Forethoughts and Afterthoughts.
Commentary on the weekly Torah reading.
In memory of Father, Yosef Ben Zelig.
March 25th 1911 - May 2nd 2008
In memory of Mother, Nechama Bas Tzvi Hirsh.
June 9th 1925 - April 16th 2003
In memory of Uncle, Moshe Binyamin Ben Tzvi Hirsh.
December 12 1929 - February 2nd 2010
In Loving Memory of Moreinu Horav Shmuel Yaakov Weinberg, Rosh HaYeshiva Ner Yisroel
Toldos (Genesis 25-28)
27:41 And Aisav (Esau) hated Yaakov (Jacob) over the blessing that his father blessed him. And Aisav said in his heart, "Let the days of mourning for my father come near and (then) I will kill Yaakov my brother."
27:42 And it was told to Rivka (through prophecy) the words of Aisav … and she sent for and called to Yaakov (Jacob) …
27:43 And now my son, listen to my voice and flee for yourself to my brother Lavan, to Charan (to save your life).
28:10 And Yaakov left from Be’er Sheva and he went to Charan.
The Talmud says that he stayed in Be’er Sheva for fourteen years before fleeing for his life (Megila 17a). He hid himself in the yeshiva of Shem and Ever, son and grandson of Noach (Noah).
The Marsha there says that there were at least two great academies of Torah learning in Be’er Sheva, that of Yitzchak and Shem/Ever. This is hinted in the Hebrew letters of the words, “from Be’er Sheva.” The seven letters can be re-arranged to spell Shem, Ever, and Av (father).
He could obviously not hide from his brother in their father’s institution.
It was remarkable that he chose to hide right under his own brother’s nose, and for such a long time.
My understanding is that Yaakov knew he was about to establish a family and he hoped to succeed in founding the Jewish people. Although he was already sixty-three years old, he felt that he needed another fourteen years of intense Torah study to prepare himself for this task and to also improve his ability to survive and thrive in a culture that was foreign to Torah values.
He also had faith that the merit of his Torah study would protect him from Aisav’s wrath.