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    Chinuch Approach

    In Bereishis (27:6) the posuk tells us that Yitzchak asked Eisav to go find an animal so he could give Eisav a bracha. This story leads to a few questions regarding the appearance of activity that is opposite of bein adam lachaveiro. Rivkah convinces her son Yaakov to take Eisav’s clothing that was entrusted to her in order to fool her husband. She was taking her son’s trust and completely misusing it.

    Yitzchok, upon hearing Yaakov’s voice, starts to feel his clothing and Yaakov lets Yitzchok be fooled. We know that a blind man has a tvias ayin on a kol; he can identify his wife based on voice. Yitzchok’s behavior needs to be analyzed.

    When Yitzchok figures out that he was fooled, he does not admonish Yaakov and try to teach him that what he did was wrong. To the contrary, he says, “Gam boruch – yihyeh-” he should be blessed. Even after he trembled and saw gehinom when Eisav arrived, Yitzchok still blessed Eisav. These are all actions that require analysis.

    Eisav fooled his father by asking how one tithes salt. Everyone knows that this is a foolish question. How could it be that Yitzchok was fooled?

    Rashi (25:30) says that Avraham died on the day Eisav went to hunt so he should not see his grandson go off the derech since that would not be considered seiva tova that Hashem had promised Avraham. Hashem therefore shortened his life by five years. This contradicts the gemara in Sotah (5a) where the gemara teaches us that if a person is a baal gaaveh he ends up being knocked down and killed, but if a person does teshuva he will die in the proper time like Avraham Avinu. The obvious question did Avraham die in the proper time, or did he die five years early?

    The Mefarshim explain that Yaakov and Eisav were really supposed to do the avoda in tandem like Yissochor and Zevulun. There is a machlokes how one is supposed to perform their avodas Hashem; should the person first do positive commandments, asseh tov, or first refrain from bad, sur mei’ra. Some say that this depends on the type of person under discussion. Avraham was the amud hachessed who performed good deeds all the time, whereas Yitzchok is personified by gevurah, giving up his life to Hashem. Avraham lived for other people. Nevertheless, the posuk says Avraham gave birth to Yitzchok. These two middos are not mutually exclusive, but rather they can coexist.

    Yitzchok and Rivkah argued with each other concerning how to be mechanech the set of twins, which they both saw as one entity. Eisav was a hunter, a tough guy. It would therefore seem to make sense for him to work on the sur mei’ra. Yaakov was an ish tam, a good person looking to do good. That is why Yitzchok loved Eisav; because his kochos were the ones Yitizchok identified with. Yitzchok felt that he must first remove all bad before starting to do good. Rivkah loved Yaakov whose temperament was similar to hers. Yitzchok believed that Eisav would eventually get rid of the bad and even blessed him, despite all of Eisav’s trickery. Rivkah felt that the only way Yaakov would get the brachos from his father would be if he acts in his father’s mehalach and work with the sur mei’ra. Only then would Yitzchok appreciate Yaakov’s koach and give him a bracha. That is why Yitzchak exclaims the voice is of Yaakov, but the hands are Eisav. The only way one could do the kol of Yaaikov is by first doing the hand of Eisav, removing the bad.

    This turn around in thinking started the day Eisav went out to hunt which was the zman that Avraham Avinu had to be niftar because the world was being introduced to a new idea of sur mei’ra. It therefore makes sense that Avraham was niftar at that time.

    May we all be zocheh to do both asseh tov and sur mei’ra!