Keen Perception by Johnathon Dregani


            This week's Parsha mainly talks about the life of Yitzchak.  Yitzchak was Avraham's son and showed it in every possible way.  He was a kind man who helped others whenever he got the chance.  He had a smart mind just like Avraham, and handled real-life situations in an ingenious way.  In a simple reading of the Parsha, Yitzchak is perceived as an extremely naive person.  Yet, if you look closely into the Pasukim of this Parsha, you can see how smart, realistic, and shrewd Yitzchak really is. 

            Through the simple reading of the Pasukim, Yitzchak seems like a naive father who cannot see through to his son Esav's wickedness.  We are all aware that Yitzchak had Ruach Hakodesh, so how could Yitzchak seem to believe all of Esav's lies and tricks?  Yitzchak knew that Esav was a dishonest, terrible person.  Yitzchak actually took the best possible approach in dealing with the situation.  If Yitzchak were to have rebuked Esav, not being the kind of person that normally took constructive criticism, Esav might have totally left his family.  If he would have heard something he didn't want to hear, he could have gotten extremely angry.  We see this at the end of the Parsha when Yitzchak tells Esav that his Bracha had already been taken by Yaakov.  Esav gets so upset that he actually wishes his father would die soon, so that he would be able to kill Yaakov.  If Esav would have run away, he may have eventually murdered all those that had opposed him in the past, even his own brother.  This would  obviously have interfered with Yaakov's Divine mission to bring about a nation, starting with his own twelve sons.

            Getting back to Yitzchak's approach to Esav's wickedness, this was actually the best approach.  Yitzchak let Esav sin, but only because he saw that Esav was also doing a Mitzva by honoring his father.  This whole psychology fell into place at the end of the Parsha.  At the end of the Parsha, Yitzchak gave the blessing of the firstborn to Yaakov.  As a reaction to this turn of events, Esav wanted to kill Yaakov.  Yet, because he observed the Mitzva of honoring his father, Esav would not kill Yaakov while Yitzchak was still alive.  This allowed Yaakov to live and become the great nation he was destined to be.

            There are other occasions in which Yitzchak shows his unique ability to be able to think ahead.  When Avimelech plans to make a treaty with Yitzchak, they have a huge feast where they eat and drink to their hearts' desires.  Realizing what might occur in the future, Yitzchak waits until the next morning to officially agree to Avimelech's treaty.  Yitzchak reasoned that if he were to have signed the treaty right after the feast, Avimelech could claim that Yitzchak made him sign the treaty while drunk, blaming the agreement on the alcohol he had consumed that night.

            As has been shown to you, Yitzchak is not nearly as naive the person we might think he is.  Yitzchak, in actuality, is an ingenious man who thinks ahead before he does, or neglects to do, even the slightest act.  This superb principle of planning ahead ensured the production of all Klal Yisrael, which brings us to the point where we are this very day.

The Power of Words by Yoni Chambre

Picking up the Broken Pieces by Rabbi Mark Smilowitz