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Published by: outdash2 on Oct 29, 2013
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Ya’akov Avinu desperately wants to acquire the birthright from his brother Eisav. Whatprompted Ya’akov to buy the birthright when he did?The Gemara in Baba Batra 16B points out other occurrences that happened on that veryday. Firstly, Avraham Avinu died. In fact, the food that Ya’akov used to buy the birthright wasbeing made for Yitzchak Avinu, who was mourning the loss of his father. It is customary formourners to eat lentils, as the Gemara mentions, in order to assist in the consolation process.Secondly, Rav Yochanan says that Eisav committed the gravest of his sins on that very day. Itbecame clearer than ever that Eisav
 
was not fit for the birthright or the precious
Brachot
thatwere associated with it. Avraham
 
Avinu’s passing made Ya’akov more keenly aware that the
Brachot
would ultimately be transmitted to the next generation, and it was paramount that heobtain them instead of Eisav.Eisav approached Ya’akov to ask for some of the soup he was making. When Ya’akovasked for the birthright in return for the food, Eisav’s response was “Since I am going to die,what good is the birthright to me?”(
Bereshit
25:32). It seems that Eisav was aware of thebirthright’s value, however, in light of the fact that he was going to die, Eisav was willing to sellit to Ya’akov Avinu.Various reasons are given as to what Eisav meant when he said he was going to die.Whether it was because he thought he would die of starvation, or, as Rashi points out, it wasbecause Eisav realized that with the birthright, his descendants would serve in the
BeitHa’Mikdash
and the slightest deviation would be punishable by death, he must have felt someregret that he would not be next in the prestigious lineage of Avraham and Yitzchak.After Ya’akov and Eisav agreed to the transaction and Eisav took an oath on the sale,Ya’akov gave his brother food and drink. The
Pasuk
states “… Ya’akov gave Eisav bread andlentil stew, and he ate and drank, and he got up and left, and Eisav denigrated thebirthright” (
Bereshit
25:34). The Sforno clarifies that after the sale, Eisav did not even have theslightest regret due to his contemptuous view of the birthright.How could this be? Eisav, who just a few minutes earlier had some level of appreciationfor the birthright and only sold it because he was “going to die,” suddenly had such a strongaversion towards the birthright and viewed it with denigration and contempt.This episode can teach us all a valuable lesson in human psychology. No one wants to bewrong or admit to his or her mistakes. If Eisav had allowed himself to maintain his appreciationfor the birthright, he would have had to deal with the fact that he had made a terrible mistake.He would need to admit that he had sold his special claim as the first born of Yitzchak Avinu fora mere bowl of food. Eisav needed to denigrate the birthright in order to justify the sale andremove any guilty sentiments. We must be on guard at all times to thoroughly check themotives for our feelings. There is a need for real intellectual honesty without the manyrationalizations that we are capable of making. Admitting we made a mistake may be difficult,but rationalizing and corrupting our beliefs and standards is catastrophic. Being aware of thisshould help us maintain our constant vigilance in our quest for intellectual honesty.
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ןהכה
 
והילא
 
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ףסוי
 
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יטוקיל
 A publication of 
YULA 
Boys High School 
Likutei Ohr 
The Ba’al Shem Tov, the founder of Chasidic Judaism and one of the greatest Tzadikim of all time, was once asked how to develop a love for Hashem. His advice was to first develop a love for one’s fellow man, and the love for Hashem would surely follow.While the individual attempts to eliminate the barriers that prevent him from becoming close to his fellow human beings, he also eliminates the barriers that interrupt his relationship with Ha’Kadosh Baruch Hu. David Ha’Melech profoundly expresses the idea of breaking down barriers in Tehillim:“The desire of the humble you have heard, O God. Guide their heart, let Your ear be attentive” (Tehillim 10:17). Having the proper attitude toward Tefillah is not something that we can do on our own, but rather, it is something that requires Hashem’s assistance. The effort we put in to rid ourselves of the separations between our peers is the key to creating a sincere, precious connection with Ha’Kadosh Baruch Hu, which, as a result, leads to a meaningful, heartfelt Davening.Only when such an effort is made will we be able to truly connect with our Creator.
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Parshat Toldot 
Our Quest for Intellectual Honesty
Rabbi Dov Rosenbluth
 
The Flame ofOur  Ancestors
“It is not your obligation to complete the task,but neither are you at liberty to desist from it entirely” - Rabbi Tarfon 
 Volume II : Issue VI
The Pamphlet of Light

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