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Friday, December 9

Re: The Weekly Shtikle - Vayishlach

A special, belated Weekly Shtikle Mazal Tov to my brother, Binyomin, his wife Shira and the ganse mishpacha on the birth of a little girl, Baila, last week.

    When Yaakov sends the angels to Eisav, he commands them to tell him (32:5) "Im Lavan garti", I have lived with Lavan. Rashi adds that garti has the same gematria as tarya"g, 613, and that Yaakov was saying I have lived with Lavan and, nevertheless, "vetarya"g mitzvos shamarti", I have kept the 613 mitzvos. There are two difficulties with this. Firstly, he did not. He did marry two sisters, after all. Secondly, why is he telling Eisav this? How is this supposed to affect Eisav when coming to confront Yaakov.
    My Zadie, o"h, offers the following explanation: We assume that the meaning of the word 'shamarti' is 'I kept'. But this is not necessarily so. We see in next week's parsha, after Yosef had his dreams, the pasuk says (37:11) "ve'aviv shamar is hadavar." Rashi there interprets this to mean that he waited and watched [to see] when it would come. Perhaps this is the meaning of 'shamarti' here as well. Yaakov may not have kept all 613 mitzvos while in Lavan's house. But being outside of Eretz Yisroel, there were many mitzvos he could not keep. In fact, the Ramba"n is of the opinion that all the mitzvos did not apply to the avos while outside of Eretz Yisroel. So for 20 years, Yaakov had been waiting and yearning for his opportunity to once again be in the position to keep the 613 mitzvos. He was telling this to Eisav to show him how long he had been waiting for this moment, and how determined he was and therefore, there will be no stopping him.

Have a good Shabbos.

Eliezer Bulka

Shtikle Blog Weekly Roundup:
DikdukianThe Great Dishon Confusion
Al Pi CheshbonGoats and Amicable Numbers by Ari Brodsky
AstroTorah: Ominous Eclipse Predictability by R' Ari Storch
AstroTorah: The Gemara's Aliens or Others' Ignorance? by R' Ari Storch
AstroTorah: Yaakov and the Angel by R' Ari Storch

Keep an eye out for The Secrets of the Stars - a new sefer from R' Ari Storch coming to bookstores soon!

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