25:19 (וְאֵלֶּה תּוֹלְדֹת יִצְחָק, בֶּן-אַבְרָהָם: אַבְרָהָם, הוֹלִיד אֶת-יִצְחָק) The Tosafos Bracha says a P’shat on the first Rashi in the Parsha (ואלה תּוֹלְדֹת יצחק: יעקב ועשיו האמורים בפרשה). Why does Rashi have to say that the offspring of Yitzchok are Yaakov and Eisav that are mentioned in the Parsha. The Rashi seems to be entirely superfluous. There is no need for Rashi to tell us that the descendents of Yitzchok are Yaakov and Eisav because we are about to read the Parsha and we will see this shortly. Therefore, the Tosafos B’racha comes to offer a Pshat in this particular Rashi. Each of the two Peshatim is very imaginative.
The first Pshat he says is that Rashi is bothered by a Kasha. Why is it that Parshas Noach that starts 6:9 (אֵלֶּה, תּוֹלְדֹת נֹחַ), the Parsha is called Parshas Noach. This Parsha that starts in a very similar way is not Parshas Yitzchok. We call it Parshas Toldos. This bothered Rashi.
The Rashi comes to tell us that Parshas Noach is called Noach because (אֵלֶּה, תּוֹלְדֹת נֹחַ), the Parsha is all about Noach. Therefore, it is appropriate to call it Parsahs Noach. However, this weeks Parsha (וְאֵלֶּה תּוֹלְדֹת יִצְחָק), shouldn’t be called Parshas Yitzchok because the Parsha is not very much about Yitzchok. Of course it mentions Yitzchok, however, Yitzchok is only a member of many people who are in the Parsha and the primary focus of the Parsha is the story of Yaakov and Eisav with Yitzchok playing a supporting role in this weeks Parsha and Eisav and Yaakov are the main roles in the Parsha. Rashi therefore is telling us that it is called Parshas Toldos because it is about Yaakov and Eisav. This is a very interesting P’shat.
However, this P’shat assumes that the common names of the Parsha which are used popularly by people, like for example B’reishis, Noach, Lech Lecha, has an early Makar. I wonder if it is true. I wonder if these names are anything but conveniences that people have started to use as the names of the Parsha.
The Rambam in the end of Hilchos Tefilla mentions e very Parsha by name and there he calls this weeks Parsha (וְאֵלֶּה תּוֹלְדֹת יִצְחָק). He doesn’t call it Parshas Toldos. As a matter of fact in every single Parsha the Rambam gives the name as the first 2 or 3 words of the Parsha.
By Parshas Metzora (in Vayikra) he doesn’t even mention the word Metzora. He calls it 14:12 (זֹאת תּוֹרַת). Therefore, it appears that the names of the Parsha are just conveniences that have evolved over time and don’t have a Mekor Kodesh. If it is true this Teretz imaginative as it may be is somehow lacking.
A second Pshat of the Tosafos Beracha is offered. Rashi was bothered by the following. In Parshas Beraishis we had 2:4 (אֵלֶּה תוֹלְדוֹת הַשָּׁמַיִם וְהָאָרֶץ). Last weeks Parsha had 25:12 (וְאֵלֶּה תֹּלְדֹת יִשְׁמָעֵאל, בֶּן-אַבְרָהָם). What bothered Rashi is that the first time Toldos is mentioned when it talks about (תוֹלְדוֹת הַשָּׁמַיִם וְהָאָרֶץ), the word Toldos is spelled Molai. Meaning each Cholem sound is with a Vav. By Yishmael it says (וְאֵלֶּה תֹּלְדֹת יִשְׁמָעֵאל), and it is Choser. Neither Vav is there. In our Parsha (וְאֵלֶּה תּוֹלְדֹת יִצְחָק) it is different than both. Here it has one Vav and not the other. Why 3 different ways of spelling Toldos?
The Tosfos Beracha explains the reason why (תוֹלְדוֹת הַשָּׁמַיִם וְהָאָרֶץ) is spelled Malei is because the הַשָּׁמַיִם וְהָאָרֶץ were created with Ratzon Hashem. So Malei means full satisfaction.
When it came to Yishamel (וְאֵלֶּה תֹּלְדֹת יִשְׁמָעֵאל) it is spelled Choser because the descendents of Yishmael were not Kavayochil with Hashem’s satisfaction. Therefore, it is spelled Choser because it is understandable when it is L’ratzon it is Malei and when it is Shelo L’ratzon then it is Choser. What bothered Rashi is that here Toldos is spelled one letter Malei and one letter Choser. So Rashi is answering (ואלה תּוֹלְדֹת יצחק: יעקב ועשיו האמורים בפרשה). Yaakov did the Ratzon Hashem and Eisav didn’t. Therefore, the first Vav is Malei which is K’negged Yaakov and the second Vav is Choser K’negged Eisav who was not fulfilling the Ratzon Hashem.
This is a beautiful Pshat which fits in well (even though the Tosfos B’racha doesn’t say it) to (אֵלֶּה, תּוֹלְדֹת נֹחַ) where the first Vav is Malei K’negged Sheim because he did Ratzon Hashem and the second Vav is Choser K’negged Cham who did not.
25:28 (וַיֶּאֱהַב יִצְחָק אֶת-עֵשָׂו, כִּי-צַיִד בְּפִיו; וְרִבְקָה, אֹהֶבֶת אֶת-יַעֲקֹב) There is this idea that Yitzchok loved Eisav because he fed him and we understand that Yitzchok was not missing food because he was a wealthy man and he would not love someone just because he gave him to eat.
Rav Schwab says that Yitzchok Avinu (greater than any of the Gedolim that we ever met), had pleasure from the food according to the Kedusha of the food. When he ate the food that Eisav brought him Bik’dusha. The Kiddusha came from the excellent way in which Eisav did Kibbud Av V’aim. Chazal tell us that Eisav was truly excellent at Kibbud Av V’aim. Therefore, the food he brought him and specifically prepared for Yitzchok had a special Kiddusha.
That explains why Yitzchok told Eisav bring me food and go hunt down the animal. Why did Eisav have to go hunt down the animal and start the process from scratch? Why didn’t Eisav just prepare meat that was already in Yitzchok’s house?
The answer is, everything was done with the Maaseh of Kibbud Av V’aim. Everything was done to give Kiddusha to the food. That is what is meant by (וַיֶּאֱהַב יִצְחָק אֶת-עֵשָׂו, כִּי-צַיִד בְּפִיו).
Rav Schwab goes on to explain that when Yaakov complained to his mother Rivka when she told him to impersonate Eisav in 27:12 (אוּלַי יְמֻשֵּׁנִי אָבִי, וְהָיִיתִי בְעֵינָיו כִּמְתַעְתֵּעַ) what was Yaakov afraid of? He was afraid that the food he brought would be lacking that Kiddusha of Kibbud Av V’aim. After all Yaakov was going against his father’s will by fooling him. His father would catch him. Rivka answers that 27:13 (עָלַי קִלְלָתְךָ בְּנִי) and then she says (אַךְ שְׁמַע בְּקֹלִי, וְלֵךְ קַח-לִי). She is saying you do this L’sheim Mitzvas Kibbud Aim. Kibbud Av and Kibbud Aim have the same Makar Hakkidusha. Certainly for Yaakov to do something so against his personality of Emes just because Rivka told him to do so, that was an extreme exhibition of Kibbud Aim. That is why she said (אַךְ שְׁמַע בְּקֹלִי, וְלֵךְ קַח-לִי). Since the Kibbbud Av V’aim is there, it will be that you will have a sense of Kibbud Aim.
A third Nikuda is added, when Yitzchok had the 27:33 (וַיֶּחֱרַד יִצְחָק חֲרָדָה, גְּדֹלָה עַד-מְאֹד). When Yitzchok realized the truth and he trembled, what was his great fear?
Yitzchok realized that what Yaakov did was an exhibition of Kibbud Av V’aim and that Yaakov was indeed right and he did sense the Kedusha there. Yitzchok immediately says (גַּם-בָּרוּךְ, יִהְיֶה) he will be blessed.
Maybe that helps us understand why there is a custom that when someone has a Yahrtzeit for a parent he brings in food to Shul and B’rachos are made as a Tikkun. The primary reason is that people make B’rachos L’ilui Nishmas the Neshama. It could be that there too if the person is bringing food als a Kibbud Av V’aim, bringing that food as an honor to a father or mother itself gives Kiddusha to the food. Perhaps that is the added Kavana bringing food physically for the Yahrtzeit of a parent.
The Igros Moshe says the following Vort. This Vort is preceded by a Kasha. We know that Yitzchok sent Eisav to bring him food. The Halacha is that a Mumar for Avodah Zorah is not trustworthy. How could he trust a Rasha to bring food to him? All the Meforshim say that Yitzchok knew that Eisav was not a Tzaddik. The question is how can he have such a Ne’emanus?
I would like to suggest an answer based on an Igros Moshe Yoreh Dai’a Teshuva 54 which is a Yesodosdika Teshuva. This is a Teshuva that came to me in a very interesting way.
There were many cases in Russia before Rav Moshe left, that the children were communists and the parents were Frum. Rav Moshe was asked by one of these elderly couples, whether they can trust their communist children in matters of Kashrus. The question was posed as follows. The children are not religious and they do not believe in G-d. However, the parents know that the Kibbud Av is wonderful and that they would never do anything that went against the interest of the parents. They knew from experience that the children who do not care about Kashrus are careful about Kashrus for their parents. Still the Shulchan Aruch says that they are not trustworthy. What to do?
Rav Moshe says a Chiddush. He says the question of trustworthiness is only when there is a Sofeik to a person about a fact. If a person knows something and has a Yidia that doesn’t enter into the question of Ne’emanus. Rav Moshe brings a beautiful Mekor from a Gemara in Maseches Kesuvos Daf 85a (26 lines from the bottom)( ההיא איתתא דאיחייבא שבועה בי דינא דרבא אמרה ליה בת רב חסדא ידענא בה דחשודה אשבועה אפכה רבא לשבועה אשכנגדה זימנין הוו יתבי קמיה רב פפא ורב אדא בר מתנא אייתו ההוא שטרא גביה א”ל רב פפא ידענא ביה דשטרא פריעא הוא א”ל איכא איניש אחרינא בהדי’ דמר א”ל לא א”ל אע”ג דאיכא מר עד אחד לאו כלום הוא א”ל רב אדא בר מתנא ולא יהא רב פפא כבת רב חסדא בת רב חסדא קים לי בגווה מר לא קים לי בגוויה).
The Gemara tells us that Rava was doing a Din Torah and his Psak in the Din Torah was that one side would have to swear. Rava’s wife who the Gemara referes to as Bas Rav Chisda, came and said don’t let that man swear because he is a liar. Rava then went back to the Din Torah and said this man can’t swear because he is not trustworthy, we will let the other side swear and if he does swear he will win the Din Torah. Rava changed it because of his wife.
Later in the Gemara a similar incident happens and Rava is ready to give a Psak when Rav Pappa a contemporary of Rava tells him that the person is not trustworthy. Rava says to Rav Pappa you are one witness and one witness is not believed. The Gemara then asks, Rav Pappa is not even treated like Bas Rav Chisda? When it came to Rav Pappa who was trustworthy by reputation why did he not change the Psak?
Rav Pappa is no more worthy than any Eid Echad (one witness). His wife he really knew. When you have a Yidia B’rura you don’t have a question of Ne’emanus. So here where Rav Moshe was asked by the Frum parents in Russia if they could trust their children who were communists, the answer is if you know than it is not an issue of Ne’emanus.
We had a Shaila many years ago of parents who came from Russia who had children who were living at home. At that time they asked the Shaila can they trust their parents for Kashrus. Their parents were trustworthy people but not for Kashrus. According to the Shulchan Aruch they are not Ne’emanim.
At that time, I asked Rav Belsky the question and he showed me the Teshuva. He remarked that a generation before it was the other way around and the parents were Frum and the children were not Frum. The question was can the parents trust the children. Rav Moshe said this Chiddush. A generation later, it was the parents who were not Shomer Shabbos and it was the children who were Frum. It was the same Psak. It would be incredible in Shamayim if somehow these people who live in Brooklyn now, are the descendents of the original Shoalim who asked Rav Moshe in Russia.
The question of the week is: We know that not only the Bnei Yishmael but also the B’nei Ketura are obligated in the Mitzvah of Milah. Even though we are told 21:12 (כִּי בְיִצְחָק, יִקָּרֵא לְךָ זָרַע), that the descendents are Yitzchok, still technically Avraham was obligated in Milah and all his descendents including the B’nei Ketura are obligated in Bris Milah because it is a technical thing that it is continued down. I don’t understand, why does the Rambam say that the B’nei Ketura are obligated in Milah, why is B’nei Eisav not obligated in Milah? Eisav is also technically a descendent from Avraham Avinu so why wouldn’t they be obligated in Milah?