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Thursday, November 15

The Weekly Shtikle - Toledos

This week's shtikle is dedicated le'iluy nishmas my rebbe and Rosh HaYeshivah of Yeshivas Ner Yisroel, Harav Yaakov Moshe Kulefsky, zt"l (Yaakov Moshe ben Refael Nissan Shlomo) whose Yahrtzeit is this coming Shabbos, 3 Kisleiv.

A very special Weekly Shtikle Mazal Tov to my nephew, Yisroel Meir Shonek on his aufruf this Shabbos and forthcoming marriage to Miriam Teitelbaum of Far Rockaway.

When Eisav comes back from the field, he is so wiped out that he is on the verge 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 stuck 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 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 "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.

Have a good Shabbos.

Eliezer Bulka

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