Parshat Toldos 5784: Eisev and Yishmael: Barbaric Alliance, Then and Now?

Shalom Friends;

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Moshe Burt
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Parshat Toldos 5784: Eisev and Yishmael: Barbaric Alliance, Then and Now?

by Moshe Burt

Sefer Shem Mishmuel (written by Rabbi Shmuel Bornstein, the Rebbe of Sochaczev and translated to English by Rabbi Zvi Belovski) notes (page 42) :

Eisev felt that he should have received the primary Bracha from his father [Yitzchak], but instead had been cheated by Yaakov. He was extremely upset with Yaakov and resolved to kill him for his “theft” of the Bracha. While Yaakov fled from his brother’s wrath, Eisev found himself a new wife.

Sefer Shem Mishmuel now cites and renders to English Sefer Breish’t, Perek 28, posukim 8-9 and comments (pages 42-43) :

“Eisev saw that the daughters of Canaan were wicked in the eyes of Yitzchak, his father. Eisev went to Yishmael and took as a wife Machlas, the daughter of Yishmael, the son of Avraham, the sister of Nevayos, in addition to his wives.” (Sefer Breish’t, Perek 28, posukim 8-9)

…When Eisev remarried, his calculation was quite careful, He reasoned that he must have made an error in wedding the daughters of Canaan, for they were forever cursed. (Shem Mishmuel citing Sefer Breish’t, Perek 9, posuk 25) This error must have caused his misfortune.

He [Eisev] turned… to his uncle, Yishmael, to find a new wife. He assumed that since Yishmael was a relative, … a descendant of Avraham Avinu, who had received his own Bracha (Shem Mishmuel citing Sefer Breish’t, Perek 16, posuk 10, Perek 21, posukim 13 and 18), then marrying his [Yishmael’s] daughter would restore his fortune. We know that Eisev intended to kill Yaakov and perhaps was confident that Yaakov would be spiritually damaged by his encounter with Lavan. In Eisev’s mind, remarrying and intending to kill his brother were all that was necessary to ensure that life would continue as before.

It would seem that, over the generations, there evolved periods where Eisev and Yishmael allied. We know about the relationship between Haman and Achashveirosh, persecutions, pogroms and more against the Jews by Christians and Islamics, through to the alliance between the Mufti of Jerusalem and Hitler and the Nazis Y’Machshemam (may their names be erased).

We now excerpt from an article written by Tuvia Brodie back in 2012: When Eisev and Yishmael Join Together:

According to the Jewish commentator, Ramban (1174-1270), the Torah portion of Toldot opens with language that draws our attention to the previous week’s portion, Chayei Sara, in order to clarify relationships that involve the twins, Eisev and Jacob, and their grand-uncle, Yishmael. It is the connection between these three relatives that interests us.

First, Eisev and Jacob.

Our Sages teach that Eisev and Jacob, while twins, were very different. Eisev was a man of action, Jacob was not. Eisev scorned his birthright, Jacob did not. Eisev was cruel. Jacob was not. Our heritage also teaches that the original plan for these twins was that they should be harmonious and complementary partners. Eisev would defeat evil. Jacob would spread good. But Eisev had other plans. He scorned his birth-right. He hated and then thought about killing Jacob.

Eisev forever feels threatened by Jacob. He desires to dominate and subjugate Jacob—and he knows that his destiny is to serve Jacob. Perhaps the descendants of Eisev have so hated that prophesied end that they have hunted, persecuted and murdered the descendants of Jacob in order to thwart that destiny. History certainly seems to validate such a premise.

Today, most say that the West—Europe and the United States—are the descendants of Eisev.

Jacob is afraid—and wary–of Eisev.

Jacob has reason to be wary.

Jewish leaders in Israel today do not seem to share that concern. They welcome Eisev’s kiss.

Yishmael, the twins’ grand-uncle, has his own problem with Jacob. He, too, has reason to hate: he was cast away from house of his father Abraham, Jacob’s grandfather. He has never forgotten that. He has never forgiven it.

Today, Yishmael is the Arab. He cries that the descendants of Jacob are apes and pigs who must be slaughtered.

And so, Hamas — Yishmael, who cries that “descendants of Jacob are apes and pigs,” are themselves the wild beasts, the barbarians who kidnap innocent civilians, perform all forms of atrocities and perversions on it’s captives, use the hostages, as well as their own people, as human shields against the attacks of the Israel Defense Forces. Meanwhile, the United States claims to stand with and support “Israel’s right to self-defense” while they, and the “Western nations” (all of which many commentators designate as Eisev), bemoan a so-called lack of “proportionality” in Israel’s military actions in Gaza.

Final words from the end of Tuvia Brodie’s article:

…If the last 2,000 years of history is any indication, such hate can in fact be handed down from generation to generation.

They remind us that any truce between Jacob and Yishmael (in Gaza) that is brokered by Eisev (the United States) and Yishmael (from Egypt) is not benign. The hatred is simply too strong.

May we, the B’nei Yisrael be zocha that our brethren — the refugee families from Gush Katif be permanently re-settled in Gush Katif, once the IDF, by the Yad Hashem, destructs and eradicates Hamas, Hezbollah, and if necessary Iran, and that our brethren be made totally whole — be totally restituted for all that was stolen from them, that the thrice expelled families of Amona be restored to their rebuilt homes and the oft-destroyed Yeshiva buildings in Homesh be rebuilt, as well as the buildings of Yishuv Elchanan, all at total government expense. Baruch Hashem that our dear brother Jonathan Pollard is in his third year at home in Eretz Yisrael and has embarked on a new chapter in his life. May Esther Yocheved bat Yechiel Avraham have an aliyah in Shemayim and may her spirit and memory continue to lift Jonathan to at least 120 years. May the MIAs be liberated alive and returned to us in ways befitting Al Kiddush Hashem — as with the return in April, 2019, via Russia, of the remains of Zachariah Baumel, as should the remains of the two chayalim from the Gaza War of nine years ago. May we have the courage and strength to stand up and physically prevent the possibility of Chas V’Challila any future eviction of Jews from their homes and prevent Chas V’Challila the handing of Jewish land over to anyone, let alone to enemies sworn to Israel’s and Judaism’s destruction and eradication. May we see, in 5784, the REAL Jews from the Ukraine and Russia make Aliyah enmass — via thorough review by Misrad HaPanim. And may we soon and finally see the total end to the Communist Chinese Wuhan Lab corona virus pandemic and all like viruses and variants. May we fulfill Hashem’s blueprint of B’nei 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 Al’Kol HaGoyim”, the Ultimate Redemption, bimhayrah b’yamainu — speedily, in our time”, — Achshav, Chik Chuk, Miyad, Etmol!!!

Chodesh Tov and 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.