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November 28, 2016 / conservadox

Dvar Torah- Toldot

Although this should be an interesting Torah portion, Baal Haturim’s treatment of it isn’t exactly a diamond mine; its mostly manipulation of gematria and midrash to show that Esau deserved what he got.

However, there is one phrase (which I’m pretty sure I’ve heard elsewhere) that was of mild interest: he writes that Esau’s name came about “because he was asu, fully made and complete.”  Perhaps one could argue that “fully made” means one-dimensional, incapable of growth- unlike his brother Yaakov, whose life story is one of growth.  A tidy, neat story contained in one word.

On the other hand, there is at least some evidence that Esau in fact grows.  After he realizes that his mother hates his wife, he gets a new one (Gen. 28:9).  And eventually, he sort of reconciles with Yaakov (Gen. 33).   And he moves to a different land and creates  a people (Gen. 34), as opposed to being, say, eaten by lions after an unsuccessful hunt.

So maybe this language doesn’t mean as much as it appears to on first glance- an example of the perils of trying to read too much into a word.  (Though on the OTHER other  hand, some commentators minimize this evidence of growth).

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