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 PINCHAS AND THE THREE WEEKS:

View Complete List

The Sword is Mightier than the Pen
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5758

Finding Ourselves - It's The Rage
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5764

Make Your Presence Known
Rabbi Chaim Flom - 5767

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Why Did Pinchas Deserve The 'Peace Prize'?
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5762

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

Of Zealots and Eretz Yisroel
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5765

> Temperament of a Kohen
Shlomo Katz - 5758

Body Language
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5774

To Win the Baal Game!
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5760

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Conditional Peace
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5764

Of Hearts and Minds
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5760

Peace Pursued
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5756

ArtScroll

Fundamentals of Zealousness
Shlomo Katz - 5763

Going Against the Flow
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5759

Grandson of Aharon -- The Lover of Peace & Pursuer of Peace
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5766

Vov of Connection-Vov of Division
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 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