Week of Parshas Toldos:
November 6, 2018 – missed the weddings of the Benjamins and the Roberts. I had tickets, but I had to present a loan.
November 7, 2018 – Bicycled to Anshei Sholom for morning prayers. Walked in on a Bris of the Perls. I was dressed with my blanket grey sweats. I was embarrassed to go into the meal with my grungy clothes. After everyone left I talked with the entire Perl family and took two lox sandwiches home with the family’s blessing.
Went to Rabbi Wolkenfeld’s Shiur on Rabbi Yosef Karo at 7:30 PM.
November 8, 2018 – Went to a department meeting in Rosemont. Very emotional.
November 9, 2018 – Bicycled to Anshei Sholom for Shachris. First snowfall and it was cold, 32 degrees. All Friday I was working on my Dvar Torah for Shabbos.
Shabbos – November 10 – Friday night:
Ate by the Glenners with Rabbi Ephraim Wachsman. Wanted to speak but it did not work out.
Shabbos – November 11 – Shabbos Day:
Davened in Bais Mint. At 11:30 went to Bnei Ruvain for Sheva Brochos of Michael and Rifkah Benjamin. I spoke. Said how Rachel’s parent made us a Sheva Brochos in 1980.
My Torah was a continuation of last week’s. Last week I spoke about Ishmael’s Teshuva and he died a Tsaddik. There is a debate in Midrash whether Ishmael did Teshuva, but it seems as if the consensus is that he repented – this is Rashi’s opinion.
Toldos – Chapter 28 – Verse 7 and 8:
וַיַּ֣רְא עֵשָׂ֔ו כִּ֥י רָע֖וֹת בְּנ֣וֹת כְּנָ֑עַן בְּעֵינֵ֖י יִצְחָ֥ק אָבִֽיו :ח
בַּת־יִשְׁמָעֵ֨אל בֶּן־אַבְרָהָ֜ם אֲח֧וֹת נְבָי֛וֹת עַל־נָשָׁ֖יו ל֥וֹ לְאִשָּֽׁה וַיֵּ֥לֶךְ עֵשָׂ֖ו אֶל־יִשְׁמָעֵ֑אל וַיִּקַּ֡ח אֶת־מָֽחֲלַ֣ת : ט
8. And Esau saw that the daughters of Canaan were displeasing to his father Isaac.
9. So Esau went to Ishmael, and he took Machlas, the daughter of Ishmael, the son of Abraham, the sister of Nebaioth, in addition to his other wives as a wife.
Did Eisav take Machlas to honor his father and repent or was he still wicked and wanted to deceive his father? Rashi seems to say that Eisev intended to repent.
The Midrash Rabbah 67:13 on these two verses brings down a disagreement. Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi says that Eisav wanted to do Teshuva. This is why Ishmael’s daughter was Machlas which in Hebrew means forgiveness, that God forgave Eisav sins. This is in line with Rashi on Genesis 36:3.
Rebi Eliezer says that Eisav did not repent and he brings proof from the words “in addition to his other wives”. Meaning he added evil to evil. Eisav had no intent to repent. He kept his evil wives that Yitzhak and Rifkah hated.
However Rashi on Verse 9 uses this verse as follows:
To his other wives – He added wickedness upon his wickedness, for he did not divorce the first ones [From Genesis Rabbah 67:13].
The problem is that his verse is used to say that Eisav never intended to repent. If Rashi holds that Ishmael was a Tsaddik and Eisav wanted to repent, how can he bring down this explanation?
I believe the answer is as follows:
Rashi is consistent. Rashi says that Ishmael was a Tsaddik and his daughter Machlas was good. Eisev did intend to repent. Rashi is coming to answer why Eisav’s repentance didn’t last. The answer is that Machlas was good as long as her father was alive. He died right before the marriage. Eisev did not get rid of his evil wives and since Machlas did not have a pillar of strength to remain good, she was influenced by her evil co-wives and did not remain a positive influence to Eisav.
I also worked on the first verse in Toldos:
יט. וְאֵ֛לֶּה תּֽוֹלְדֹ֥ת יִצְחָ֖ק בֶּן־אַבְרָהָ֑ם אַבְרָהָ֖ם הוֹלִ֥יד אֶת־יִצְחָֽק:
What does the Hebrew word Toldos mean? I put this chart together which compares 4 times the Torah uses the word Toldos and what the various Reshonim say. See attached.