Why does the Torah repeat here what it already told us in Toldos (see Bereishis 28:5)?
Rashi: Because it interrupted the story of Yaakov to describe Esav's reaction. 1
Targum Yonasan: The Torah hints at five miracles 2 that happened to Yaakov - that we would not have been able to learn from the earlier Pasuk.
Why does the Torah see fit to tell us that Yaakov left from Be'er-Sheva? If that is where he was living, it is obvious that that is where he left from!
Rashi: To teach us that, when a Tzadik leaves a place, his absence is sorely felt by the inhabitants of the town, 1 for he is the splendor, the beauty and the glory of the town. Consequently, his absence creates a vacuum. 2
Targum Yonasan: To teach us that on the same day 3 that he left Be'er-Sheva, he arrived in Charan.
Ohr ha'Chayim, citing the Zohar: The entire Parshah is a hint for man - the Nefesh leaves the upper world...
Oznayim la'Torah: In actual fact, following the episode with the Berachos, he spent fourteen in hiding in the Yeshivah of Shem va'Ever, as the Midrash informs us, and it was Rivkah who then called for him, before sending him away to Charan in conjunction with Yitzchak. 5
Rashi: The Torah teaches us the same lesson regarding Na'omi and Rus, when they left Moav. Also refer to 28:10:2.4.
Moshav Zekenim, Gur Aryeh: But unlike the case of Naomi and Rus, here the righteous Yitzchak and Rivkah still remained in the city! There is no comparison between the merit of one Tzadik and the merit of many. Tosfos ha'Shalem (21) - Also, Yitzchak was blind, and was considered as if dead.
The Gematriya of "va'Yelech" equals that of "Bo ba'Yom" (Bereishis Rabah 68:10).
Moshav Zekenim: It is called Be'er Sheva due to the well about which Avraham swore. Ramban - Yaakov went to Be'er Sheva to ask permission [from Hashem] to leave Eretz Yisrael, like his father did.
Oznayim la'Torah: According to others, Yitzchak and Rivkah sent him to Charan immediately following the Berachos, and that was when he ran to the Yeshivah of Shem and Ever - before going to Charan - See Oznayim la'Torah as to why he did that.
Why does our verse say, "va'Yelech Charanah"? The very next Pasuk records how he stopped before getting there!
Rashi #1, Rashbam and Seforno: The Torah is not telling us that he went straight to Charan, but that he left in order to go to Charan. 1
Rashi #2 (to 28:17): Yaakov actually went to Charan. However, when he arrived there, he realized that he had passed Har ha'Moriyah (where his fathers had prayed) without praying there, so he went back there to pray.
Ohr ha'Chayim #1: "Va'Yelech Charanah" teaches that Yaakov merely had to leave, and Charan came to greet him (Kefitzas ha'Derech).
Ohr ha'Chayim #2: "Va'Yelech Charanah" teaches that once he left, the Charon (anger) of Esav departed. According to the opinion that Esav sent Elifaz to kill him, these words allude to Elifaz.
Malbim: This is one of four reasons 2 why the Nevu'ah he would receive was through an unclear glass (like all Nevi'im other than Moshe). Since he headed towards a place without Kedushah, this clouded the prophecy, even though he was still in Eretz Yisrael.
Riva: He first went to the Yeshivah of Ever. It cannot be that he went straight to Charan, for the Gemara explains that "he encountered the place" refers to Beis-El, which is still in Eretz Yisrael. Ha'amek Davar - it hints that leaving Be'er Sheva and going to Charan were separate matters - because in between, he learned in Beis Ever.
Why is the break at the beginning of this Parshah closed?
Hadar Zekenim, Da'as Zekenim: It is because Yaakov left covertly 1 without telling anyone, due to Esav, like one who flees.
Moshav Zekenim: Normally, people bring money to a Chacham and ask him to marry their daughter. Yaakov needed to pursue a wife and work. It was improper for a man like him to work.
Tosfos ha'Shalem (2): The Torah already mentioned at the end of the previous Parshah that Yaakov left. This is merely matters written above. 2 This is why Rashi did not ask why it is closed, but he asked about the start of Parshas Vayechi (Rashi to 47:28). 3
Tosfos ha'Shalem (5,8, citing R. Efrayim, Chetzi Menasheh) adds that he hid himself in the academy of Ever for 14 years. He asks that the starts of many Parshiyos are closed! Rather, there is not a single Parshah break in this entire Parshah.
The start of many Parshiyos are continuations - Noach, Lech Lecha..., yet they are open (PF)!
Seemingly, Rashi asked about the start of Vayechi, for there is no break there at all (PF)!
Elsewhere, it says about the Avos, "va'Yelech" (he went). Why does it say here "va'Yetzei" (he left)?
Tosfos ha'Shalem (4): The Avos used to go to dwell elsewhere, and return. Yaakov did not intend to return. 1
Also refer to 28:10:2.
His mother told him to go only until Esav's anger will subside! Perhaps Yaakov did not expect it to subside (PF).
Why is "va'Yetzei Yaakov" put right after Esav marrying Machalas?
Tosfos ha'Shalem (8, citing R. Avigdor): This shows that one may leave Eretz Yisrael only to learn Torah or marry. 1
Tosfos ha'Shalem (22): This teaches that exile atones (brings Mechilah).
How may we learn this? The Torah does not explicitly say that Yaakov went to learn. And Yaakov himself left in order to marry! And in any case, he was permitted to leave due to danger! Perhaps this is why we need to learn from the adjacency. Bava Basra 91a permits to leave amidst very harsh economic conditions. (PF)
Why does it say that Yaakov went to Charan? Yitzchak sent him to Padan Aram!
Tosfos ha'Shalem (27): Perhaps after Terach died, Lavan went to take possession of his inheritance in Charan. Yitzchak did not know this.
Midrash Sechel Tov: Padan Aram is close to Charan. 1
Radak (to Bereishis 25:20): Padan Aram is a region including Ur Kasdim, Charan and other cities.
Chizkuni: They are the same! Rivkah told Yaakov to go to Charan, and Yitzchak said right afterwards, "to Padan Aram" (27:43, 28:2).
Therefore, we need not be concerned if they are used interchangeably. (PF)
Why is the Targum of Be'er Sheva, 'Be'era d'Shava' (in many texts)? Everywhere else, Onkelos simply writes Be'er Sheva!
Ha'amek Davar (from Pesikta Zutresa): Chazal expounded 'from Be'erah of Shevu'ah' - Yaakov feared lest Avimelech ask him to swear ,like his father and grandfather did, and this will delay his descendents [from conquering the Pelishtim in Eretz Yisrael].
QUESTIONS ON RASHI
Rashi writes: "Since that because...." Why does Rashi use this doubled expression?
Gur Aryeh: Rashi means that since (Bishvil) the daughters of the Canaanites were evil, ... Esav went to Yishmael. Because of this (Al Yedei), the verse interrupts its narrative of Yaakov's journey. When the Torah finishes its digression, it resumes telling us about Yaakov (starting again "va'Yetzei - he left").
Rashi writes: "When it had finished, it returns to the previous topic." But when a general statement is followed by a narrative, we interpret it as referring to the same event, merely coming to fill in the details. (See Rashi to 2:8.)Why doesn't Rashi explain this way here as well, i.e. that these are the details of the verse, "Yitzchak sent Yaakov off, and he went to Padan-Aram" (28:5)?
Gur Aryeh: The things that happened to Yaakov on his way, are not part of the journey itself. (Whereas Bereishis 2:7-8 gives details of the creation of man, the same creation that was mentioned generally in 1:27.)
Rashi writes: "Why does the verse need to mention Yaakov's departure [from Be'er Sheva]?" But why does this detail seem irrelevant?
Gur Aryeh: The departure is not the subject of the verse, but rather the journey itself (and it could have written more directly, 'Yaakov went (va'Yelech) from Be'er Sheva to Charan'). Surely many camel-drivers and donkey-drivers left Be'er Sheva at the same time! Rather, Rashi explains that Yaakov's departure was keenly felt in the city.
Rashi writes: "The departure of a righteous person from a city makes an impression." Why wasn't this indicated above in 28:5, when we were first told that Yaakov went?
Gur Aryeh: Only in the following section will the Torah discuss Yaakov's righteousness, and that Hashem appeared to him (28:13). The Torah uses the term "va'Yetzei" here, to indicate that that righteousness was tangibly missing when he left.
Rashi writes: "... He is its praise, splendor and glory (Hod, Ziv, Hadar)." What is the meaning of these three terms?
Gur Aryeh: (a)A Tzadik leads the populace to fear of Heaven, to fulfill all of the Mitzvos. One who fears Hashem is deserving of praise (see Mishlei 31:30). (b) He teaches them wisdom, which is portrayed as illumination. 1 (c) He teaches them good character traits, such as those found in Pirkei Avos, which "bring glory to those who practice them"(Mishnah Avos 2:1).
Rashi writes: " The departure of a righteous person from the city makes an impression...... so too in the verse regarding Naomi and Rus (Rus 1:7)." But this is a circular argument, for Rashi to that verse in Rus derives the same rule by citing our verse about Yaakov!
Gur Aryeh: Rashi cites the verse from Rus, so that we should not think that only the absence of a Tzadik of Yaakov's stature is felt, for he was the choicest of the Avos. Nor is it the case only for Tzadikim of great deeds like Naomi and Rus. Rather the absence of any Tzadik is felt in his city.
Rashi writes: "He went (va'Yelech) to Charan - He had left to go to Charan." What does Rashi mean?
Gur Aryeh: The word va'Yelech does not mean that he was now leaving to travel, but rather that he had already begun on his way.
Rashi writes: "He went to Charan - He had left to go to Charan." Why not explain that he was now arriving in Charan?
Gur Aryeh: We know that Yaakov had not yet arrived, for the next verse (28:11) tells us that he encountered 'the place' on his way. 1
Rashi writes: " He went (va'Yelech) to Charan - He had left to go to Charan." Why doesn't Rashi say this above, on verse 28:5 (or 28:7); 'he went to Padan-Aram'?
Gur Aryeh #1: Here the verse begins "va'Yeztei," referring to the beginning of the journey, so I would think that the next phrase, "va'Yelech," would include the journey's completion. Rashi explains that va'Yetzei means leaving, and va'Yelech means beginning on his way. The previous verses (28:5,7) say only 'va'Yelech,' so their meaning is clear.
Gur Aryeh #2: Only now that Rashi has commented that this journey was one and the same as the one mentioned in the above verses, does he need to explain that Yaakov had just begun on his way. Now that I know this, that is its meaning in the above verses as well.