Food for Thought by Ezra Frazer


   Eisav is born, he is named by both Yitzchak and Rivka, as the pasuk says, ויקראו שמו עשו.  By contrast Yaakov, whose name has a rather pejorative meaning, is named by Yitzchak alone, as the pasuk states, ויקרא שמו יעקב, implying that Rivka already had a more positive feeling towards Yaakov than Yitzchak did, probably because she had already been promised by Hashem that Yaakov would be the one to carry on the traditions of Avraham and Yitzchak.  How come Rivka did not object to Yaakov receiving such a negative name and allowed a situation to develop where she favored Yaakov and Yitzchak favored Eisav, rather than immediately telling Yitzchak that Yaakov was Hashem's chosen one?

   Just before Yitzchak call in Eisav to give him his final blessing, the Torah tells us that Eisav aggravated both of his parents by intermarrying.  If Yitzchak was also upset by his son's choice of wives, why did he still want to bless him?

   As Yaakov departs towards Charan, the Torah states that he is going to לבן בן בתואל הארמי אחי רבקה אם יעקב ועשו.  Rashi comments that he has no idea why the Torah suddenly feels compelled to tell us how everyone is related, considering that all of the relationships mentioned here have already been mentioned earlier in the parsha.  We saw a similar repetition when Terach travelled to Charan along with אברם בנו ואת לוט בן הרן בן בנו ואת שרי כלתו אשת אברם בנו.  Why does the Torah feel a need to review the whole family tree for both of these trips?

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