Friday, November 25
- 06:50 am – Shacharit
- 03:55 pm – Mincha
- 03:57 pm – Candle lighting
- 08:00 pm – Men’s Class on Derech Hashem at the home of Lev and Jacqueline Novikov, 226 Clifton Street #2 (knock on the first floor window to the right of the front porch)
Saturday, November 26
- 07:45 am – Shacharit at Salem Towers
- 08:45 am – Shacharit
- 09:09 am – Latest time for Kriat Shema
- 10:30 am – Jr. Congregation
- 11:15 am – Kiddush
- 03:30 pm – Mincha, followed by Se’udah Shlishit
- 04:55 pm – Ma’ariv
- 05:05 pm – Shabbat Ends
November 27 – December 2
- 08:00 am – Sunday (Rosh Chodesh)
- 06:40 am – Monday and Thursday
- 06:50 am – Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday
- 03:55 pm – Sunday – Thursday
- 03:50 pm – Friday
- 04:25 pm – Sunday – Thursday
To print this schedule, click here to go directly to the post, and then press ctrl-P (Windows) or cmd-P (Mac) to print it.
Weekly Words of Torah
Focusing on the Positive
Insights into Parshat Toldot of Mr. Shimon Kronenberg of Yeshivat Sha’alvim, by Rav Re’uven Ungar of Sha’alvim.
We see in this week’s Parsha the episode of Yitzchak attempting to give the Brachot to his eldest son Eisav. Instead Yaakov, with the aid of his mother, managed to deceive Yitzchak into giving the Brachot to him instead. While this a famous story, there is a question that begs asking.
The question is, why did Yitzchak feel the necessity to send Eisav out hunting before he could receive the Brachot? Was it in fact necessary for him to have Eisav prepare this large feast for him before he could deliver the Brachot? As Yitzchak says:
“Prepare for me delicacies…. so that my soul can bless you before I die.”
It seems as if without the meal Yitzchak would be unable to deliver the Brachot to Eisav. Furthermore, we see in Parshat Vayechi that when Yaakov wanted to bless the Sh’vatim in a similar fashion, he did not first ask each of them to go prepare him a feast, rather he simply called each one of them in so that they can receive the Brachot.
Perhaps Yitzchak is in fact attempting to present to us a major principle as to how he approached the task of raising and educating his children. In turn passing that lesson on to us.
As the Mefarshim (commentaries) say, Yitzchak feared that his life was coming to a conclusion. He thereby came to the realization that time was running out for him to truly instill some of life’s most important lessons to his children.
The פסוק describes Eisav, seemingly in a negative light, as an “ish yodea tzayid” that he knew trapping and hunting. Yitzchak realized that this trait was inherent in his eldest son. Nevertheless Yitzchak maintained a strong level of ahava (love) towards him. As the Pasuk says “Yitzchak loved Eisav because his trapping was in his mouth… and Rivka loved Yaakov”. The Targum explains; Yitzchak loved his son because he would eat the food which Eisav would hunt for him. This Pasuk does not by any means suggest that Yitzchak did not love Yaakov. Rather, what it suggests is that unlike his wife Rivka, he also loved Eisav; because he was able to seek out the positive Middot in his children and love them for it. Instead of trying to suppress this violent trait of Eisav he understood that it was simply part of who he was and did his best to embrace it and channel it towards the fulfillment of Mitzvot, i.e. Kibbud Av V’Em.
This is why Yitzchak with possibly his last days on earth asked Eisav that before he bless him he should go through the effort of serving his father. How? By using his special talent of hunting to prepare a meal for his father. As Yitzchak expressed to Eisav as he instructed him in his preparations: “Go to the field and catch and animal for me; then prepare for me delicacies such as I love and bring it to me and I will eat; so that my soul can bless you before I die”.
It is true that Yitzchak could have simply requested that Eisav take a goat from the barn as Rashi says Yitzchak enjoyed the taste of goat meat just as much as that of deer. Rather Yitzchak went out of his way to demand this from Eisav in order that his final act in his father’s lifetime should be the mitzvah of Kibbud Av. As Yitzchak suggests in his words: “prepare for me delicacies such as I love and bring it to me and I will eat; so that my soul can bless you before I die” it would be a direct result of Eisav’s efforts that Yitzchak would be able to bless him. This was all an attempt by Yitzchak to show his son that everything in life, no matter how evil sounding, can be channeled toward something positive.