ואֵלֶּה תּוֹלְדֹת יִצְחָק בֶּן אַבְרָהָם אַבְרָהָם הוֹלִיד אֶת יצחק
And these are the descendants of Yitzchak the son of Avrohom, Avrohom begot Yitzchak.
The Zera Shimshon asks 4 questions regarding this possuk:
1. Why did the Torah write the phrase “Avrohom begot Yitzchak”? In the beginning of the possuk the Torah already wrote that Yitzchak is the son of Avrohom so seemingly there is no reason to write that Avrohom begot him!
2. On the words “And these are the descendants of Yitzchak…” Rashi comments, “Yaakov and Eisav (who are) mentioned in the Parsha“. Why does Rashi stress that they are mentioned in the Parsha? We don’t find any other Yaakov or Eisav mentioned anywhere else in Tanach so why does Rashi specify which Yaakov and Eisav?
3. Later on in the Parsha; Why did Hashem cause that Yaakov receive Yitzchak’s blessing in a seemingly crooked way?
4. Why did Yitzchak and Rivkah deserve such a wicked child like Eisav since they they were both tzaddikim? Some Meforshim explain that the reason is because Rivkah was the daughter of a wicked person. However this doesn’t seem to be sufficient since Sarah and Avrohom also came from wicked people and they begot only Yitzchak.
The key to answer these questions is the Midrash (Breishis Rabah 44/21) that says that Hashem gave Avrohom Avinu the choice of how his descendants will be punished, if the need be. They can either receive their punishment in Gehenom or to suffer under the hands of the nations. Avrohom chose the latter.
In light of this we can now answer all of the above questions.
The first question we asked was why did the Torah repeat that “Avrohom begot Yitzchak” after the Torah writes that Yitzchak is the son of Avrohom? The answer is that the Torah is stressing that Avrohom is at the root of everything that happens in this Parsha.
Yitzchak and Rivka who were tzaddikim didn’t really deserve such a wicked son like Eisav. However, in order to fulfill Avrohom’s request of subjugation to the nations, Hashem created a nation that would do just that and Eisav was born.
But simply creating Eisav isn’t enough. Why would Eisav be willing to subjugate his own brother? Therefore Hashem made Yaakov steal the blessings from Eisav. Like this, Eisav hated Yaakov and therefore he always looks for ways to harm and punish Yaakov.
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