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Yaakov and Yissaschar, Esav and Zevulun
We are taught that Yitzchak
loved Esav כי ציד בפיו, trapping was in his mouth.
That seems strange since a Tzadik like Yitzchak who was ready to give up his
life at the Akaida would love Esav because of food?
Ideally, Yaakov and Esav were
supposed to have a יששכר זבולון relationship. That is, Yaakov to be the
spiritual aspect—Ruchniyos, as he was an איש תם—and Esav to build the
world, the Avoda of Gashmiyus as he was an איש שדה. This is one of the
meanings in הקל קול יעקב והידים ידי עשו as Yaakov is the קול, that is the קול of Torah and Tefila, and
Esav is the one building the world with his hands.
Since Esav didn’t fulfill his
purpose it is now Yaakov’s responsibility in addition to his own. Now we can
appreciate the depth in ויעקבני זה פעמים referring to the two
responsibilities that Yaakov now needs to do. This is alluded to in וידו אחזת בעקב עשו, Yaakov held onto Esav’s heel, meaning now he has his Avoda.
This also explains וירח...בגדיו,
Yitzchak smelled the fragrance of his clothing which was really Esav’s, as if
to say that was the Avoda of Esav that he was now responsible for. This is why
Yitzchak loved him—כי ציד בפיו—since he was building the world, thereby
fulfilling his purpose.
In light of the above we can
comprehend why Yaakov takes Leah as a wife, the intended one for Esav—since
he now has his responsibility to fulfill. Another example of this is that
Esav’s naturally deceptive nature was supposed to be utilized for the positive.
Now that Esav’s responsibility was given to Yaakov, he now had to use this
trait in the right way. We therefore see that Yaakov goes to Lavan in order to
learn how to be deceitful. This is the deeper meaning in בא אחיך במרמה—he is your brother in deceit. Therefore, Yaakov says if he
comes for deceit I am his brother in deceit and if he is an אדם כשר I am
also the son of his sister.
We now have no problem with how Yaakov could say אנכי עשו
בכריך since he now learned how to
be deceitful. We should all merit to fulfill our purpose in this world.
Rabbi Alt merited to learn under the tutelage of R’
Mordechai Friedlander Ztz”l for close to five years. He received Semicha from
R’ Zalman Nechemia Goldberg. Rabbi Alt has written on numerous topics for
various websites and publications. He lives with his wife and family in a
suburb of Yerushalayim where he studies, writes and teaches. The author is
passionate about teaching Jews of all levels of observance.
Breishis 25:28. The נודע ביהודה
(Madura Tinyana, Yoreh Deah, 10) deals with the question if hunting is
permitted. He says that there is no problem of בל תשחית andצער בעלי חיים .
However, in Torah the only hunters we find are Esav and Nimrod and it is not
the ways of the Avos. Why would a Jew unnecessarily kill an animal and waste
his time? Going into a forest is dangerous and thus if one does so he
transgresses ונשמרתם מאד לנפשותיכם (Devarim 4:15. see Rambam הלכות רוצח
12:6). The expert hunter Esav said הנה אנכי הולך למות...
meaning he was afraid of being with those animals. However, the נודע ביהודה
does say that an עני who hunts for his sustenance is permitted to do so.
Breishis 27:36. Sichos Hischazkus, תשנ"ו.
Breishis 27:35. 29:12, Rashi כי.
See Megila 13b.