhedrin 108b).”

We see that Noah’s grandfather Methuselah was a righteous man. What about his father – Lemach.

Comes along the Netziv in his Sefer Hemach Dover on last week’s Sedra and say beautifully:

ממעשנו ומעצבון ידינו. שהיה קשה על למך הצדיק לראות מעשה בני דורו הרשעים ולא יכול להושיע וראה ברוה״ק שבימי בנו ינוחו מרשעות כאלה. וזהו ממעשינו ועוד באשר נשתנה דרך כל בשר וטבעו כמו שיבואר להלן ו׳ י״ב. וע״כ לא יכלו להשתמש בבהמת הארץ כפי הטבע. וא״כ היו מוכרחים לעמול הרבה בידיהם. וראה ברוה״ק שבימי נח ישוב הטבע למקומה. וזהו משמעות ומעצבון ידינו. ואח״כ פי׳ הכתוב מלשון תנחומין:

Lemech was also a Tzaddik.  Look how the Netziv phrases the righteousness of Lemech.  “It was difficult for Lemech the righteous one to see the evil actions of his generation and he was not able to save them.”  Lemach tried but was unsuccessful.  More than that the Torah says the Lemech saw with the Holy Spirit say that in the times of Noah, the world will have relief (comfort) from  ממעשנו – our wicked ways.  He included himself with his generation, even though he was not at fault, he was a Tzaddik.  This is true greatness that he included himself with them because it was his generation and he was their leader, his responsibility.  He could not see that the relief would come with wiping out the entire generation.  

Now we see that Noah was born to a grandfather who was a Tzaddik and a father who was a Tzaddik.  This fits in beautifully with the first Reb Yochanan in the Medresh that Noah was a Tzaddik from the beginning of his life to the end.  (Avrohom was the son of an idol worshipper.) 

Comes along the Kotzker and says it cannot be that Avrohom sat for 48 years and did nothing.  After all Avrohom was able to understand by himself the existence of Hashem, which is tremendous greatness and does not happen overnight.

The Kotzker therefore says that  you must say that during those first 48 years of life Avrohom was searching with his mind and delving into the existence of a creator until he reached 48 years old when he recognized his creator.

You could say that the Kotzker is explaining a point that he felt had to be made according to  רַבִּי חֲנִינָא וְרַבִּי יוֹחָנָן תַּרְוֵיהוֹן אָמְרִין בֶּן אַרְבָּעִים וּשְׁמוֹנֶה שָׁנָה.  That the Kotzker Vort does not impact on the Medresh, the Kotzker is making a side point.

Or I think more probable you could say that the Kotzker is arguing with the Medresh.  Whereas the Midrash says that Avrohom was not a Tzaddik for the beginning of his life to the end, the Kotzker is saying that he was a Tzadick  מִתְּחִלָּתוֹ וְעַד סוֹפוֹ.  Avrohom’s 48 year search is part of his righteousness.  The search is Tzidkus.  Thus the first Reb Yochanan works even with the second Reb Yochanan that Avrohom became a Tzadik at 48 years old.  

The Rest of Shabbos:

Told over the above Torah to Rabbi Ayreh Bassman.

Had the lunch Shabbos meal at Daniel and Chayale Glenner’s house.  I got to know their kids.  

From Daniel, I went to Rabbi Revah, my Rebbe to tell him the above Torah.

Decided to walk to my daughter’s house.  My kids were at her husband’s sister’s son’s bar Mitzvah.  At least I got a nice long walk.

On the way there I played and excelled at Jewish Geography.  I met:

  1. Gila Enbinder, her husband and their two kids.  She is Mispacha to me.    She is from Toronto.  Gila’s sister, Dalya, was best friends with my niece, Aleasha, in high school at Bais Yaakov and Ulpana.  More importantly Dalya is a sister-in-law to Aleasha.  They are married to brothers.
  2. Met Mrs. Peirson (?) who was born and grew up in Phoenix, AZ.  She knows the Rebibo family including Joel Rebibo, my Yeshivas Toras Chaim, Denver, CO classmate.   The father,  Rabbi Rebibo, was the leading Rov in Phoenix.  His son, Joel, is an editor at Hamodia.  Joel is Mizrachi and works for Hamodia.  Previously he was an editor for the Jerusalem post.  Joel Rebibo was someone who you knew in high school was destined for great things.  After not seeing him since our high school graduation in 1971, I met him in 2015, when I was visiting my daughter in seminary.  We had a great reunion on the veranda of my sister’s place at Wolfson in Jerusalem. 
  1. Met the son of Rabbi Hollander from LA.  Rabbi Hollander lived in Chicago and was involved with a Kiruv organization.  I knew him then.   He moved out to LA and raised his family in LA.   I met Rabbi Hollander in LA about 20 years ago.  He was Rabbi of the Young Israel of Venice Beach and started Emek, a Yeshiva located in Culver City.  They have since moved.  My cousin’s kid went there for high school.

Week of October October 11 – October 17, 2020

Simchas Torah 2020

Parshas Bereishis – Verse 5:29

Naming of Noah

Shabbos in Lakeview

Chabad of East Lakeview

Rabbi Dovid Kotlarski

Chabad of Lakeview

Sunday – October 11, 2020:

Simchas Torah:

Great Simchas Torah.  I was not expecting too much at Sidney’s garage Minyan.  Most of the neighborhood came with their families.  After the 5th Hakaph, the extended Goldstein family gave a Kiddush on the birth of a granddaughter.  Not just any Kiddush, but a grand feast.  There was Cholent, potato kugel, drumettes, cake, and candy.  We were done at 2:30 PM.  My kids came about an hour later for the Yom Tov meal.  Serka cooked up a great meal.

Tuesday – October 13,2020:

Took my Covid test.  Skokie Yeshiva tested everyone before they opened their campus.

Went through the basement of the two flat to go over the remaining work items.  There were about 20 items.  It is dragging on and the dollars are adding up.  I am not happy about it and somewhat depressed..

Wednesday October 14, 2020:

Went to Richards Body Shop.  Eddie is starting to redo my 1968 Ford Mustang that was my father’s third wife.  I paid him $3,000.  The car is all rusted out.  The motor work’s fine.   He is ordering parts for the Mustang Floor, hood, side panels, and other parts.  After 19 years of sitting in his shop, he is finally working on the car.

Thursday – October 15, 2020:

Everyone passed their covid test and the Yeshiva opened.  I was very depressed as Rabbi Revach gave a Shiur on Tosfes Kiddushin 2B – Esrog.  I did not understand the Shiur.

Friday – October 16, 2020:

Learned with Rabbi Revach for two hours going through the Tosfes.  I recovered some of my dignity.

Took Naftali to the Home Office for Cholent.  

Drove to Eli for Shabbos and got there about 5:30 PM.  Serka made great food for us.  Went to Anshei Shalom for davening.  It was depressing.  Only 13 men and two women.  No one spoke to one another.  There is no excuse for how they shut down davening. Went back to Eli and had a great meal.   Schmoozed with Eli about life and went to bed about 10:15 PM.

Shabbos – October 17, 2020:

Woke up at 7:00 AM. Learned Chumosh.  Davened at Chabad of East Lakeview.  Got to Shul at 10:15 AM.   They recently purchased a building at Wellington, just west of Broadway and will be remodeling.  I saw the Chevra from Anshei Shomel. Cholent was great.

I gave a Shiur and the below is my new Torah I spoke out in the Shiur.:  Paul, Tamar, Herb, and the Kaz’s attended.  

Rabbi Kotlarsky spoke about Noah and what he meant to the world.  Rabbi Kotlarski talked about Verse 5:29 that Noah brought relief from the hard labor to produce food from a cursed land and equally as important, he brought them relief from depression.  He tied this in to the depression brought on by Covid and the increase in suicide and sucidiual thougths.  Later on I told Rabbi Kotlarski that he was M’Chavin to the Ibn Ezra.

Torah for Berehis 2020:

Bereishis Verse 5:29:

וַיִּקְרָ֧א אֶת־שְׁמ֛וֹ נֹ֖חַ לֵאמֹ֑ר זֶ֠ה יְנַחֲמֵ֤נוּ מִֽמַּעֲשֵׂ֙נוּ֙ וּמֵעִצְּב֣וֹן יָדֵ֔ינוּ מִן־הָ֣אֲדָמָ֔ה אֲשֶׁ֥ר אֵֽרְרָ֖הּ יְהוָֽה׃

And he named him Noah, saying, “This one will provide us relief from our work and from the toil of our hands, out of the very soil which the LORD placed under a curse.”

Rashi says on this Passuk:

זה ינחמנו. יָנַח מִמֶּנּוּ אֶת עִצְּבוֹן יָדֵינוּ. עַד שֶׁלֹּא בָא נֹחַ לֹא הָיָה לָהֶם כְּלֵי מַחֲרֵשָׁה וְהוּא הֵכִין לָהֶם,  וְהָיְתָה הָאָרֶץ מוֹצִיאָה קוֹצִים וְדַרְדַּרִים כְּשֶׁזּוֹרְעִים חִטִּים, מִקִּלְלָתוֹ שֶׁל אָדָם הָרִאשׁוֹן, וּבִימֵי נֹחַ נָחָה, וְזֶהוּ יְנַחֲמֵנוּ, וְאִם לֹא תְפָרְשֵׁהוּ כָּךְ אֵין טַעַם הַלָּשׁוֹן נוֹפֵל עַל הַשֵּׁם וְאַתָּה צָרִיךְ לִקְרוֹת שְׁמוֹ מְנַחֵם:

What does  יְנַחֲמֵנוּ mean:

Sefaria – relief

Artscroll with Rashi English Translation – ease

Artscroll – rest

Miller and Gunick Lubavitch Chumosim – rest

Mechon-Mamre – Comfort us – rashi says that this is the wrong translation

Hertz – Comfort

Sefaria Translation -:

THIS WILL COMFORT US — He will ease from off us (ינחמנו) the toil of our hands. For until Noah came people had no agricultural instruments and he prepared such for them. The earth had brought forth thorns and thistles when they sowed wheat in consequence of the curse imposed upon Adam Harishon: in the days of Noah, however, this ceased (Tanchuma 1:1:11). This is what is meant by the word ינחמנו (viz., ינח מנו). If, however, you do not explain it in this manner, but from the root נחם “to comfort”, then the meaning you give to this expression (connecting it with the idea of “comfort”) will have no application to the name נח, and you would have to call him מנחם “Comforter”.

The basic question is, how did Lemach know that his son would revolutionize farming and how did he know the curse would be lifted?  

Rabbi Kotlarsky mentioned that Noah was the first human born with fingers.  Up until that time everyone’s fingers were fused.  Based on this Medresh you can answer that as a result of this phenomena Lemach knew that his newborn son would be destined for greatness and relieve humanity from having to toil.   This Medrash did not come to answer this question, but we can use it to answer the question.  

The following Rishonim ask this question and deal with it many different ways.  The below is a summary and afterwards I bring down the individual Rishonim:

  1. Seifsei Chachomin – Adam prophitzed that relief will come when a child is born circumcised and Noah was born circumcised.
  2. Ibn Ezra
  1. Lemach know through Adom that his child will bring relief
  2. Through Chcomah, undefined by the Ibn Ezra, but I assume astrology or something similar.
  3. People were given formal names once they grew up and people saw what they did with their lives and the name would define that person.  The name Noah was not given at birth but when they saw that he brought relief and ease to the world

    3)  Chizkuni – It was known that during Adam’s lifetime, there would not be relief from the curse on

   the land.  Must be that according to the Chizkuni Noah was the first child born after 

   the death of Adam, although 126 years apart.

   4)   Rashbam – The reason is that Noach was the first man born after the death of Adam, and by 

    calling him Noach he merely expressed the hope and prayer that Noach would be

    able to atone for the iniquity which Adam had perpetrated.

   5) Bartenura – like the Rashbam

   6) Aderet Eliyaho – like the third expalanton in the Ibn Ezra

   7) Netziv – so different that I will bring the Netziv in its entirety:

ממעשנו ומעצבון ידינו. שהיה קשה על למך הצדיק לראות מעשה בני דורו הרשעים ולא יכול להושיע וראה ברוה״ק שבימי  בנו ינוחו מרשעות כאלה. וזהו ממעשינו ועוד באשר נשתנה דרך כל בשר וטבעו כמו שיבואר להלן ו׳ י״ב. וע״כ לא יכלו להשתמש בבהמת הארץ כפי הטבע. וא״כ היו מוכרחים לעמול הרבה בידיהם. וראה ברוה״ק שבימי נח ישוב הטבע למקומה. וזהו משמעות ומעצבון ידינו. ואח״כ פי׳ הכתוב מלשון תנחומין:

The actual language of the Rishonim and in depth study:

The Seifsei Chachomin asks the question and answers it as follows:

He will give us rest. Bereishis Rabbah says: Was Lemech a prophet, that [when Noach was born] he knew about this? R. Shimon ben Yehotzedek said: Noach was born circumcised. For when Hashem cursed the earth, Adam said to Him: O Master of the World! Until when? Hashem told him: Until you beget a circumcised person. Once Noach was born circumcised, they said: He will give us rest! (Divrei Dovid).

Adam died in the year 930 and Noach was born in the year 1056.  Adam must have told this prophecy to the world.  When Noah was born 126 years later and apparently was the first one born circumcised.   Lemach felt and hoped that Noah would be the child prophitzed by Adam.  

The Seifsei Chachomin continues and asks a question on Rashi.  I do not know the answer, but I will put it down here for future study.

והא דלא קאמר יניח ממנו את מעשינו דהא עדיין לא ינוחו ממעשי ידיהם דהא עדיין יצטרכו לחרוש ולזרוע ולדוש לכן קאמר זה ינחמינו זה יניח ממנו את עצבון ידינו שלא היה להם כלי מחרישה והוא הכין להם ולא נקט רש”י ממעשינו ומעצבון ידינו כמו דכתיב בקרא ולמה הקדים עצבון ידינו למעשה ידינו י”ל דעצבון קאי על מה שהוציאה הארץ קוצים ודרדרים ומיד כשנולד נח פסקה מיד אותה קללה אבל תקון המחרישה לא הי’ אלא עד שגדל נח משום הכי הקדים רש”י והורה בזה שכן ראוי להיות נמי בקרא וק”ל:

And the verse does not say יניח ממנו את מעשינו [although it is closer to “Noach”] because then it would mean that they rested from the work of their hands, and that did not yet happen. They still needed to plow, sow and thresh. Therefore it says that Noach “will bring us rest from… the anguish of our hands,” as he prepared plowing tools for them which they did not have as yet. Why did Rashi not explain, “From our work and the anguish of our hands,” following the order of the verse, but rather put “the anguish of our hands” first? The answer is: “Anguish” refers to the earth’s curse to produce thorns and thistles. And as soon as Noach was born, that curse stopped. But Noach did not make the plow until he grew up. Thus Rashi mentioned “anguish” first, indicating that the verse as well should be understood this way.

Ibn Ezra

The below Ibn Ezra may have been the source of the Sefsei Chacomim:

וטעם זה ינחמנו ממעשינו. שידע על ידי אדם כי נביא היה כי על יד זה הנולד תחיה האדמה. או ראו זה בדרך חכמה וכן הי’ 

על ידו נתקיים העולם גם הוא היה איש האדמה כי כן כתוב. גם יתכן שנקרא שמו נח כמו ירובעל אחר שעבד האדמה והצליחה ונח הפך העצבון. והטעם זה ינחמנו וננוח מעצבון ידינו. גם נחמה מנוח’ מעצבון הלב. כי העברים ישמרו הטעמים ולא המלות והעד ירבשת וירבעל. והשואלים מי היתה אשת קין ושת מה טעם לשאלה הזאת כי כתוב באדם ויולד בנים ובנות וכן כלם

The Ibn Ezra then adds, maybe Lemech knew it with wisdom.  I think Ibn Ezra means wisdom of astrology or some other wisdom.  The Ibn Ezra proceeds and says a third interpretation that he was called Noah only after he grew up and showed success as a farmer.  That is when they called him Noah.  

The Ibn Ezra said גם נחמה מנוח’ מעצבון הלב.  That Noah gave them relief from sadness of the heart, depression.   Rabbi Kotlarski linked this to the high level of depression and suicidal thoughts during covid.  This could give us an insight into Ibn Ezra that he understood the effects of depression.  The Ibn Ezra was exceptionally poor.  He joked about himself that if he sold burial shrouds, people would stop dying.

The Rashbam and Chizkuni answers the question differently:

Chizkuni:

זה ינחמנו, מן האדמה שהרי נאמר לאדם ארורה האדמה בעבורך כל ימי חייך ושנות אדם כלו לתולדות נח וחשב בלבו מה שקלקל זה יתקן זה.

ה ינחמנו מן האדמה, “this one will bring us consolation regarding the condition of the earth. Seeing that he had been born after the death of Adam, the curse decreed on earth as being effective during Adam’s lifetime could now be lifted. [According to my calculation Noach was born in the year 1056 after Adam had been created. Seeing that theTorah did not report anyone being born after Lemech, Noach’s father, who was born when Adam was still alive, there is no contradiction here. Ed.]

Rashbam

 if you were to question why our sages do not describe Lemech as a great prophet, as they described Ever who had called his son Peleg, foreseeing that in his time mankind would be divided into 70 languages, etc., (Seder Olam 1) the reason is that Noach was the first man born after the death of Adam, and by calling him Noach he merely expressed the hope and prayer that Noach would be able to atone for the iniquity which Adam had perpetrated. The word נח is an allusion to הנחה, a relief, reduction in cost, i.e. the curse that mankind suffers under, especially the earth, should be lifted now that Adam had been replaced by an innocent human being who did not share time on earth with Adam who had brought a curse upon mankind. In the case of Peleg, it is impossible to see in that name the expression of a prayer, a plea; hence we must interpret it as a sign of his father’s prophetic vision.

This is difficult because Adam died 126 years before Noah was born.  Although in the Chizkuni someone answered this by saying no one was born.  I thought of this and it did say that there were other children born to these individuals and I assume that their kids had kids.  To go 126 years without any births is very difficult.

The Netziv in Hemach Dover has a completely different understanding:

יִּקְרָ֧א אֶת־שְׁמ֛וֹ נֹ֖חַ לֵאמֹ֑ר זֶ֠ה יְנַחֲמֵ֤נוּ מִֽמַּעֲשֵׂ֙נוּ֙ וּמֵעִצְּב֣וֹן יָדֵ֔ינוּ מִן־הָ֣אֲדָמָ֔ה אֲשֶׁ֥ר אֵֽרְרָ֖הּ יְהוָֽה׃

זה ינחמנו. א״ת מלשון תנחומין. ורש״י דחה דא״כ שם נח אינו טפל יפה על הלשון להכי פירש מלשון נחת. ולפ״ז אינו מדויק לשון זה ינחמנו. ובל״ז יש להתבונן בכל א׳ מהפירושים. דתנחומין לא שייך אלא על הרעה שנשתיירה במקומה. ולא על מעשינו ועצבון ידינו שנשתנה בימי נח. ולהיפך שם נחת לא שייך על האדמה אשר אררה ה׳. שהרי לא נחו מקללה זו גם אחר המבול. אלא נראה דבשם נח נכלל שני השרשים לשון נחם ולשון נחת. ומש״ה נקרא נח בחסרון אות השלישי למען יהא נכלל בו שני השרשים. ופי׳ זה ינחמנו ג״כ בשתי הוראות. מלשון יניח לנו כפרש״י:

ממעשנו ומעצבון ידינו. שהיה קשה על למך הצדיק לראות מעשה בני דורו הרשעים ולא יכול להושיע וראה ברוה״ק שבימי בנו ינוחו מרשעות כאלה. וזהו ממעשינו ועוד באשר נשתנה דרך כל בשר וטבעו כמו שיבואר להלן ו׳ י״ב. וע״כ לא יכלו להשתמש בבהמת הארץ כפי הטבע. וא״כ היו מוכרחים לעמול הרבה בידיהם. וראה ברוה״ק שבימי נח ישוב הטבע למקומה. וזהו משמעות ומעצבון ידינו. ואח״כ פי׳ הכתוב מלשון תנחומין:

THIS ONE WILL CONSOLE US – One might be tempted to say that this word is from the root “console,” and Rashi has rebutted this on the basis that the name “Noach” is not consistent with this root and has explained that it is derived from the root “rest.” According to Rashi, the word here is inexact. However, one need not to resort to this explanation, it is possible to understand the word in both senses. “Comfort” only applies to ongoing permanent tragedies, and not ones that arise from human activity and evil that arose during the days of Noah. Similarly, “rest” does not apply to the land, which was permanently cursed by God (since the land remained in this state even after the flood.) The name “Noah” includes both roots – “comfort” and “rest.” This is why the word is spelled nun-chet without a third letter, so that it can be considered a cognate of both roots. “This one will console us” can be understood in both senses, similar to Rashi’s explanation.

Bartenura:

זה ינחמנו ממעשנו וכו’ קשה לפי הפשטה וכי נביאים היו שזה עתיד להניח להם. וי”ל לפי שכתוב ארורה האדמה בעבורך וכו’ עד שובך אל האדמם דמשמע כשימות אדם הראשון תבטל זאת הגזרה וכשנולד נח כבר מת אדם וצא וחשוב שנותיו ותמצאם כלין כ”ו שנה קודם לידת נח ולפי שהוא היה הראשון שנולד אחר מיתתו של אדם לכך אמרו עליו זה ינחמנו ממעשנו וכו’

The Bartenura says there were only 26 years between the death of Adam and the birth of Noah.  Maybe there is a mistake in the Bartenura and he means 126 years.

Aderet Eliyaho:

The Aderat Eliyaho answers the question like the third answer in the Ibn Ezra that the name given to a person was given after they accomplished in this world and the name would reflect their accomplishments.. 

לאמר זה ינחמנו. כשראו שינוי בארץ קראו אותו כן שקריאת שמותם לא היו ביום לידתם רק לשם המעשה בימיהם. מן האדמה שנתקללה בימי קין:

Conclusion:

I am not sure how to wrap all of this up into a neat package. I think the Netziv is the key.

Shabbos Teshuva – Parshas HaaZinu

The Torah in Breshis 37:29 – וַיִּשְׁמַ֣ע רְאוּבֵ֔ן וַיַּצִּלֵ֖הוּ מִיָּדָ֑ם וַיֹּ֕אמֶר לֹ֥א נַכֶּ֖נּוּ נָֽפֶשׁ׃  .  The Midrash says on this Pasuk:

 אָמַר לוֹ הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא מֵעוֹלָם לֹא חָטָא אָדָם לְפָנַי וְעָשָׂה תְּשׁוּבָה, וְאַתָּה פָּתַחְתָּ בִּתְשׁוּבָה תְּחִלָּה, חַיֶּיךָ שֶׁבֶּן בִּנְךָ עוֹמֵד וּפוֹתֵחַ בִּתְשׁוּבָה תְּחִלָּה, וְאֵיזֶה זֶה הוֹשֵׁעַ, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (הושע יד, ב): שׁוּבָה יִשְׂרָאֵל עַד ה’ אֱלֹהֶיךָ.

Hashem said , “there has never been a time ever when a man sin before me and did teshuva. you were the first one to do teshuva. I swear that your son will stand and open the way to teshuva. And this was Hosea who said “return Israel unto Hashem, your Gd”. 

The question is obvious, didn’t אָדָ֗ם and קַ֥יִן who lived well before Ruvain repent.  The Sefer Kol Simcha, the Torah of the Rebi Reb Simcha of Peryshischa,  explains that the Medresh means that Ruvain did Teshuvah even though he did not sin.  Ruvain did not sin when Joseph was sold, yet he repented. Just the opposite, Ruvain wanted to save Joseph and return Joseph to their father. 

The Pilaver answers that the the Rebi, Reb Bunim means that  Ruvain was מֵחָדָשׁ (initiated) a new form of repentance.  Even if your intent is good, as long as your ultimate goal and the goodness  you wanted to result did not come to fruition, in a certain sense you failed and Teshuva is needed.   When Ruvain saw that his ultimate goal will not happen and that Joseph will not be reunited with their father, when he  saw that Joseph was not in the pit, he  tore his clothes.  As verse 37:29 says  וַיָּ֤שָׁב רְאוּבֵן֙ אֶל־הַבּ֔וֹר וְהִנֵּ֥ה אֵין־יוֹסֵ֖ף בַּבּ֑וֹר וַיִּקְרַ֖ע אֶת־בְּגָדָֽיו׃ .becuase his ultimate goal was not fulfilled and he felt that he failed, therefore Ruvain repented.

Similarly Ruvain’s descendant opened a new path in Teshuva. What was  הושע ‘s new path of Tshuva?   Teshuva is re-connecting to God.   Teshuva is not just חרטת חטאים, regretting sins as הושע said כִּ֥י כָשַׁ֖לְתָּ בַּעֲוֺנֶֽךָ׃.  The Pilaver says 

 כי הושע פּתח פּתח חדשׁ

לתשׁובה עמוקה ,ולימד לשוב בּהודיה על חלק הטוב  – שלא יופסק מאתנו לעולם להתקשר בחלק שבלב מקדושתו יתבּרך  

Translated as follows:   הושע opened up a new path for Tshuva that is profound.  Hosea taught us to reconnect with thanks to Hashem on the טוב, the goodness that is contained with each of us.  That goodness in our soul is never severed from us and we are always attached to the portion in our hearts that is directly from Hashem.  That goodness is our Godly soul.   

Therefore every year on Rosh Hashanah the Jewish people’s inner connection to Hashem is awakened through the blowing of the Shofer when we renew God’s Kingship. (There is no mention on Rosh Hashana of asking forgiveness of our sins.  This is because we want to feel a closeness to God first, and once we are tightly bound to God, we ask for forgiveness of our sins on Yom Kippur.)  

As it says in Pslams 89:16  אַשְׁרֵ֣י הָ֭עָם יוֹדְעֵ֣י תְרוּעָ֑ה יְ֝הוָ֗ה בְּֽאוֹר־פָּנֶ֥יךָ יְהַלֵּכֽוּן׃.   First we reconnect to God with the sounds of the Shofer and then we walk in the light of Your presence.   (This may  even occur before we ask forgiveness for our sins or it may mean once we reunite, God will easily forgive our sins.      הושע referenced this idea in 14:3 when he says in the below Pasuk וְקַח־ט֔וֹב –

קְח֤וּ עִמָּכֶם֙ דְּבָרִ֔ים וְשׁ֖וּבוּ אֶל־יְהוָ֑ה אִמְר֣וּ אֵלָ֗יו כָּל־תִּשָּׂ֤א עָוֺן֙ וְקַח־ט֔וֹב וּֽנְשַׁלְּמָ֥ה פָרִ֖ים שְׂפָתֵֽינוּ׃

This attachment was worked on by our Holy forefathers that this world never be severed from the influences of “good”.  Like it is referenced in Hosea 12:13 –     וַיִּבְרַ֥ח יַעֲקֹ֖ב שְׂדֵ֣ה אֲרָ֑ם וַיַּעֲבֹ֤ד יִשְׂרָאֵל֙ בְּאִשָּׁ֔ה וּבְאִשָּׁ֖ה שָׁמָֽר׃

Then Jacob had to flee to the land of Aram; There Israel served for a wife, For a wife he had to guard [sheep].

Just like Yaakov first married Rachel and then he worked seven years.  He was bound to Rachel, to her goodness  and then he was he worked for seven years.  This is the way of service to God.  

Hosea Verse 14:3 says  קְח֤וּ עִמָּכֶם֙ דְּבָרִ֔ים וְשׁ֖וּבוּ אֶל־יְהוָ֑ה אִמְר֣וּ אֵלָ֗יו כָּל־תִּשָּׂ֤א עָוֺן֙ וְקַח־ט֔וֹב וּֽנְשַׁלְּמָ֥ה פָרִ֖ים שְׂפָתֵֽינוּ׃

 Say to Him: “Forgive all guilt And accept what is good; Instead of bulls we will pay [The offering of] our lips.

This means that this is the “good, to give thanks  to God that our inner attachment has never been broken by Hashem, because through this good we reattach ourselves to our source (God).

This is also referenced in the above Pasek when it says  כָּל־תִּשָּׂ֤א עָוֺן֙ – anyone who is has sinned take the goodness that is inside you and reconnent.    It does not say    .  כל עון תשׂא – all sins forgive, that Heshem should forgive all sins.   Similarly in Devorim Rabah 8:1 by Kayan  –   אָמַר לְפָנָיו רִבּוֹנוֹ שֶׁל עוֹלָם כָּל הָעוֹלָם אַתָּה סוֹבֵל וְלַעֲוֹנִי אִי אַתָּה סוֹבֵל.  It is not the sins that God has patience for but for the sinner himself who gets closer to God.  

This is because when God constricted himself in creation, it was for the enabling for God’s Holiness to have a place in this world, buried within us in    הסתר, also the השפּעה העליונה.  And therefore once we are close to God, Hashem has to bear our sins.