Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Parshas Vayishlach

In arranging his family for the potentially explosive meeting with Esav, Yaakov placed the shfachos (Bilhah and Zilpah, the maidservant wives) and their children first, followed by Leah and her children, and followed finally by Rochel and Yosef. 33:2. Rashi says that the reason for this formation is 'acharon acharon chaviv', meaning that whoever is most dear goes last. [This phrase is commonly used in Jewish schools and homes, usually to assuage the feelings of a child who is last in line to receive something.]

The first pasuk of Parshas Nitzavim delineates all who were standing before Hashem. Rashi there says the order is determined by 'hachashuv chashuv kodem', meaning that whoever is most important goes first.

Why does chashivus/importance lead to being placed first whereas chavivus/endearment leads to being placed last - why wouldn’t being dear also lead to being placed first?

Perhaps our common understanding of 'acharon acharon chaviv' is not accurate. Rather, chavivus/endearment leads to whatever best protects that which is dear. Sometimes that might be first, sometimes last, depending on the situation. Here Esav is a threat, and Yaakov protects those most dear to him by leaving them in the back. In fact, Rashi makes his acharon acharon chaviv comment on the words describing Leah's placement in the middle, further bolstering the idea that there is nothing special about being last per se, unless the context calls for it as a protective measure.


Gal Einai, Copyright © 2006 by Gedalia Litke and Torah.org


 






ARTICLES ON DEVARIM AND THE THREE WEEKS:

View Complete List

A Lesson About Our Psyche
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5757

How We Suffer
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5758

One Heart
Rabbi Label Lam - 5771

Looking for a Chavrusah?

17th of Tammuz: Why We Fast - Part 1
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5758

Don't Just Scratch the Surface
Shlomo Katz - 5762

About This We Cry!
Rabbi Label Lam - 5766

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Appreciation
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5772

And So The Journey Continues
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5765

Don't Flaunt It
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5764

ArtScroll

Immortal Teacher
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5760

Small Favors
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5772

No Empty Matter
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5766

> The Purpose of the Fifth Book
Shlomo Katz - 5767

A Gift to Claim
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5756

What Are We Mourning on the Ninth of Av
Rabbi Yosef Kalatzky - 5765

Who will Remember?
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5761



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information