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Friday, November 17

The Weekly Shtikle - Toledos

My nephew, Yisroel Meir Shonek, who was celebrating his aufruf exactly five years ago, along with his wife Miriam welcomed a new baby girl into the family this week whom they named Tzirel Nechama, after my mother.


On a closely related note, our own (Tzirel) Nechama is celebrating her Bas Mitzvah this coming Sunday evening. Special Mazal Tovs to the Tzirel Nechamas and their families.


When Eisav comes back from the field, he is so wiped out that he is on the verge of death. He demands of Yaakov, who was cooking up a lentil soup, "Pour me some of that red stuff!" The pasuk continues to say that for this, he was called Edom (red). This name has endured as a reference to Eisav throughout the generations. Why would we designate an eternal name for Eisav based on this seemingly insignificant exchange? And why is the focus on the colour of the soup? It would seem more appropriate to refer to them as "hal'iteini-niks."


Daniel Scarowsky, z"l, explained that we are taught (Rashi 26:34) that Eisav is compared to a pig. A pig has split hooves but does not chew its cud. When it sleeps, it sleeps with its hooves stretched out as if to show the world, "look at me, I'm kosher" when, in fact, it is not. The pig symbolizes superficial and external obsessiveness, a misguided focus on outer appearance and neglect of the importance of inner essence. It is this very trait that is being illustrated here by Eisav. Even in this most desperate time, when he was in such dire need of sustenance, the lentil soup was nothing more to him than "red stuff." This exchange, therefore, is a significant indication of Eisav's character and thus, he was given the name Edom which would go on to be his national identity.

Have a good Shabbos and Chodesh Tov.

Eliezer Bulka

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