hebrew
1)

What was Devorah, Rivka's nurse-maid, doing in Yakov's camp?

1.

Rashi: Rivka had promised Yakov 1 that when the time was ripe she would send for him and bring him home. And it was Devorah whom she sent to fetch him. 2

2.

Ramban #1: After Devorah accompanied Rivka to Eretz Cana'an, she returned to Charan, and was now accompanying Yakov with the intention of visiting her erstwhile mistress.

3.

Ramban #2: She was not the same nurse-maid who accompanied Rivka to Eretz Cana'an, but who remained in Charan; and Yakov was now taking her with him to look after her in honor of his mother.


2

It seems odd to send a very old lady (Devorah was well over a hundred) on such a mission. Moreover, she had promised to send for him when Esav's anger had abated, which it had not when Yakov left Charan! (Perhaps Rivka preferred to send someone who already knew Lavan's nature - it is better that a Tzadik not know of such Rish'us, or another Shali'ach would need to be warned about Lavan, and she was loathe to discuss her brother. Perhaps she thought that Devorah, who lived among Resha'im but was a Tzadekes, would merit Kefitzas ha'Derech! Perhaps Esav's anger had abated, and flared up again after Rivka sent her. Or, Rivka sensed that she is about to die, and wanted to see Yakov before she dies She was sure that his merits and Mitzvas Kivud Av v'Em would protect him from Esav. Or, she worried only lest Esav kill Yakov after Yitzchak dies. When she sent Yakov, she feared that Yitzchak is about to die, due to his sudden blindness, or because he was within five years of his mother's lifespan (refer to 27:2:1:1,4). These no longer applied - PF).

2)

What does the Torah mean when it writes that Devorah was buried "below Beis-El", below the plateau (called Alon)?

1.

Rashi: They buried Devorah at the foot of the mountain on which Beis-El was built, on the slope that descended from the plateau. 1


1

Da'as Zekenim, Hadar Zekenim, citing a Midrash: This is "Tomer Devorah", where Devorah ha'Nevi'ah judged Yisrael.

3)

What is the significance of the name "Alon Bachus" (the plains of weeping)? Why would the place be named due to the death of his mother's nurse-maid?

1.

Rashi: Because it was there that he received the sorrowful news of another death


1

See also Rashi on Tehilim 109:14. And it was for his righteous mother, who loved him, who sent him away and whom he never merited to see again, for whom he wept (Ramban). R. Bechaye - he cried over Rivka's death, and the lack of honor that she suffered upon her death. (The Midrashim connote like Rashi, that he mourned also for Devorah! If one does not mourn and cry over a Kosher person's death, his children die (Shabbos 105b) - PF)!

4)

Why did the Torah not record Rivka's death?

1.

Rashi and Targum Yonasan: Because, due to the sad fact that the only person available to bury Rivka was Esav, they refrained from publicizing her death; 1 so the Torah did, too.

2.

Ramban: Differing slightly from Rashi, he explains that Yakov was not present, Yitzchak, who was blind, could not leave the house and Esav, who hated her, did not attend her funeral, leaving the people of Cheis to see to her burial. 2 And because her burial was so undignified, the Torah mentions it only by way of hint. 3


1

So that people would not curse the womb from which Esav emerged (See Sifsei Chachamim).

2

Ramban did not explain why Esav hated her. Perhaps he asked her for his special clothes to serve his father when he went to get the Brachos, and understood that she gave them to Yakov. Yitzchak had many servants. Why couldn't they take him to the funeral to eulogize her, and the servants could bury her?! (PF)

3

See also a slightly different version cited by the Ramban in the name of the Midrash Rabah.

5)

Why did the Torah not record Rivkah's death?

1.

Rashi and Targum Yonasan: Because, due to the sad fact that the only person available to bury Rivkah was Esav, they refrained from publicizing her death; 1 so the Torah did, too.

2.

Ramban: Differing slightly from Rashi, he explains that Ya'akov was not present, Yitzchak, who was blind, could not leave the house and Esav, who hated her, did not attend her funeral, leaving the people of Cheis to see to her burial. 2 And because her burial was so undignified, the Torah mentions it only by way of hint. 3


1

So that people would not curse the womb from which Esav emerged (See Sifsei Chachamim).

2

Ramban did not explain why Esav hated her. Perhaps he asked her for his special clothes to serve his father when he went to get the Brachos, and understood that she gave them to Yakov. Yitzchak had many servants. Why couldn't they take him to the funeral to eulogize her, and the servants could bury her?! (PF)

3

See also a slightly different version cited by the Ramban in the name of the Midrash Rabah.

6)

רש"י: ולפי שהעלימו את יום מותה: אולי לא כתוב יום מותה כפי שלא כתוב יום מותה של לאה?

1.

גור אריה: הפסוק הבא ממשיך שה' בירך את יעקב ברכת אבלים, וא"כ היה צריך לספר על מותה [אלא שהעלימו הכתוב].

7)

רש"י: שלא יקללו הבריות הכרס שיצא ממנו עשו: למה שיקללו אותה אחר מותה?

1.

גור אריה: בני אדם מספרים אחר המיטה מה היה בימי הנפטר, וכשיצא ממנו רשע- אין לו כבוד במותו.

8)

רש"י: שלא יקללו הבריות הכרס שיצא ממנו עשו: למה לא העלים הכתוב את מות יצחק?

1.

גור אריה: האם היא הנותנת לבן את הדברים החומריים שמהם תבא הפחיתות [ולכן רשעותו תלויה ברבקה].

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