Why did Ya'akov refer to Yisachar as Chamor Garem (a bony donkey)?
Rashi: Just as a bony (strong) donkey carries a heavy load, so too, does Yisachar bear the yoke of Torah.
Rashbam: Unlike their brother Zevulun, who travels overseas with merchandise, they are farmers, who farm their land between the towns, 1 like the strong bony donkey, which one finds between the borders. 2
Targum Onkelos: He blessed him with wealth in property.
Targum Yonasan: He is stringent in Torah-study yet he remains strong). 3
Seforno: He is compared to a donkey, because he is not geared for warfare, as the Gemara says in Avodah-Zarah, (17b) 'Either the book or the sword!
Da'as Zekenim, Hadar Zekenim, Moshav Zekenim, Rosh: A donkey was Gorem (caused the birth of) Yisachar. When Leah heard Yakov's donkey, she went out to lead him to her tent. 4 Yisachar was conceived that night.
This is similar to the Berachah of Moshe in v'Zos ha'Berachah (33:18 [Rashbam]).
See Peirush Yonasan.
Moshav Zekenim: Alternatively, the Duda'im were due to a donkey. One who hears Duda'im uprooted, he dies. People arrange that a donkey uproot them. It dies, and people come and take them.
What did Yakov mean when he added "who crouches between the boundaries"?
Rashi: He meant that they study Torah day and night, just as the donkey(driver) does not go home at night, but rests with his merchandise, on the borders of the towns he is visiting.
Seforno: Describing the bony donkey's strength, it explains how it is able to crouch to rest, with the two heavy packs (one on either side) still strapped to it. 1
Rashbam: Refer to 49:14:1:2.
Targum Onkelos: His territory lies between the borders (of his brothers - Targum Yonason). 2
מה פרוש הפסוק?
מהר"ל (דרוש על התורה עמ' יא ד"ה וציוה): צריך לטרוח בתורה כחמור הנושא עול גדול והולך ביום ובלילה ואין לו מנוחה, כלומר לשעבד את הגוף לתורה. 1
עיין שם שיש את טורח הגוף כחמור, ויש עוד בחינה של 'כשור לעול'- הטורח הנפשי של העיון בתורה.
מה מעלת יששכר בכך ש"חמור גרם"?