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 KI SISA AND PURIM:

View Complete List

Flaming Desire
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5770

Light and Joy
Shlomo Katz - 5765

Judaism and Violence
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5765

ArtScroll

Every Jew is a Spark
Shlomo Katz - 5761

Appreciating What We Have - While We Have It!
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5759

Greatest Accolade Given To Mordechai
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5757

Looking for a Chavrusah?

The Complete Purim Story
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5761

Open for Business
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5759

Money is Like Fire
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5756

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

The Wanderer
Shlomo Katz - 5769

Faith Based Initiative
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5765

Preparation for Happiness
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5769

> Commanding Emotions
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5769

Believing vs. Knowing
Shlomo Katz - 5759

Troubles Aren't Just a Good Reason to Pray
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5758

Raise Me Up
Shlomo Katz - 5768



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