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Browse Torah Articles: Sefer Beresheet: Parashat Toledot: Eternal Love

Contributed by: R. Ezra Mizrahi

"Vaye'ehav Yitzhak et Et Esav Ki Sayid Befiv, VeRivka ohevet et Yaacob" "Yitzhak loved Esav because game (meaning hunting) was in his mouth and Rivka loves Yaacob."

There are many questions on this pasuk, but we will pose 2 of them and explore the answers together, to hopefully provide a clearer picture of this week's parasha.

1. How could Yitzhak love Esav the evil one?
2. Why is the love for Esav written in past tense, why the love for Yaacob is written in present tense?


1. Yitzhak was complete and holy, as he did not have one blemish (physically & spiritually), that he was able to actually be placed on Hashem's sacrificial alter (Aqedat Yitzhak). Esav would ask him difficult questions in halacha, questions that showed that Esav paid attention to the exact details of the misvot. Yitzhak, not being able to understand "deception" because of his very honest and pure nature. loved Esav through Esav's facade, that he was really a good Jew. Rivka, however, who grew up with an evil brother Laban, understood deception very well and was not fooled by Esav and his deception. She purely loved Yaacob.

2. The love for Esav is written in past tense because it is love that is "talui bedavar" or "dependant love". Yitzhak loved Esav for a reason, and the rabbis explain the depth of that reason (which we cannot go into in this forum, but feel free to ask the Ahaba team in the kinese this week), making the love based on something. If you remove that something, the love vanishes. The rabbis teach us an important lesson here. Rivka "loves" Yaacob. She always does, as the word "loves" is in the present tense. Her love is not connected to anything, but rather is pure and is a love "she'enah teluya bedavar". Her love is not dependant on anything and therefore her love will always exist for Yaacob.

May Hashem give us the strength to pay attention to the details of halacha, and practice what we learn. It is not good enough to simply learn and know what should be done. We have to do it, as well!

May Hashem also give us the stength to love Him and Yahadut without any expectations of anything in return. To love for the sake of loving- which will hopefully bring our Mashiach to us, Amen.

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