1. Topic – What it means that Eisav was a Rasha.
As we prepapre for Shabbos Parshas Toldos. For this week I would like to share with you a few ideas but perhaps the biggest Chiddush of all is the first thought that I would like to share with you which appears in the Sefer Hazikaron to the Michtav M'Eliyahu where there is a Maimar from HaRav Tzvi Shraga Grossbard (1916 – 1993) on page Reish Samech Tes to Reish Ayin which reflects on the teachings of the Michtam Eliyahu and says the following most incredible thought regarding this week’s Parsha.
Before I get to it, I would like to start with an old question of the week. In Parshas Toldos 27:27 when Yaakov is in front of Yitzchok pretending to be Eisav, it says (וַיִּגַּשׁ, וַיִּשַּׁק-לוֹ, וַיָּרַח אֶת-רֵיחַ בְּגָדָיו, וַיְבָרְכֵהוּ). That Yaakov approached Yitzchok, he smelled the beautiful smell of his Begadim and Rashi says that it smelled like Gan Eden. (וַיֹּאמֶר, רְאֵה רֵיחַ בְּנִי, כְּרֵיחַ שָׂדֶה, אֲשֶׁר בֵּרְכוֹ יְרוָר). Beautiful! I don’t get it. He smelled the Rai’ach of his Begadim?
Earlier in Posuk 15 it says (וַתִּקַּח רִבְקָה אֶת-בִּגְדֵי עֵשָׂו בְּנָהּ הַגָּדֹל, הַחֲמֻדֹת, אֲשֶׁר אִתָּהּ, בַּבָּיִת; וַתַּלְבֵּשׁ אֶת-יַעֲקֹב, בְּנָהּ הַקָּטָן). It says that these were the Begadim of Eisav. If he smelled Yaakov and he smelled Gan Eden this I understand, but that he smelled the Begadim and he smelled Gan Eden? Tzorech Iyun Gadol! It is one of those questions on the Parsha which it is a Mitzvah to answer but nothing to do with any Dvar Torah that I am going to share. Tzorech Biur.
Now let’s go to the thought of the Michtav M'Eliyahu in the Sefer Hazikaron. The Yesod there is a reflection on a Yesod of Rav Dessler that a person has to be sure to connect his Chitzoniyos, his outward behavior to his Penimios. Good Chitzonios behavior has to connect to the person inside, has to affect the essence of who a person is and it has to touch on the innermost private feelings of a person. A person has to connect to the Ribbono Shel Olam not just in front of people. When you are all alone you have to be able to look to HKB”H and sense HKB”H. The connection between Penimios and Chitzonios is a major teaching of Rav Dessler.
Regarding our Parsha, Rav Dessler taught that when Chazal talk about 27:41 (וַיֹּאמֶר עֵשָׂו בְּלִבּוֹ) and in Melachim I 12:26 (וַיֹּאמֶר יָרָבְעָם, בְּלִבּוֹ). The Medrash in this week’s Parsha says that Eisav or Yeravam thought in their heart things that were not what should have been. Mishlei 26:23 (כֶּסֶף מְצֻפֶּה עַל-חָרֶשׂ). The Medrash says that outside they were silver or gold and inside they were cheap, they were Cheres. B’libo, they were not complete.
Says Rav Dessler, the Chitzoniyos was truly silver or gold, it truly was worthy. It wasn’t a fake. When Eisav asked how to give Maaser he was not kidding around. He meant seriously how do you give Maaser. His Chitzoniyos was real. He really served Hashem on the outside.
This reminds me of something Rav Avigdor Miller used to say, that if Eisav would walk into one of our Shuls we would sit him on the Mizrach Vant. We would consider him to be one of the Gedolei Hador. This is because in his Chitzoniyos it was not fake, it was not an act, it was something very real. What Eisav was missing was the connection to the Penimios, the connection to the inside.
When Chazal say about Yeravam that HKB”H said to Yeravam and the language in Maseches Sanhedrin 102a (2 lines from the bottom) is he grabbed him by his Begadim, (אמר ר' אבא אחר שתפשו הקב"ה לירבעם בבגדו ואמר לו חזור בך ואני ואתה ובן ישי נטייל בגן עדן). HKB”H grabbed Yeravam by his Begadim and he said do Teshuvah and together we will go to Gan Eden. Yeravam said (אמר לו מי בראש) who goes first and bang, he lost it with that because he was all Chitzoniyos.
Says Rav Dessler, He grabbed Yeravam by his Beged. The Beged represents Chitzoniyos. His Chitzoniyos was good. He said I can pull your Beged into Gan Eden. (חזור בך). Make sure that your Penimios is worthy of it and then (ואני ואתה ובן ישי נטייל בגן עדן). The point is very often a person does have care in serving Hashem. He really is Midakdeik in Mitzvos but it is still missing if it doesn’t touch his Penimios.
Says Rav Grossbard, that is Pshat in Davening when we say V’taheir Libainu L’avdecha B’emes. HKB”H purify our hearts to serve you truthfully. What does that mean? V’taheir Libainu L’avdecha, let our hearts be pure and we will serve you. B’emes, with truth. Because on the Chitzoniyos we can serve HKB”H and we can really mean it, but if we don’t have a pure heart then it doesn’t work. If the Penimios is not affected then it doesn’t work.
We also say V’sein Sachar Tov L’chol Habotchim B’shimcha B’emes. Give good Schar to those who are Boteach in your name. B’emes, with a truth, with a Penimios. We say (וְכל הַחַיִּים יודוּךָ סֶּלָה. וִיהַלְלוּ אֶת שִׁמְךָ בֶּאֱמֶת). That means that there are some people who have Bitachon but it is not truthful. There are some who praise G-d but it is not truthful. It is not something which touches the essence of who the person is.
The Avodah of Hashem is to be truthful, to be Emes. The Middah of Yaakov is Emes. That it should go into the core of the person. It should be a true serving of Hashem even if it involves discomfort, even if it involves being insulted, even if it means that you are traveling and you are being careful in Pas Akum or Cholov Akum and now you can’t have it. It is only when it is easy! When it touches the Penimios of a person it becomes the essence of the person.
We see it in Yeshiva Bachurim. Many Yeshiva Bachurim serve Hashem but there is a difference. It is them, it is who they are. They go out to the world later and they are prepared because they purified themselves and some have not. That is an idea that is very hard to see on a person of the Penimios of a person.
The point I want to harp on is that Rav Dessler said that Hashem grabbed Yeravam on his Beged. His Beged was Gan Eden’dik. The Beged was ready to go to Gan Eden. (שתפשו הקב"ה לירבעם בבגדו ואמר לו חזור בך ואני ואתה ובן ישי נטייל בגן עדן) It was the Penimios that was no good.
We take those words and we come to our Parsha. The Begadim of Eisav came in. Yitzchok smelled the Begadim of Eisav and he said I smell Gan Eden. Yes, the Bigdei Eisav were Ra’ui for Gan Eden. There was greatness. It has to go into the Penimios of a person to be worthwhile. That is an absolutely beautiful thought regarding the Parsha and how Eisav could fool Yitzchok and it gives us a little more of an insight.
2. Topic - Kavod Hashem versus Kavod Talmidei Chachamim
Let me go to a Dvar Mussar from Rav Mordechai Druk in his Sefer Darash Mordechai on the Parsha (page # 184). At the beginning of the Parsha 25:19, Rashi brings (ליצני הדור) the Leitzanim said (מאבימלך נתעברה שרה). Who cares? Why do we suddenly care what the Leitzanim say? HKB”H who runs this world is not worried about Leitzanim.
We find in Parshas Beraishis as it says in 1:26 (נַעֲשֶׂה אָדָם בְּצַלְמֵנוּ כִּדְמוּתֵנוּ). Let us make man in our image and the Malachim said G-d if you speak in Lashon Rabbim then Apikursim are going to find a place to say that there are multiple gods. The Ribbono Shel Olam said look if they want to know the truth they will learn, they will find why it is Lashon Rabbim. If they don’t, we are not worried with Leitzanei Hador. (כתוב והרוצה לטעות יטעה). We see that G-d is not so concerned with the Leitzanei Hador. Why in this week’s Parsha is He so suddenly concerned?
Says Rav Druk wonderfully, when it is Nogea to Kavod Hashem then G-d doesn’t care about Leitzanei Hador, the Ribbono Shel Olam is higher than that so the Leitzanei Hador will make fun of G-d and say that there are multiple gods, there is no Nafka Mina. When it comes to the Kavod of Avraham Avinu, the Kavod of a Talmid Chochom, people are going to say (מאבימלך נתעברה שרה), it is Nogea to the Kavod of Avraham, the Kavod of Sarah, the Kavod of Yitzchok, the Kavod of Talmidei Chachamim G-d cares what the Leitzanei Hador say. A very fundamental difference between the two.
Rav Druk also brings from Yeravam. In Melachim Aleph 13 we find Yeravam offering a sacrifice to an Avoda Zorah. In the Navi, the Navi comes to give him Mussar and Yeravom from on top of the Mizbaiach sticks out his hand and says 13:4 (תִּפְשֻׂהוּ) grab it and the Posuk says (וַתִּיבַשׁ יָדוֹ אֲשֶׁר שָׁלַח עָלָיו, וְלֹא יָכֹל לַהֲשִׁיבָהּ אֵלָיו) that his hand which he had extended to point to the Navi froze and became paralyzed.
Zagt Rav Druk, look at this. He is bringing Korbanos outside the Bais Hamikdash to an Avodah Zorah and nothing happens to him and he says (תִּפְשֻׂהוּ) about the Navi and bang a miracle happened. For Kevod Atzmo the Ribbono Shel Olam is not Tovea, but Kavod Talmidai Chachamim that the Ribbono Shel Olam is Tovea.
Similarly, later in the Parsha Chameish Aveiros Asah Eisav Hayom. Eisav did many Aveiros that day, yet the Posuk says in 25:34 (וַיִּבֶז עֵשָׂו, אֶת-הַבְּכֹרָה). It doesn’t talk about his other Aveiros which seem to be worse, it talks about being Mevazeh the Bechora. Zagt Rav Druk in the name of Rav Yosef Salant, the Medrash says (וַיִּבֶז עֵשָׂו, אֶת-הַבְּכֹרָה) Eisav made fun of Yaakov. Why did he care so much about the Bechora, he and his friends were laughing at this Yeshiva Bechor, who cares about the Bechora. Other Averios, the Ribbono Shel Olam says ok I don’t have to mention it, but to be Mevaze Yaakov, that I mention. Kavod Talmidei Chachamim that the Ribbono Shel Olam is Doreish, that the Ribbono Shel Olam looks for. We should have the same Middah that by Kavod we should be Mevater but what is Nogea Kavod Talmidai Chachamim around us that is hard to think about.
3. Topic – Causing someone pain for no reason.
One last short Mussar thought. I could end just with this question. This is an appropriate question of the week. 25:22 (וַתֵּלֶךְ, לִדְרֹשׁ אֶת-יְרוָר). Rivkah sees some strange behavior on the part of the baby. She thinks that there is just one in her womb. (וַתֵּלֶךְ, לִדְרֹשׁ אֶת-יְרוָר). She goes to ask. Who should she go to? She goes to the Gadol Hador, Sheim. Why doesn’t she go to her husband, Yitzchok is the Gadol Hador. You have a question, ask your husband the Shaila. What is (וַתֵּלֶךְ, לִדְרֹשׁ אֶת-יְרוָר)? She went to Sheim to ask him the Shaila. Someone told me that that is the style of Rebbetzins, they don’t trust their husbands as much as they trust outsiders. But we can’t say that about Yitzchok Avinu. Why did Rivkah go elsewhere, why didn’t she go to Yitzchok Avinu?
The Teretz may well be a lesson. If you know something and it is going to cause someone pain by telling him, don’t tell him unless there is a purpose. If there is a purpose in telling him and he can help himself, of course tell him. But sometimes somebody has a Tzarah and it is revealed to the person for no good reason. There is nothing that he can do about it anyway.
Rivka knew there was something wrong. This baby is jumping at the Avoda Zorah. She said if I am going to ask Yitzchok, he is going to have Agmas Nefesh. Let me better to go to Sheim Ben Noach and I will ask him and I will spare Yitzchok the Agmas Nefesh. We don’t find that she told Yitzchok that one of these babies will go to the Bais Avodah Zorah. If she would have told him, he wouldn’t have favored Eisav like he did. There is no reason to tell something to someone if it will cause that person pain. Unless there is a positive reason for telling the person.