hebrew
1)

What is the significance of the "precious clothes of Esav" with which Rivkah dressed Yaakov?

1.

Rashi #1 and Targum Onkelos: They were clean clothes.

2.

Rashi #2 and Targum Yonasan: They were the clothes that Esav had coveted and taken from Nimrod (after he killed him). Nimrod himself had obtained them from Adam ha'Rishon. 1

3.

Rashbam: They were the special clothes that Esav wore when he served his father during meal-times.

4.

Yerushalmi (Megilah, 1:11): They were the clothes that Esav wore when served as Kohen Gadol. 2

5.

Chizkuni #1: They were new clothes, and they still bore the smell of the dye. (Yitzchak would recognize the smell; this would help to convince him that this is Esav.)

6.

Chizkuni #2: They were Esav's hunting-clothes, and they still bore the smell of the field. (This helped to convince Yitzchak that he was indeed Esav.) 3


1

Sifsei Chachamim - they had pictures of Chayos. When he wore them, animals came to him (and he could easily catch them). Peirush Yonasan: They were miraculous hunting-clothes. When he wore them, all animals and birds fell in front of him - "k'Nimrod Gibor Tzayid" (10:9).

2

See Torah Temimah, note 7.

3

The Torah specifically states that Yitzchak blessed Yaakov after he smelled "like the smell of a field..." (27:27).

2)

Why was Esav not wearing his special clothes when he went to hunt?

1.

Peirush Yonasan #1, Oznayim la'Torah #1: HaSh-m caused that he not wear them that day, so it would take him longer to hunt, to enable Yaakov to receive the Berachos

2.

Oznayim la'Torah (citing a Midrash): Rivkah hid them to gain time, so that Yaakov should receive the Berachos - because, had Esav returned and found Yaakov being blessed, he would have killed him on the spot.

3.

Oznayim la'Torah #2: Esav honored his father to such an extent that he wore the special clothes 1 only when he served him.

4.

Oznayim la'Torah #3: Esav did not take them, for he wanted to increase his Kibud Av by working harder to catch the deer for his father. 2

5.

Peirush Yonasan #2: Esav needed them only for hunting big animals.


1

Oznayim la'Torah: Which the Midrash describes as 'Bigdei Malchus.' Compare to Rashbam (refer to 27:15:1:3.)

2

As the Mishnah writes in Avos, at the end of Perek 5 - 'l'Fum Tza'ara Agra!'

3)

Why does it say that Rivkah dressed Yaakov in Esav's clothes?

1.

Because then he would resemble Esav at least in that one respect and would justify his statement to his father, 'I am Esav....' (EC)

2.

Ohr ha'Chayim: They were too big for him; she fixed them for "Benah ha'Katan."

3.

Malbim (to 27: 15,16): If an action accompanies a prophecy, the prophecy will be fulfilled in any case, like the Ramban writes. Benefits of this world, e.g. wealth and authority, are compared to garments, which are external to the person and do not cling to him; they are secondary to him. They are proper for Esav, and are called Bigdei Esav. Voice represents a human Nefesh that speaks; perfection of the Nefesh is proper for Yaakov. Putting Esav's garments on him shows that his inner intrinsic identity is Yaakov, but externally he has benefits of this world, i.e. Esav. Indeed, Yitzchak said "ha'Kol Kol Yaakov, veha'Yadayim Yedei Esav" (27:22)!

4.

Ha'Kesav veha'Kabalah: Yaakov did not want to trick his father. He would not take them himself to put them on.

4)

Why did Esav give these special clothes to his mother for safekeeping, and not to his wives?

1.

Rashi Because he did not trust his wives.

5)

Why does the Torah see fit to mention that Esav was Rivkah's big son, and Yaakov, her small one?

1.

Refer to 27:15:2:2.

2.

Ramban: In praise of Rivkah, inasmuch as, although it is natural for a mother to favor her firstborn son regarding Berachos, esteem and gifts, she acknowledged the Yaakov's righteousness and Esav's evil. And as a result, she went to such lengths, to transfer the Berachos and the Kavod from the older son to the younger one. 1

3.

Ha'amek Davar: Esav was bigger, so his clothes totally covered Yaakov. Rivkah needed skins only for his hands, which he must use, and his neck, to which clothes do not cling.

4.

Maharal (Gevuros Hashem Ch. 8, p. 48): The added phrase, "Her older son," seems redundant! Refer to 27:1:151.1:1.

5.

Gur Aryeh (to Bamidbar 21:35): The added phrase, "Her younger son," seems redundant! Something physical may be described in terms of size; whereas the meta-physical has no space. 2 That is why Yaakov is referred to as "small."


1

And the Torah points this out again later (in 27:42), when it spells out how, when Rivkah was told the words of Esav her older son, she sent and called for Yaakov, her younger son.

2

I.e. any physical object has three dimensions, whereas a spiritual entity does not have these dimensions. (EK)

QUESTIONS ON RASHI

6)

Rashi writes: "'Coveted [garments] (ha'Chamudos)' - Alternatively, Esav coveted them from Nimrod." Why?

1.

Gur Aryeh: Like Esav, Nimrod was a hunter ("Gibor Tzayid" - 10:9). 1 When Nimrod would wear these garments, the wild beasts and birds would gather around him; and he would trap them.


1

Refer to 10:9:1:1, and the note there.

7)

Rashi writes: "Esav coveted them from Nimrod."What were these garments?

1.

Maharal (Netzach Yisrael Ch. 16, p. 90): These were the garments of Adam ha'Rishon. While Yaakov inherited the Tzelem E-lokim of Adam; 1 Esav inherited his garments. Although garments bring a person honor, 2 they are not a G-dly attribute like Tzelem E-lokim. Thus, they reflect Esav's standing in this world. 3


1

See Bava Basra 58a, and Rashbam DH bi'Demus and DH bi'Deyukni. What is Tzelem E-lokim according to the Maharal? Refer to 1:27:2.1.

2

See Shabbos 113a.

3

Maharal: Esav inherited his completion in this world; whereas Yaakov is not complete in this world. (EK)

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