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Friday, November 21

The Weekly Shtikle - Chayei Sarah

Before Rivkah's family sees her off, they give her a blessing. The blessing concludes with the words (24:60) "veyirash zar'eich eis sha'ar son'av," and your progeny shall possess the gate of those who hate them. This phrase is quite similar to that found in the berachah given to Avraham by HaShem following the akeida, (22:17) "veyirash zar'acha eis sha'ar oyevav," and your progeny shall possess the gate of their enemies.

The obvious difference is the use of the word oyevav with Avraham as compared with son'av with Rivkah. But before attempting to explain the difference between the two, it is quite interesting to note that Onkelos translates both words exactly the same - san'eihon.

To better understand the difference between the words, it is best to observe them side by side as we do in Shemos 23:4-5. We are commanded to return the ox of one's oyeiv if we happen upon and it appears to be lost. If one encounters a donkey belonging to his sonei crouching beneath its burden, he is commanded to lend a hand and help unload the burden.

It would seem the defining difference between these two cases is that when you find someone's lost ox, you are not coming in direct contact with the individual initially, just the ox. When you aid in the unloading of the burden, however, you are doing so together with the owner. It would follow, therefore that hatred is something felt up close while enmity is felt even from a distance. Perhaps this suggests that the berachah given to Avraham was greater and farther reaching than that given to Rivkah as it included the demise of even the distant enemies.

[Intuitively, I might have suggested the exact opposite of the above - hatred is something kept in the heart while one truly becomes an oyeiv only when they act on that hatred.]

[Interestingly, even in the above passages from Shemos, Onkelos once again uses the exact same word to translate both oyeiv and sonei.]


Have a good Shabbos.

Eliezer Bulka
EzBulka@hotmail.com
http://weeklyshtikle.blogspot.com
http://dikdukian.blogspot.com

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