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



View Complete List

Yaakov Did Not Rely Solely on Prayer
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5772

Chanukah Vs. Purim
Shlomo Katz - 5760

Heart to Heart
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5768

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Rabbi Frand on Parshas VaYishlach
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5770

A Few Small Jugs
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5770

Chanukah: Lights, Camera, Action!
Rabbi Osher Chaim Levene - 5768


Analyzing The Imagery of A Familiar Chanukah Poem
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5765

Continuity Crisis?
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5764

Our Noble Mission
Rabbi Label Lam - 5766

> A Tragic Choice
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5772

Redeeming Factors
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5766

'Mehadrin' - An Understanding of the Concept
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5755

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

The Lost Jewel
Shlomo Katz - 5765

To Charm and Disarm
Rabbi Label Lam - 5764

An Even Longer Journey
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5762

Your Mission -- If You Should Accept
PLUS The Laws of Chanuka

Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5764

Project Genesis Home

Torah Portion

Jewish Law



Learn the Basics




Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base


About Us

Contact Us

Free Book on Geulah! Home Copyright Information