Parsha Toldos 5771: Yitzchak, Eisev and Modern-Day False Perceptions

by Moshe Burt

In considering Avraham Aveinu’s passing and his son Yitzchak’s aveilut (mourning) of his Father’s passing, there seem to be a number of burning questions which beg to be asked concerning the relationship between Yitzchak and Eisev.

In understanding that Eisev was largely able to camouflage his evil behind his ability to honor his Father, how is it that he (Eisev), this master of Kibud Av, is out running wild committing two of the Big 3 aveirot — Gilui Aroyot; violating a betrothed maiden, and murder; in chopping off Nimrod’s head and killing his (Nimrod’s) 2 guards on the day of his Father’s aveilut?

This author always had the understanding that Yitzchak favored the dishes that his favorite son Eisev prepared for him. In fact, on the day when Yitzchak called for Eisev to bestow the Bracha upon him, he requested that Eisev prepare his favorite dish. So, how is it then that Yaakov, rather than Eisev, was cooking the mourner’s lentils for his Father as Yitzchak mourned for his Father — Avraham Aveinu?

Did any of the lentil stew make its way to Yitzchak and, if so, wouldn’t it have appeared strange to Yitzchak that Yaakov, not Eisev — the favorite son — would be preparing and serving it?

And if the lentil stew never did reach Yitzchak, wouldn’t, shouldn’t it have raised questions as to why the son he loved, Eisev, failed to honor his Father in the moment of mourning with the traditional mourner’s lentils?

In retrospect, how is it that Eisev’s MIA status on the day of aveilut wouldn’t have raised questions such as these and more in Yitzchak’s mind — if not during the aveilut period, then at least after the aveilut? How could it be that Eisev was not unmasked and shown for the rasha he was, notwithstanding his feigned righteousness, i.e. “how to tithe salt and straw”?

One cannot help but ponder how easily Jews can be deceived into voting a certain way in national elections, or local elections for that matter, by a blindness which obscures facts, past track-records and affiliations or by a “herd of sheep” (to be led to slaughter) mentality. And so we vote for mis-perceived “golden boys”, retrospectively at our own peril.

How is it that Eisev’s deception of his Father proved successful right up until almost the moment for bestowing Bracha? And how is it that the jolly-looking fellow at Shul might actually be a violent abuser, a deceiver, a thief or a mafiosi, a stalker or harasser? And like Yitzchak with Eisev, why are most too multi-distracted to chap the dead-giveaways?

But while Yitzchak was blinded by mis-perception concerning Eisev’s worthiness for the birthright, it was Rifka, who was so imbued with the wisdom borne of her nuture living under the same roof with the evil Besuel and Lavan, who applied the conditions of her nurture L’Shem Shemayim when pushing Yaakov to go disguised as Eisev for Yitzchak’s Bracha.

And still later, we find that Yaakov benefitted from his Mother’s wisdom in confronting Lavan — having said to Rachel that “if Lavan is deceitful, I am his brother in deceit.”

In today’s Israel, perhaps this means that those who love and cleave to our Divine legacy of Eretz Yisrael and who love their fellow Jews as brothers must employ their wits and their backgrounds, L’Shem Shemayim, morally, ethically to best those who would do evil to them.

Unfortunately, the answers to the above questions regarding both Yitchak and Eisev, as well as how most of us are blinded to contemporary evils have yet to found. A solid L’Shem Shemayim methodology for besting, neutralizing and discrediting, at their own game, either an evil Israeli governance or individuals who cloak themselves in perceived, projected righteousness and legitimacy has yet to be struck upon. There seems to be noone so imbued with Divine wisdom as Rifka Emeinu was. Hopefully, the time for such answers will come speedily. May our actions regarding our fellow Jews merit acquiring such Divine wisdom as necessary to humble the evil-doers.

families from Gush Katif be permanently settled and be made totally whole, that our dear brother Jonathan Pollard, captive Gilad Shalit and the other MIAs be liberated alive and returned to us in ways befitting Al Kiddush Hashem. May we have the courage to stand up as one to prevent the possibility of Chas V’Challila any future eviction of Jews from their homes and the handing of Jewish land over to enemies sworn to Israel’s and Judaism’s destruction and eradication. May we fulfill Hashem’s blueprint of B’nai Yisrael as a Unique people — an Am Segula, not to be reckoned with as with “the nations” and may we be zocha to see the Moshiach, the Ge’ula Shlaima, as Dov Shurin sings; “Ki Karov Yom Hashem, Yom Hashem V’Kol HaGoyim”, the Ultimate Redemption, bim hay v’yameinu — speedily, in our time”, — Achshav, Chik Chuk, Miyad, Etmol!!!

Good Shabbos!

Good Shabbos!

Moshe Burt, an Oleh, is a commentator on news and events in Israel and Founder and Director of The Sefer Torah Recycling Network. He lives in Ramat Beit Shemesh.