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 NOACH:

View Complete List

Generation to Generation
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5759

When the Illegitimate Becomes Legitimate
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5758

Don't Shout at Me!
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5760

> Three Philosophies at Bavel
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5761

The Day Falsehood Married Destruction
Shlomo Katz - 5761

G-d's Message for All Humanity
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5764

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Perceptions - Noach
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5769

Internal Beliefs Have External Effects
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5758

Leave They Must
Rabbi Label Lam - 5766

ArtScroll

Hide the Shame
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5758

Did The Animals Come Or Did Noach Have To Bring Them?
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5773

A World is Built!
Rabbi Label Lam - 5762

Looking for a Chavrusah?

The Choosing People
Rabbi Label Lam - 5761

The Path to Serving God
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5773

People In Stone Houses Should Not Cast Bricks
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5771

Intellectual Beliefs
Shlomo Katz - 5758



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