Thoughts from Kollel KLAL


The passuk describes Eisav as “איש יודע ציד איש שדה a man who knows trapping, a man of the field.” Rashi explains “איש יודע ציד he knew trapping” refers to Eisav fooling Yitzchak by making him think that he was meticulous with fulfilling mitzvos. He would ask, “How does one tithe salt and straw?” Rashi explains “איש שדה a man of the field” refers to an idle person who trapped wild animals and birds with his bow and arrow. The passuk hints to two types of Eisav’s trapping, one with his mouth and the other in the field.


Onkelos translates “איש יודע ציד” as “a man who was nachshirchan (נחשירכן).” The Nesina LaGer brings b’shem Rabbeinu Tam, this is comprised of two words, 1- (נח) rest, 2- (שרך) idle. Eisav would rest and was idle from doing work. The Nesina LaGer brings b’shem the Ramban that it is comprised of 1- (נחש) snake, 2- (ירכין) of the thigh. Eisav had a snake on his thigh to help him trap, since he was a hunter. The Nesina LaGer brings the Aruch is gores nachshadchan (נחשדכון), which is comprised of two words, 1- (נח) rest, 2- (שדכון) cease. Eisav was idle and didn’t work, as a ruler who rests and indulges with hunting food to eat. Avi Mori shlita added that when one gets engaged people call this a shidduch, which means cease, as the two sides come to agreement and things are settled. Onkelos translates “איש שדה” as “a man who would go out to the field.” The Nefesh HaGer explains Eisav did not work the field by sowing and harvesting, rather he enjoyed rest, loved idleness, ceased from doing work, and went out to trap.


The passuk describes Yaakov as “איש תם יושב אהלים.” Rashi explains Yaakov was not sharp with trickery, as his heart so was his mouth, similar to a simpleton, unlike Eisav who was a trickster. Onkelos translates these words as “a complete man, who served in the house of learning.” The Nefesh HaGer this refers to learning in the tents of Shem and Eiver.

The following passuk states, “And Yitzchak loved Eisav… and Rivkah loved Yaakov. The passuk explains the reason why Yitzchak loved Eisav was “כי ציד בפיו.” Rashi brings b’shem the Midrash, since trappings were in the mouth of Eisav, meaning, he would trick and fool Yitzchak into thinking that he was meticulous with mitzvos. Yitzchak loved Eisav thinking that he was an excellent son. Rivkah on the other hand knew the truth about Eisav, therefore she loved Yaakov. Onkelos translates “כי ציד בפיו” as “since from his trapping he would eat.” Eisav would trap and bring food for Yitzchak to eat, therefore he loved him. The Nefesh HaGer asks, why should Yitzchak love Eisav because he ate from his trapping, and not Yaakov who learned Torah?

The Nefesh HaGer answers b’shem the Seforno, the passuk means Yitzchak also loved Eisav. There is no need to mention explicitly that Yitzchak loved Yaakov, as it is obvious. Since the Torah describes Yaakov as one who learnt Torah, this is testimony to everyone that Yitzchak loved him. Although people knew about Eisav’s bad ways, Yitzchak was unaware. He only knew that Eisav was idle and went out to the field to trap, and did not learn Torah. However since he was meticulous about performing mitzvos he loved him. The passuk proves this by stating “כי ציד בפיו,” since Yitzchak ate from Eisav’s trappings he must have regarded him as an honest and trusted person over hashgacha of kashrus. Because Yitzchak regarded Eisav as being meticulous in mitzvos, therefore he loved him. Rivkah however, only loved Yaakov, since she recognized the wickedness of Eisav and knew the truth.

May we learn from Yaakov to be honest and learned, unlike Eisav who tricked and went out to the field.

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