Rabbi Reisman – Parshas Toldos 5782
1 – Topic – A Thought from Rav Chaim Kanievsky on the beginning of the Parsha.
As we prepare for Shabbos Parshas Toldos and the beginning of Chodesh Kisleiv. Let’s share a number of thoughts on this week’s Parsha. Let’s start at the beginning of the Parsha with the birth of Eisav and Yaakov. It is interesting that it says in the Parsha by Eisav as is found in 25:25 (וַיִּקְרְאוּ שְׁמוֹ, עֵשָׂו) they called him Eisav and by Yaakov it says 25:26 (וַיִּקְרָא שְׁמוֹ, יַעֲקֹב) in a Lashon Yachid. Why is that? You may understand because Eisav’s name had to do with the way he was born, he was Asa, he was completely made so to speak, he was hairy already, but Yaakov also had to do with way he was born, Eikev. So people called Eisav this and people called Yaakov this. So why is one Lashon Rabbim and one Lashon Yachid?
Rav Chaim Kanievsky in the Sefer Taima Dik’ra (page 33) says something extraordinary. As you know, we have a custom to give a name to a boy at the time of the Bris Milah. That has been the custom by Klal Yisrael at least going back to the time of the Gemara. Where does that come from, what is the Mekor, what does the name have anything to do with the Bris Milah?
I think that we have spoken about this once before. I might have mentioned that someone suggested to Rav Pam and he found it a good suggestion, that because Dovid Hamelech had a Yeled born from Bas Sheva and it says that the Yeled died when he was 7 days old as is found in Shmuel II 12:18 (וַיְהִי בַּיּוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי, וַיָּמָת הַיָּלֶד). From there it seems that they didn’t give a name until a Bris.
Rav Chaim Kanievsky says the following. The Minhag was to give a name at a Bris. Yaakov Avinu had a Bris (וַיִּקְרָא שְׁמוֹ, יַעֲקֹב). However, Eisav was born red and since he looked red they didn’t give him a Bris Milah because they thought maybe it is jaundice or another illness that makes him look red. So Chazal say they pushed off the Bris. When he got older he didn’t let them do a Bris. So it comes out that Eisav was never given a Bris. So there was no moment that they gave him a name. (וַיִּקְרְאוּ שְׁמוֹ, עֵשָׂו). They called him Eisav as he was never given a name by his parent’s so people called him Eisav. Therefore, it says Lashon Rabbim. By Yaakov when his parent’s gave him a name it says (וַיִּקְרָא) in Lashon Yachid. This is what Rav Chaim Kanievsky says. This is the way to learn up a Posuk in Chumash. Beautiful!
2 – Topic – A Thought based on a Yesod of Hashkafa from Rav Pam
I would like to share with you a Yesod in Hashkafa, a Yesod that I heard from Rav Pam and we will see what connection it has to do with this week’s Parsha. Rav Pam used to say in the name of the Chazon Ish in Yiddish, “Mir Rai’st Nisht Mezuzos.” We don’t rip down Mezuzos. What is the context, what is the idea?
The Shaila is a person has a Mezuza that is 100% Kosher. However, you could get a nicer neater Mezuzah that is more Mehudar. Should he replace the Mezuza? To that, the Chazon Ish writes in one of his letters, Mir Rai’st Nisht Mezuzos. The way Rav Pam explained, if the other Mezuza is Kosher according to more Shittos then of course as it is Mehudar in Kashrus, however, if it just a Hiddur Mitzvah in neatness then Mir Rai’st Nisht Mezuzos.
I saw a similar thing in the Igros Moshe in Orach Chaim Cheilek Bais Sof Siman Lamed Zayin (The Teshuvah is on page 225 of Krach Daled) where Rav Moshe writes the same thing about Yerios in a Sefer Torah that if the Yeria is Kosher and just you can get a nicer one you don’t replace Yerios.
There is a Halachik source for this discussion in the Teshuva Seforim which has to do with the month of Kisleiv. He brings a discussion between the Shvus Yaakov and the Chacham Tzvi if someone set up his Menorah with candles because he had no oil and later they bring him oil, should he take away the candles and replace it with oil? The Shvus Yaakov held no. Once you have something that is Kosher you don’t replace it, you don’t change it. The Chacham Tzvi disagreed as you haven’t yet started the process of lighting the Menorah. But everyone agrees that once you started you certainly don’t change it to do it more Mehudar if you are doing it correctly. Mir Rai’st Nisht Mezuzos. What you do if it is good, it is good.
I used this as a possible answer to a big Kasha. I had a Kasha which I must have asked. Moshe and Aharon are buried in Eiver Hayarden the same time that the Jews are carrying the bones of the 12 Shevatim to be buried in Eretz Yisrael. When Moshe and Aharon died they were busy carrying the Mitah of Yosef that he should be buried in Eretz Yisrael and then when Moshe Rabbeinu dies they bury him where he is. Why didn’t they take him into Eretz Yisrael proper?
It may be the same idea. Yosef died in Mitzrayim so they took him to bury him in Eretz Yisrael. Moshe and Aharon died in Eiver Hayardein which is also Eretz Yisrael. For a bigger Hiddur of going across the Yardein that you don’t do. Mir Rai’st Nisht. What you have is also good. What you have in front of you if it is good you do it.
We find a similar idea if a king dies and his oldest son is Rau’i to be king, even if the second son is more appropriate for king. If you do a better job if the first one is suitable and would do a good job, we accept him. The same idea, Mir Rai’st Nisht, you don’t go and take something that you have and throw it out because you can get something better. No! If you have something you go with it. In the first place, when you are heading to do things, do it the best way you can. However, if you already have something in front of you don’t be Mevaze it, don’t embarrass it to get rid of it for something that is better.
Yitzchok Avinu knew that Yaakov is a Tzaddik Gamur, yet, since he thought Eisav was okay he went with Eisav. Everyone wondered did he not know the difference between Eisav and Yaakov? The Teretz is Mir Rai’st Nisht Mezuzos. The Teretz is you don’t go shopping, you don’t say well this one is good but look at that one. You don’t go shopping. You do go shopping before you came to the Mitzvah, but once you are somewhere you do with the Cheftzah of the Mitzvah that you have.
Just like a king goes with his older son even though the second one might be Yaakov Avinu, so too, Yitzchok knew that Yaakov is better but he said look he is the B’chor and I should go with him. Mir Rai’st Nisht Mezuzos, Mir Rai’st Nisht Bechor. That would explain why once Eisav spilled the beans and he said, he took my Bechora and now he took my Berachos. Yitzchok said what? Yaakov is the Bechor then he should certainly get it. 27:33 (גַּם-בָּרוּךְ, יִהְיֶה). Of course Yitzchok understood what was going on, but he felt that if Eisav could do a good job that is adequate to that degree, he was fooled.
3 – Topic – A Vort from Rav Schwab
Rav Schwab in his Sefer on Chumash Mayan Bais Hashoeva (page 67-68) (this topic was also discussed in 5771) says a beautiful explanation from the fact that Yitzchok wanted to eat food that Eisav cooked before he gave him a Beracha. Not only that but afterwards when he ate from Yaakov and Eisav came in he said as is found in 27:33 (וָאֹכַל מִכֹּל בְּטֶרֶם תָּבוֹא, וָאֲבָרְכֵהוּ). I ate everything. That is the way a Gadol Hador speaks, I ate everything? That (מִכֹּל) is Bakol, Mikol, Kol. We consider it to be something that Achila. What is going on with Yitzchok’s eating?
Zagt Rav Schwab, Yitzchok Avinu was able to sense the Kedusha in the food in which a Mitzvah was done. For all his failings, Eisav was really Mekayeim Kibbud Av V’aim, it wasn’t a fake. The Gemara says that Tannaim said that my Kibbud Av V’aim is only a fraction of Eisav’s. Eisav was Mekayeim the Mitzvah. When Eisav was Mekayeim the Mitzvah of Kibbud Av V’aim with food that food was imbued with the sense, with the Kedusha of the Mitzvah which was done. That is what Yitzchok wanted. He wanted to have the Kedusha of that Mitzvah that Eisav did. Now he says prepare food and I will give you a Beracha, Eisav will certainly do it with a tremendous Cheishek for the Mitzvah, and that will be fantastic with the Cheishek of the Mitzvah so that will be a special Maachal.
Then Rivka tells Yaakov you bring your father food. Yaakov said my food will not have the Kedusha of Kibbud Av like when Eisav prepares it. So Rivka tells Yaakov 27:13 (עָלַי קִלְלָתְךָ בְּנִי). (וְלֵךְ קַח-לִי). Go do it for me. Do it with Kibbud Aim. You will have the Mitzvah of Kibbud Aim with Mesirus Nefesh because you don’t really want to do it. You are afraid as it says in 27:12 (אוּלַי יְמֻשֵּׁנִי אָבִי). Why are you doing it? Because your mother told you. That food will have the sense of the Mitzvah of Kibbud Aim and Kibbud Av V’aim is the same Mitzvah in the Torah. Mimeila it will be Murgesh, it will be felt. That is the explanation of (וָאֹכַל מִכֹּל). He says I ate it and I felt the Kedusha of Kibuud Av V’aim and Mimeila (גַּם-בָּרוּךְ, יִהְיֶה). What an insight, a Cheftza D’mitzvah.
You have to know that Tashmishai Kedusha like Mezuzas, Tefillin and Sefarim and things that are used for them are Shaimos. Tashmushai Mitzvah Nizrakin. Certain things you are allowed to throw away. You are allowed to throw away a Shofar, a Lulav, and Schach. You are allowed to throw it away. But Im Kol Zeh, to understand that when you use something for a Mitzvah it becomes a Cheftzah D’mitzvah. It becomes something with a very special Chashivus, a special Kedusha. If your home is a home of Mitzvos the whole home gets imbued with the Kedusha of the Mitzvos that you do.
With that I want to wish one and all an absolutely wonderful Shabbos, a Chodesh Tov as tomorrow Erev Shabbos is Rosh Chodesh. Let it be a very wonderful and meaningful Shabbos for one and all!