Thursday, November 4, 2010

Toldot: "Bring Me a Tasty Dish"

Joe and Mike shared a meal together. At the end of the meal, Joe remarked, "From the way I am eating today, I see that I am not in the best of health."

Joe's comment took his friend by surprise. "What do you mean? I saw you ate from every dish that was served!"

"I wasn't really hungry," Joe explained. "It was only by forcing myself to taste the delicious food that I was able to whet my appetite."

Isaac's Request

Isaac has misgivings about blessing his son Esau. He knew that Esau was not what he pretended to be, and his heart was not fully in it. 
Isaac realized that he needed an extra "push," something that would make him feel more comfortable about giving Esau a blessing.

So Issac asked his son to bring him a "tasty dish, the way I like it." Isaac wanted Esau to have an extra merit of honoring his father. After all, honoring parents was Esau's special mitzvah, his spiritual strength. Then, Isaac told his son, "My soul will bless you before I die." Only then would Isaac be able to give Esau a blessing with a full heart.

When Rebecca overheard her husband's request, she understood the reason behind it. Rebecca relayed to Jacob how his father had asked Esau to bring him tasty venison. This way, Jacob would realize that his father was not really happy about blessing Esau. She wanted to convince Jacob, so that he would be willing to pose as his brother and receive the blessing in Esau's place.

(Adapted from Meshalim Ve-gam Sipurim, p. 48)