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Friday, November 25

Re: The Weekly Shtikle - Toledos

Sorry, I meant to send this out with the original email: I couldn't resist the irony when I heard this week of a recent study examining how picky eaters react to foods in different-coloured containers. Participants in the study actually perceived different levels of saltiness and other characteristics of snacks depending on the colour of the bowl even though the snacks were actually identical. They actually found the red bowl to be least desirable. To quote one article referencing the study: "Red is often seen as the color of passion — whether it's love, anger, war or courage — but such a strong association could deter individuals from the punchy hue altogether."
Here is the original study.

On Fri, Nov 25, 2022 at 3:08 PM Weekly Shtikle <> wrote:

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 22nd yahrtzeit is this coming Sunday, the 3rd of Kisleiv.  

When Eisav returns from his hunting escapades, he is so mortally fatigued that he was willing to give up his first-born rights for a simple bowl of lentils. After Yaakov and Eisav finally agree, the pasuk recounts (25:34) that Yaakov gave Eisav bread and lentil soup. Why did Yaakov give him bread? That was never part of the deal.


R' Ari Storch, in "Tif'eres Aryeh," offers a novel approach. This sale is altogether puzzling as the first born-rights have not yet come into existence, a davar shelo ba la'olam. According to Talmudic tradition, the sale of such an entity is not valid and it is as if it were never sold. How then did this sale even work?


The Tur deals with this issue and discusses many possible answers. He suggests one answer from his father, the Rosh. When a sale is accompanied by the taking of an oath, the oath validates that sale even if it is of a seemingly illegitimate nature such as this one. We see clearly that Yaakov added an oath to the sale which would have otherwise been considered unnecessary. 


From the gemara (Nedarim 28a, which was recently covered by daf yomi) it appears that an oath which is taken by duress may be invalidated by contrary thoughts at the time of the oath. That is, if the oath taker was thinking at the time that he was only taking the oath to escape the situation of duress, that oath may be null and void. Eisav came back from his outing thinking he was about to die. He could certainly have claimed that the oath he made with Yaakov was simply made for his own survival, but he did not mean it. Yaakov therefore first fed him bread after which his life was no longer in jeopardy. Eisav then had no claim to invalidate the oath he took to affirm the sale of the first-born rights for the lentil soup.


Have a good Shabbos and Chodesh Tov. 

Eliezer Bulka

Shtikle Blog Weekly Roundup:

Dikdukian: (From the) The Fats of the Land

Dikdukian: Be'er Sheva / Shava

Dikdukian: I will eat, You will eat

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