Presentation on theme: "Parshah Toldot Bnei Abraham Ceaser. 2 Overview Isaac marries Rebecca. After twenty childless years their prayers are answered and Rebecca conceives. She."— Presentation transcript:
2 Overview Isaac marries Rebecca. After twenty childless years their prayers are answered and Rebecca conceives. She experiences a difficult pregnancy as the "children struggle inside her"; G-d tells her that "there are two nations in your womb", and that the younger will prevail over the elder. Esau emerges first; Jacob is born clutching Esau's heel. Esau grows up to be "a cunning hunter, a man of the field"; Jacob is "a wholesome man", a dweller in the tents of learning. Isaac favors Esau; Rebecca loves Jacob. Returning exhausted and hungry from the hunt one day, Esau sells his birthright (his rights as the firstborn) to Jacob for a pot of red lentil stew. In Gerar, in the land of the Philistines, Isaac presents Rebecca as his sister, out of fear that he will be killed by someone coveting her beauty. He farms the land, reopens the wells dug by his father Abraham, and bores a series of his own wells: over the first two there is strife with the Philistines, but the waters of the third well are enjoyed in tranquility. Esau marries two Hittite women. Isaac grows old and blind, and expresses his desire to bless Esau before he dies. While Esau goes off to hunt for his father's favorite food, Rebecca dresses Jacob in Esau's clothes, covers his arms and neck with goatskins to simulate the feel of his hairier brother, prepares a similar dish, and sends Jacob to his father. Jacob receives his fathers' blessings for "the dew of the heaven and the fat of the land" and mastery over his brother. When Esau returns and the deception is revealed, all Isaac can do for his weeping son is to predict that he will live by his sword, and that when Jacob falters, the younger brother will forfeit his supremacy over the elder. Jacob leaves home for Haran to flee Esau's wrath and to find a wife in the family of his mother's brother, Laban. Esau marries a third wife -- Machlat, the daughter of Ishmael.LabanMachlat
3 The Players Abraham Ishmael Children of Ishmael Arabs Isaac Esav Zepho & Amalek Amalakites Converts to Judaism The Jewish People Rome Western Culture Jacob The 12 Tribes The Israelites Descendants Of Jacob Six Sons Of Kedura Descendants of Kedura Erev Rav Joined the Hebrews Who Leave Egypt The Mixed Multitude Hagar/KeduraSarah
5 Genesis Chapter 16 1 Now Sarai Abram's wife bore him no children; and she had a handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar. And Sarai said unto Abram: 'Behold now, the LORD hath restrained me from bearing; go in, I pray thee, unto my handmaid; it may be that I shall be builded up through her.' And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai. 6 But Abram said unto Sarai: 'Behold, thy maid is in thy hand; do to her that which is good in thine eyes.' And Sarai dealt harshly with her, and she fled from her face. 7 And the angel of the LORD found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain in the way to Shur.
6 Genesis Chapter 16 8 And he said: 'Hagar, Sarai's handmaid, whence camest thou? and whither goest thou?' And she said: 'I flee from the face of my mistress Sarai.' 9 And the angel of the LORD said unto her: 'Return to thy mistress, and submit thyself under her hands.' 10 And the angel of the LORD said unto her: 'I will greatly multiply thy seed, that it shall not be numbered for multitude. 11 And the angel of the LORD said unto her: 'Behold, thou art with child, and shalt bear a son; and thou shalt call his name Ishmael, because the LORD hath heard thy affliction. 12 And he shall be a wild ass of a man: his hand shall be against every man, and every man's hand against him; and he shall dwell in the face of all his brethren.'
7 Yisrael and Yishmael Rosh Hayeshiva Harav Mordechai Greenberg, shlita, (From the book, “Me’Invei Hakerem: Sefer Bereishit”) Yisrael and Yishmael are the only two nations that contain G-d’s Name, as it says in Pirkei D’Rabbi Eliezer (ch. 29): Bilaam said: Of the seventy nations that G-d created in His world, he did not place His Name in any one of them, other than Yisrael. Since G-d equated Yishmael’s name with that of Yisrael: “Oh! Who will survive in his days,” as it says, “Oh! Who will survive when He imposes these!” (Bamidbar 24:23) Pirkei D’Rabbi Eliezer states further: Why is his name called Yishmael? Because G-d will hear the sound of the [Israel’s] groan from what Bnei Yishmael are destined to do in the Land in the end of days. Therefore, his name is called Yishmael, as it says, “Yishma E-l ve’yaanem” – “G-d will hear and answer them.” (Tehillim 55:20) Radak (R. David Luria) explains that although the name Yishmael was given because G-d heard the voice of Hagar and the voice of the lad, nevertheless, since the name Yishmael is in the future tense, there must be two meanings, one for the past and one for the future.
8 Yisrael and Yishmael Rosh Hayeshiva Harav Mordechai Greenberg, shlita, (From the book, “Me’Invei Hakerem: Sefer Bereishit”) Israel’s enemies are the four kingdoms: Babylonia, Persia, Greece and Rome. The question is, where does Yishmael fit in? After all, it is impossible to ignore this tremendous mass! The Ibn Ezra writes in Daniel (7:14), that indeed Yishmael is the fourth kingdom, whereas Greece and Rome are considered as one kingdom. The Ramban on Parshat Balak rejects this position, and writes that the Ibn Ezra erred in this, “because their fear fell upon him.” The Maharal also explains that the criteria of the four kingdoms is not only their hatred of Israel, but also the taking away of sovereignty from Israel. They fight against G-d’s Kingdom, which is represented by Israel. On the other hand, Yishmael’s very strength is because Avraham pleaded on his behalf, “O that Yishmael may live before You” (Bereishit 17:18), and G-d granted his request, “Regarding Yishmael, I have heard you.” (17:20) Yishmael does not come to rebel against G-d’s rule, to add another element to divinity, as Christianity does. They believe in One G-d. Therefore the four kingdoms are compared (in Daniel) to animals, whereas Yishmael, to a person. Yet, a “pereh adam” – “A wild donkey of a man.” (Bereishit 16:12)
9 Yisrael and Yishmael Rav S.R. Hirsch explains that a wild donkey refuses to accept discipline and yoke, but rather is free: “Like a wild donkey accustomed to the wilderness.” (Yirmiya 2:24) Therefore, “His hand against everyone, and everyone’s hand against him.” (Bereishit 16:12) In Hebrew (unlike English), the noun always precedes the adjective, as in “adam gadol” (great man). Thus in the phrase, “pereh adam,” the noun is “pereh” and the adjective is “adam.” The Chafetz Chaim already wrote that since the Torah is eternal, Yishmael will always be wild, and he added, “Who knows what this pereh adam is still liable to do to Israel.” This idea is expressed in the names Yishmael and Yisrael. Yisrael indicates, “yishar E-l,” that we straighten ourselves in the direction of G-d, to walk in His ways. Yishmael is on account of the fact that G-d heard their voices; they subjugate, as if, G-d for their needs. They think that all of what they do is the Divine will; their wars are Jihad, holy wars, and all of their actions – in the name of Allah.
10 Yisrael and Yishmael Not long ago, there was a convention of the Islamic clergy to discuss the question of how to explain the fact that this “infection” of the Jewish state got stuck in the middle of the large Islamic region. Their conclusion was that G-d sent Israel into the midst of the Moslem region in order to make it easier to destroy them, what Hitler was unsuccessful in because of the Jews’ great dispersion. There are those who explain that this attitude is a form of idolatry. They worship, “the dust that is on their feet,” believing that wherever they go, G-d is with them. Pirkei D’Rabbi Eliezer (ch. 29) relates that Sarah saw Yishmael shooting an arrow at Yitzchak in order to kill him, and said, “The son of that slavewoman shall not inherit with my son, with Yitzchak.” (Bereishit 21:10) Why does the issue of the inheritance trouble Sarah so much? The sefer, Minchat Ani (by the author of the Aruch Laner) explains that Sarah that Yishmael did want Yitzchak to inherit together with him, but rather he would inherit everything.
11 Yisrael and Yishmael Rav Hutner explains that for this reason Yishmael hates Israel so much, since the children of the concubines received presents from Avraham, whereas Yishmael was chased away. Moreover, all of this was after he thought that he was the only child. Therefore, his disappointment was so great, and he burned with hatred. Why did Yishmael think that everything was his? The Netziv explains that Sarah was punished by being taken to Avimelech’s house because she laughed to herself and said, “my husband is old.” (Bereishit 18:12) There is an element of quid quo pro here. When she said, “my husband is old,” there was a lack of faith that Avraham was capable of fathering. Her punishment was that the skeptics of the time were given room to say that Yitzchak was actually not the son of Avraham, but rather of Avimelech, and that Sarah became pregnant from him. This was the meaning behind Yishmael’s mocking.
12 Yisrael and Yishmael “The child grew and was weaned. Avraham made a great feast on the day Yitzchak was weaned. Sarah saw the son of Hagar, the Egyptian,... mocking.” (Bereishit 21:8-9) The Sforno writes: “He was ridiculing the feast, saying that she became pregnant from Avimelech.” “Sarah laughed in herself saying,... and my husband is old.” (Bereishit 18:12) Now she saw Yishmael mocking that Yitzchak is not his son. This is the source of the Yishmaelites contention on our holding of Eretz Yisrael, since if Yitzchak is the son of the Philistine, then Eretz Yisrael belongs to the descendents of Avraham, who are the Yishmaelites. With this we can understand Chazal’s teaching that Yishmael repented. Their source is from the pasuk, “Yitzchak and Yishmael, his sons, buried him” (Bereishit 25:9), that Yishmael allowed Yitzchak to go before him. What is the proof from this that he repented? Since Yishmael had claimed that Yitzchak was not Avraham’s son, by allowing him to go first, he acknowledged that Yitzchak is, indeed, a son following his father’s coffin.
13 Yisrael and Yishmael Eretz Yisrael is the land of faith and Providence: “G-d’s eyes are upon it.” (Devarim 11:12) Only believers can dwell in it. So long as it is empty, believers like Yishmael can dwell in it, but when Israel, who are steadfast believers, arrive, their merit expires. Therefore there is a double obligation to increase our faith in these times, to overcome Yishmael’s right to the Land. Now we are approaching the end: “A dread! Great darkness fell upon him.” (Bereishit 15:12) “A dread...” – these allude to the four kingdoms; “upon him” alludes to Yishmael, and over them the son of David will sprout, as it says, “His enemies I will clothe with shame, but upon him, his crown will sprout.” (Tehillim 132:18) R. Chaim Vital writes that all of the kingdoms wanted to convert us, and only through this came to murder, unlike Yishmael, whose goal is to eradicate Yisrael’s name from the world, and does not suffice with converting faith.
14 Yisrael and Yishmael The Rambam writes in Iggeret Teiman that there was no nation worse to Israel than Yishmael, and about them David said, “Woe unto me, for I dwelled with Meshech, I dwelled with the tents of Kedar.” (Tehillim 120:5) Despite the fact that we bear their yoke without complaining, and their subjugation and their lies and falsehoods are more than we can handle, despite all this, we cannot be saved from the magnitude of their evil and recklessness. As much as we chase after peace with them, they chase us with war, as David said, “I am peace; but when I speak, they are for war.” (120:7)
15 Zohar 16. Vaera : 22. "But Sarai was barren" Verse 203. The children of Ishmael are destined to rule over the Holy Land for a long time when it is empty from anything, like their circumcision, which is empty and imperfect. And they will prevent the children of Yisrael from returning to their place until the reward for the merit of the children of Ishmael reaches completion.
17 Esav Genesis Chapter 25 21 And Isaac entreated the LORD for his wife, because she was barren; and the LORD let Himself be entreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived. 22 And the children struggled together within her; and she said: 'If it be so, wherefore do I live?' And she went to inquire of the LORD. 23 And the LORD said unto her: Two nations are in thy womb, and two peoples shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger. 25 And the first came forth ruddy, all over like a hairy mantle; and they called his name Esav. 26 And after that came forth his brother, and his hand had hold on Esav's heel; and his name was called Jacob. And Isaac was threescore years old when she bore them.
18 Genesis Chapter 25 30 And Esav said to Jacob: 'Let me swallow, I pray thee, some of this red, red pottage; for I am faint.' Therefore was his name called Edom. 32 And Esav said: 'Behold, I am at the point to die; and what profit shall the birthright do to me?' 33 And Jacob said: 'Swear to me first'; and he swore unto him; and he sold his birthright unto Jacob. 34 And Jacob gave Esav bread and pottage of lentils; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way. So Esav despised his birthright.
19 Genesis Chapter 27 Isaac’s Blessing כב …….. הַקֹּל קוֹל יַעֲקֹב, וְהַיָּדַיִם, יְדֵי עֵשָׂו. 22 And Jacob went near unto Isaac his father; and he felt him, and said: 'The voice is the voice of Jacob, but the hands are the hands of Esav.' 28 So God give thee of the dew of heaven, and of the fat places of the earth, and plenty of corn and wine. 29 Let peoples serve thee, and nations bow down to thee. Be lord over thy brethren, and let thy mother's sons bow down to thee. Cursed be every one that curseth thee, and blessed be every one that blesseth thee.
20 And Esav hated Jacob 34 When Esav heard the words of his father, he cried with an exceeding great and bitter cry, and said unto his father: 'Bless me, even me also, O my father.' 35 And he said: 'Thy brother came with guile, and hath taken away thy blessing.' 36 And he said: 'Is not he rightly named Jacob? for he hath supplanted me these two times: he took away my birthright; and, behold, now he hath taken away my blessing.' And he said: 'Hast thou not reserved a blessing for me?' 37 And Isaac answered and said unto Esav: 'Behold, I have made him thy lord, and all his brethren have I given to him for servants; and with corn and wine have I sustained him; and what then shall I do for thee, my son?'
21 And Esav hated Jacob 38 And Esav said unto his father: 'Hast thou but one blessing, my father? bless me, even me also, O my father.' And Esav lifted up his voice, and wept. 39 And Isaac his father answered and said unto him: Behold, of the fat places of the earth shall be thy dwelling, and of the dew of heaven from above; 40 And by thy sword shalt thou live, and thou shalt serve thy brother; and it shall come to pass when thou shalt break loose, that thou shalt shake his yoke from off thy neck. 41 And Esav hated Jacob because of the blessing wherewith his father blessed him. And Esav said in his heart: 'Let the days of mourning for my father be at hand; then will I slay my brother Jacob.'
22 And Esav hated Jacob The voice is the voice of Jacob and the hands are the hands of Esau: ‘the voice’ here refers to [the cry caused by] the Emperor Hadrian who killed in Alexandria of Egypt sixty myriads on sixty myriads, twice as many as went forth from Egypt. ‘The voice of Jacob’: this is the cry caused by the Emperor Vespasian who killed in the city of Bethar four hundred thousand myriads, or as some say, four thousand myriads. ‘The hands are the hands of Esau:’ this is the Government of Rome which has destroyed our House and burnt our Temple and driven us out of our land. Another explanation is [as follows]: ‘The voice is the voice of Jacob:’ no prayer is effective unless the seed of Jacob has a part in it. ‘The hands are the hands of Esau:’ no war is successful unless the seed of Esau has a share in it..' Talmud - Mas. Gittin 57b
23 Use of Name Edom The name "Edom" is used by the Talmudic Sages for the Roman empire, and they applied to Rome every passage of the Bible referring to Edom or to Esau. We are told that Tzafo, son of Eliphaz, son of Esau founded the city of Rome and was King of Italia. Western civilization is based upon the foundation of Rome and is therefore seen in Jewish thought as an extension of Esav in a metaphorical manner. (Yilamdenu, Batei Medrashos 160) In Leviticus Rabbah (xiii.) Rome, under the name of "Edom," is compared to a boar, and the symbolic name "Seir" was used by the poets of the Middle Ages not only for Rome (comp. Ecclus. 1. 26, Hebr.), but also for Christianity (Zunz, "Literaturgesch." p. 620). On this account the word "Edom" was often expunged by the censor and another name substituted (Popper, "Censorship of Hebrew Books," p. 58). In place of "Edom," the word " Ḥ azir" (swine) was occasionally used, perhaps as a mere term of reproach (but see Epstein, "Beiträge zur Jüd. Alterthumskunde," p. 35). In Midrash Tan ḥ uma Bereshit, Hadrian is called "the King of Edom."
24 Roman Connection to Edom Researcher-Articles-Wrestling with Angels - Vendyl Jones Research Institutes We go back to the year 2255 on the Hebrew calendar (around 1505 BCE), the patriarch Jacob has just passed away at the age of 147. The 56th chapter of Sepher ha Yasher records that as the sons of Jacob attempted to bury him in Hebron, Esau the brother of Jacob blocked the entrance to the sepulcher. A scuffle broke out and Esau was decapitated, his head rolling into the tomb. The scene escalated from a skirmish to an all out battle. The children of Jacob defeat the children of Esau. Among the captives is Zepho, the grandson of Esau. He is taken to Egypt in chains. Years later, when Joseph passes away, Zepho escapes from his Egyptian captors and flees along the western coast of Africa until he arrives in Dinhaba. Angeas appoints Zepho as "captain of his hosts." Angeas will come to regret this action. From the moment Zepho takes command he will lobby daily to mount an all-out war against the Egyptians. In reality he is more interested in revenge against the children of Israel who are still living peacefully among the Egyptians. Zepho continued to pound the drums of war against Egypt. The hatred for the Children of Israel had been learned at the knee of his father and grandfather: Eliphaz and Esau.
25 Roman Connection to Edom Researcher-Articles-Wrestling with Angels - Vendyl Jones Research Institutes Angeas was afraid to take on the Egyptian armies knowing they also enlisted the Israelites as fighters. Zepho soon grew disenchanted with Angeas and turned against him and migrates to the coasts of Chittim. There he was hired by the locals to defend them against the likes of Angeas. It was during this time that Zepho not only proved himself on the battlefield but he became exceedingly rich. It is at this point in our search for the Esau/Edom connection that we will see the pieces come together. In the 61st chapter of Sepher ha Yasher, verses 24-25 tells how Zepho, the grandson of Esau, becomes a leader of the people called the children of Chittim: "And the children of Chittim saw the valor of Zepho...and they made Zepho king over them...they built him a very large palace for his royal habitation and made a large throne for him, and Zepho reigned over the whole land of Chittim and over the land of Italia fifty years." The Jewish commentator, Abarbanel makes this same connection as does Yossipon [xli]which states in chapter three that Zepho was crowned king of Chittim by its inhabitants.[xlii] History and myth are easily assimilated with the passage of time. We have already seen a few examples where the two have become intertwined. If Zepho, the son of Eliphaz, grandson of Esau became the first king to rule over all of Italy, it would come as no surprise that his subjects would want to know of his origins. As he traced his lineage, relating how G-d told Rebecca that great leaders were in her womb and adds the detail that Jacob and Esau were twins, this account could have evolved into a saga of twins born of a god and suckled by a wolf. I have speculated how the wolf wandered into this legend. It is not too much of a stretch to consider that the Hebrew word for "wolf" is ze'ev. Though not spelled the same, it sounds very much like Zepho. We can now see how this grandson of Esau/Edom brought his legacy of hatred for Israel to a people and place that would grow into an instrument of terrible cruelty and oppression known as the Roman Empire.
26 Treachery Brings Bondage Researcher-Articles-Wrestling with Angels - Vendyl Jones Research Institutes Zepho is also a key player in the pivotal decision by the Egyptians to enslave Israel. If you have ever wondered how Egypt could turn from a nation grateful to Joseph for saving them from starvation to evil overseers Sepher ha Yasher provides the answer. Earlier, we learned that one of the reasons that Zepho turned against his former ally Angeas was that ruler's refusal to attack Egypt. After Zepho was securely ensconced as king over the children of Chittim, he mounted an invasion against Egypt and called upon his relatives, the Edomites, now residing in Seir (Petra)to join him. He also enlisted the aid of the Ishmaelites in a massive onslaught that must have rivaled our modern Normandy Invasion. The Egyptians defended themselves by meeting Zepho and his army where they were camped, somewhere east of the Delta region. Curiously the Egyptians feared that the Children of Israel would turn against them in battle. After all, they reasoned, the Israelites are blood relatives of Zepho and his Edomite band. However, when the onslaught of Zepho's combined forces proved too powerful, the Egyptians pulled back in retreat and called up the Israelites as reinforcements. Here's where the real trouble began. Israel joined the Egyptians in the fray but the Egyptians kept running! It was now the vastly outnumbered Israelites against the combined might of Chittim, Edom and the Ishamelites. Israel called out to Hashem to strengthen them and the Creator answered their prayer. They fought on with such bravery and fierceness that they put thousands to flight. The armies of Zepho began their own retreat. The Israelites have turned the tide of battle in their favor. They return home to Egypt but not before they tend to some unfinished business. As Israel encounters the still retreating Egyptian deserters they pretend that they are the enemy and execute them along the way. This act is to have enormous and far-reaching consequences.
27 Treachery Brings Bondage Researcher-Articles-Wrestling with Angels - Vendyl Jones Research Institutes The surviving Egyptian deserters return to the king and recount the terrible battle. They lodge a formal protest regarding the attack of Israel while conveniently omitting their own cowardly retreat, which left the Hebrews outnumbered. Hearing this report, Pharaoh believes that the Hebrews pose an internal threat to the nation. But because of their prowess on the battlefield it is also apparent that the Egyptians would not survive a civil war. They must design a plot to gradually destroy Israel. Using the recent attack by Zepho as an excuse, Pharaoh calls on all citizens of Egypt to join in a national work project to fortify the country against future assaults from foreign invaders. The crown proposes to improve the cities of Pithom and Rameses, in the Delta to defend their eastern frontier. Pharaoh shows his support of the project by ceremonially laying the first brick. The children of Israel cheerfully work alongside their Egyptian neighbors while Hebrew and Egyptian alike received their daily wages from the government- financed venture. Slowly, according to the plan, the Egyptian workers withdrew forcing the Israelite laborers to take up the slack. Over a period of time, the Hebrews found themselves alone on the construction and completely under the supervision of the Egyptians. And that is how Israel became slaves in Egypt.[xliii]
29 The Oath 5 Now therefore, if ye will hearken unto My voice indeed, and keep My covenant, then ye shall be Mine own treasure from among all peoples; for all the earth is Mine; 6 and ye shall be unto Me a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.’ 7 And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and set before them all these words which the LORD commanded him. 8 And all the people answered together, and said: ‘All that the LORD hath spoken we will do………. Exodus 19:8 The Jewish People are the Connection between HaShem and the Material World.
30 Who is a Jew? A Jew is any person whose mother was a Jew or any person who has gone through the formal process of conversion to Judaism. It is important to note that being a Jew has nothing to do with what you believe or what you do. A person born to non-Jewish parents who has not undergone the formal process of conversion but who believes everything that Orthodox Jews believe and observes every law and custom of Judaism is still a non-Jew, even in the eyes of the most liberal movements of Judaism, and a person born to a Jewish mother who is an atheist and never practices the Jewish religion is still a Jew, even in the eyes of the ultra-Orthodox. In this sense, Judaism is more like a nationality than like other religions, and being Jewish is like a citizenship.
31 Who is a Jew? This has been established since the earliest days of Judaism. In the Torah, you will see many references to “the strangers who dwell among you” or “righteous proselytes” or “righteous strangers.” These are various classifications of non-Jews who lived among Jews, adopting some or all of the beliefs and practices of Judaism without going through the formal process of conversion and becoming Jews. Once a person has converted to Judaism, he is not referred to by any special term; he is as much a Jew as anyone born Jewish.
32 Who is a Bnei Israel? The traditional explanation, and the one given in the Torah, is that the Jews are a nation. The Torah and the rabbis used this term not in the modern sense meaning a territorial and political entity, but in the ancient sense meaning a group of people with a common history, a common destiny, and a sense that we are all connected to each other. Bnei Israel’s most common thread is that they are descendants of Abraham Isaac and Jacob, who went down to Egypt, Freed from Slavery and were elevated to a Holy Nation at Mt. Sinai. Bnei Israel was originally composed of 13 tribes who were the decedents of Jacob’s 12 sons. Along with the Children of Jacob/Israel others joined them to leave Egypt. These were known as the mixed multitude or Erev Rav.
33 The Erev Rav “The Children of Israel traveled from Ramses towards Succot. There were about 600,000 adult males on foot, besides the children. The Erev Rav also went up with them”. (Exodus 12:37-38) History of Erev Rav Parshat Miketz in "Ahavat Chaim", a sefer written by the Mekubal Rav Menachem Menashe zs'l, speaks about secrets and interesting facts about the Erev Rav that was never revealed before. During the time of Egypt, prior to the time when Bnei Israel were slaves, the Erev Rav had total control over the Egyptians and land. The Erev Rav were leaders of Egypt for hundreds of years, including when Yaakov Avinu, zs'l, and sons descented to Egypt.
34 The Erev Rav They were shepherds and were called Shepherd Kings. When Yosef HaTzaddik, zs'l, ruled the land, Pharaoh, king of Egypt, was not an Egyptian. He was a shepherd king from the kingdom of Erev. Targumic translator Unkolus, zs'l, says that the Yishmaelim were arab shepherds, from the family of Avraham Avinu, zs'l. They were the descendants of Yishmael and Katura (aka Hagar, wife of Avraham Avinu) whom captured Egypt by force, against the will of the Egyptians. They brought their countrymen brothers and placed them as judges, officers, and governors over the land of Egypt. They also build an army from their tribesmen to avoid rebels and to subjugate them. The Eyptians hated them and named them Hoksas. They also called them "the thorns". They hated the shepherd kingdom and its government but had no choice in the matter. Till today, Egyptians loath shepherds.
35 The Erev Rav At that time, Egyptian policy was that a prisoner or servant can never become a member of the kingdom. But the Erev king paid no mind to Egyptian policy and Pharaoh escalated Yosef HaTzaddik's position from servant and prison to ruler over all of Egypt. Pharaoh liked Yosef HaTzaddik because of his loyalty to the kingdom. In order to subdue the Egyptians, Yosef HaTzaddik forced them to move from one end of the land to the other end. If one lived in the South, they were forced to move to the North. Chazal says that Yosef HaTzaddik also commanded all Egyptian males to be circumcised because the Erev Kingdom were circumcised. When Yosef HaTzaddik passed away, the Egyptians rebelled and won. The ruler of the rebels became the new Pharaoh king and he was Egyptian-born and bred. He hated the Jews, the family of Yosef HaTzaddik, the shepherd Kings (erev rav), sons of Yishmael, and the sons of Katura from Midyan. And that is why it says " ויקם מלך חדש על מצרים אשר לא ידע את יוסף And a new king ruled in Egypt, and he did not know Yosef".
36 The Erev Rav The new Pharaoh tortured all of them; the Jews, the family of Yosef HaTzaddik, the shepherd Kings (erev rav), sons of Yishmael, and the sons of Katura from Midyan. That is the reason the Erev Rav came out of Egypt with the Jews. They were tortured together with the Jews and redeemed together with the Jews. Throughout all the generations the Jews fight against the three 'heads' of the K'lipot, Eisav, Yishmael, Erev Rav. Zohar: “The Erev Rav damage Israel more than all the nations”. The Vilna Gaon, zs'l, predicted warned, that the reigns of power are in the hands of the Erev Rav right before Moshiach's arrival.
37 Final Thoughts Isaac and Yishmael RABBI SHLOMO RISKIN Biblical interpretation is that "the actions which were done by our forefathers serve as sign-posts for the future of their descendants. “And (Sarah) said to Abraham, 'Banish this handmaiden (Hagar) and her son (Yishmael), for the son of that handmaiden will not inherit together with my son, with Yitzhak" (Genesis 21:10). The Bible clearly delineates the fierce sibling rivalry and schism between Yaakov and Esau, the twin sons of Yitzhak and Rivkah; Midrashically identified as Judaism and Christianity (Edom-Rome). However, in studying between the lines of the Bible, there appears no less of a jealous struggle between Yitzhak and Yishmael, Jew and Moslem—with a great ramification for the Middle East today. Despite the fact that Sarah has Abraham banish Yishmael and remove him from any inheritance with Yitzhak, Yitzhak seems to be haunted by the spectre of Yishmael throughout his life. The first time Rivkah meets Yitzhak, she falls from her camel when she sees the spiritual Yitzhak "coming out from speaking to G-d in the fields." But that very Biblical verse begins, "And Yitzhak was coming from having come from Be'er LeHai Ro'i" (Genesis 24:62). Apparently Yitzhak was enamored with, fixated upon, Be'er LeHai Ro'i— because the Bible just told us that he was constantly traveling back and forth from there (ba Meboh in Hebrew). You will remember that Be'er LeHai Ro'i was the place where the Lord appeared to Hagar, who had escaped to there from the affliction she suffered at the hand of Sarah when she became pregnant with Yishmael. It was then and there that the angel of heaven told her to return to the home of Abraham and Sarah, and instructed her to name the child in her womb Yishmael, "because the Lord has heard your affliction.“ And it was then and there that Yishmael is described as "a wild ass of a man, whose hand will be against everything (yad bakol, in Hebrew), the hand of everyone will be against him, and in the face of all of his brothers shall he dwell" (Genesis 16:11).
38 Final Thoughts Isaac and Yishmael RABBI SHLOMO RISKIN Now we can hardly blame Yitzhak for being jealous and fearful of Yishmael. After all, he must have heard that the first time G-d announced to the aged centenarian Abraham that he would father a son with Sarah, he laughs and makes the request: "Would that Yishmael walk before You," let Yishmael be my firstborn heir (Genesis 17:19). It was also at that time that G-d promises Abraham that twelve princes (corresponding to the twelve tribes of Israel) will emerge from the loins of Yishmael and He will make of him a great nation (Genesis 17:20,21). Yitzhak also must be aware of the fact that the only two individuals in the family of Abraham named by G-d (or G-d's angel) is himself and Yishmael—which certainly gives his older brother special status and only adds to Yitzhak's sibling jealously. The parallels between these two brothers are very striking, and go even deeper, if Yitzhak undergoes an Akedah, the test of a binding which almost costs his life, Yishmael had experienced even earlier a similar test of near death from thirst in the desert which almost costs his life—and each is saved by an angel deus ex machina at the very last moment. Moreover, just as G-d promises Abraham— after Yitzhak's akedah—that "I will greatly multiply your seed (Harbeh arbeh et zarekha) as the stars of the heavens and the sand at the edge of the sea" (Genesis 22:17), so does G-d promise Hagar— when He saves her life in the desert—that "I will greatly multiply your seed (Harbeh arbeh et zarekh), whose great number will not be able to be counted" (Genesis 16:10). And if G-d guaranteed to Abraham that from the Mountain of the akedah (Mount Moriah) G- d will be seen (by future generations—Genesis 22:14), so is Be'er LeHai Ro'i named for the fact that "G-d saw me,“ in the words of Hagar, and so saved the handmaiden and the unborn child in her womb.
39 Final Thoughts Isaac and Yishmael RABBI SHLOMO RISKIN Given these parallels, and the brute power with which Yishmael is endowed ("his hand will be against every thing," yad bakol), it is no wonder that Yitzhak is obsessed with Yishmael, and constantly returns to Be'er LeHai Ro' i, the place of G-d's revelation to Hagar. Indeed, the Bible recounts that at the end of Abraham's life, he gives "everything that he has (Kol asher lo) to Yitzhak, and to the children of his concubines (including Yishmael the son of Hagar- Keturah, the concubine) he gives gifts." Yishmael apparently repents upon Abraham's death, since the Biblical text records, "And Yitzhak and Yishmael his sons buried (Abraham) at the Ma'arat Ha Mechpelah; but the incident concludes, "And it happened after the death of Abraham that G-d blessed Yitzhak his son; and Yitzhak dwelt with Be'er LeHai Ro'i." Yitzhak is apparently constantly haunted by the spectre of the power and prophecy surrounding Yishmael. Now why must Yitzhak worry or be concerned? After all, Yishmael was banished by Sarah and disinherited—an act agreed upon by Abraham after he receives the divine directive, "Everything which Sarah says to you, you must hearken to her voice" (Genesis 21:12). Yishmael has been forced out of the picture!
40 Final Thoughts Isaac and Yishmael RABBI SHLOMO RISKIN The source of Yitzhak's concern is that Yishmael the metzahek (the one who laughs now, he seeks immediate gratification) never really leaves the scene. Despite the fact that Abraham gives everything (Kol) he has to Yitzhak, the verse concludes that gifts are still given to Yishmael, a son of a concubine (cf. B.T. Sanhedrin 91a). Abraham always loved Yishmael, Yishmael's progeny and twelve princes for descendants are repeated even after Abraham's death, and the Bible again reiterates, "in the face of all his brothers shall fall out his portion“ (Genesis 25:12, usage based on Judges 7:12). As the great Torah teacher of Jerusalem, Rav Mordechai Allen, explains it, Sarah has him banished not because he isn't entitled to any part of the land of Israel, but rather because he would never be satisfied with only a share of the land, not even with half of the land. "The son of that handmaiden is incapable of sharing an inheritance with my son, with Yitzhak“ (Genesis 21:10). He demands it all, "his hand is against everything," (yado bakol, Genesis 16:11) -- and the "everything Kol"with which G-d blesses Abraham and which Abraham bequeathes to Yitzhak is the land of Israel (Genesis 28:4). Yishmael gets other gifts, but these do not satisfy him. He is always around, in the face of his brothers, scheming and struggling to get it all, the whole land of Israel. This is what worries, consumes and obsesses Yitzhak!
41 Final Thoughts Isaac and Yishmael RABBI SHLOMO RISKIN (And this is the attitude of the descendants of Yishmael to this very day, when they rejected the United Nations partition of the West Bank on November 29, 1947, when they started the Six Day War in June 5, 1967, when they rejected former Prime Minister Barak's all to generous offer of 96% of Judea, Samaria and Gaza initiated this Oslo War three and one half years ago, and when they refuse to recognize that we have any rights whatsoever to the Temple Mount. "Their hand is against everything" because they demand everything!) At least according to one Midrash, the matter will only be resolved in the pre- Messianic age, where "a star will come forth from Jacob "and destroy our enemies. Balaam cries out, "oh woe, who will live after the positioning of (the two enemy nations) with El at the end of their names, YishmaEl and YisraEl... Even the enemy will be utterly destroyed" (Numbers 24:23).
42 Final Thoughts Esau and Yaacov Rabbi Z. Miller The Torah (Bereishis 25:27) contrasts the characters of Esau and Yaacov: "Esau became one who knows hunting, but Yaacov was a wholesome man..." Rashi explains the phrase who knows hunting—Esau knew how to 'trap' and deceive his father with deceptive words. Whereas, the capability of deception was completely foreign to Yaacov who was a wholesome man; i.e., his words and his heart were one. The honesty of Yaacov is superior to the falsehood of Esau, as light is superior to darkness. Nevertheless, it would appear that the ability to deceive requires an aspect of cleverness that is lacking in a 'wholesome' person. Indeed his lack of guile may be a weakness that renders him innocent, naive, and vulnerable. However, we find just the opposite to be true. Our Sages tell us that Yaacov affirmed about himself: "I am equal to Esau in the ability to deceive.“ Notwithstanding, his wholesomeness prevented him from employing deception! The purity of his heart would only allow him to act and speak with absolute integrity. On the other hand, a person who acts with deceit is the opposite of a wholesome person. His inner corruption spurs him to trap others with his sly words and schemes. He has no scruples to harness his selfserving ambitions. Let us follow in the footsteps of Yaacov Avinu, whose words were one with his heart. If we make every effort to conduct ourselves with honesty, HaShem will bless our lives with success and peace of mind. Implement: Strive to keep all of your words and actions within the bounds of integrity.
43 Final Thoughts The Torah is not just the blueprint to creation it is also the road map to our Spiritual journey to come closer to the Creator. The Torah is not just the blueprint to creation it is also the road map to our Spiritual journey to come closer to the Creator. Our Prophets tell us that in the future, a great war will occur in which most of our material world will be destroyed. The nations that will be involved in this final war are led by the very same people we have been discussing. Our Prophets tell us that in the future, a great war will occur in which most of our material world will be destroyed. The nations that will be involved in this final war are led by the very same people we have been discussing. HaShem will keep His word and in spite of all odds, will send our Messiah who will save the Jewish People and once and for all times, bring Peace to Our People, so that we may at last serve Him. HaShem will keep His word and in spite of all odds, will send our Messiah who will save the Jewish People and once and for all times, bring Peace to Our People, so that we may at last serve Him. “May it be Your Will, HaShem, that the Holy Temple be rebuilt speedily in our days and grant us our share in Your Torah….” Shabbat Shalom
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