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 ACHAREI MOS AND KEDOSHIM:

View Complete List

Understand the Warning
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5771

Rabbi Frand on Parshas Acharei Mos
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5765

"What Does God Say?"
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5770

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Holy, or Not Holy - That is the Question!
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5760

More Power To You
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5763

Fun vs. Pleasure
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5773

> Accountable for Our Priorities
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5762

Orlah: Spiritual Barriers
Rabbi Osher Chaim Levene - 5767

Love Your Neighbor
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5759

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Now Become Holy!
Rabbi Label Lam - 5770

...And Hear It We Must
Rabbi Label Lam - 5762

Of Death, Selflessness, and Service
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5764

ArtScroll

Understand The Warning
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5774

A Deafening Silence
Rabbi Label Lam - 5773

"Peripheral Events" May be the Focus of Divine Providence
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5766

Encouraging His Children to Climb
Rabbi Label Lam - 5772



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