Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Guard Your Lips II

...And Lavan returned to his place; and Yaakov went on his way... (Bereshith 31:55, 32:1)

The previous essay related that if people are forced into situations in which they must deceive someone else, they should immediately try to do something to counteract the negative repercussions of their act. Yaakov himself acted in accordance with this principle, as can be seen from the following scenario: When Yitzchak asked Yaakov if he was Esav, Yaakov replied Anochi, Esav Bechorechah, literally "It is I, Esav your first-born." The question begs to be asked: since Yaakov was interested in avoiding even the slightest trace of falsehood, why didn't he leave out the word "I" and answer "Esav, your first born," a seemingly equally effective answer to Yitzchak's question?

Yaakov's intention in using the word "Anochi" was very specific. He meant to imply, "It is I who will eventually accept the Ten Commandments." Since the prohibition of idol worship, the first of the Ten Commandments, starts with the word Anochi, Yaakov's use of the word Anochi alluded to this.1 Yet the question remains: at this auspicious moment why did Yaakov feel it necessary to hint at the fact that he would eventually accept the Ten Commandments, specifically the prohibition against idolatry?

Our Sages tell us that the transgression of deceiving someone is on par with that of idol worship.2 Although Yaakov was Divinely commanded to take the blessings from Esav, since he had to use means that seemed crooked, he felt it necessary, on the spot, to strengthen his recognition of the seriousness of falsehood by referring to the prohibition against idolatry.3

In addition to this, immediately after Yaakov deceived Esav he ran to the Yeshivah of Shem and Ever. His time spent studying there enabled him to overcome any adverse effects that might have lodged in his soul as a result of his misrepresentation of the truth. At the same time, it bolstered him so that he would be able to deal with Lavan while remaining true to himself. Both Shem and Ever had lived through generations when the entire world was marked by corruption. They were eminently qualified to give Yaakov the tools he would require to deal with the crooked society in which he was destined to live.4


1 Bereshith Rabbah 65:18.

2 Sanhedrin 92a.

3 According to Rashi's commentary, which does not quote this Midrash, it must be assumed that Yaakov felt that in order to insure with one hundred percent certainty that Yitzchak would give him the blessings, it was neccesary to add the word "I" to his statement.

4 Rav Yaakov Kamenetsky: Titein Emeth L'Yaakov.


Priceless Integrity, Copyright © 2001 by Rabbi Daniel Travis and Torah.org.

Subscribe to Priceless Integrity and receive the class via e-mail.


 

ARTICLES ON NASO:

View Complete List

Parshas Naso and Chag Shavuos
Rabbi Chaim Flom - 5767

Just to Silence the Mind
Rabbi Label Lam - 5775

Echoes of Shavuos
Rabbi Label Lam - 5761

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Life, the Bigger Picture -- Say Cheese!
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5764

Messiah, Can I Keep My Rolls?
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5761

Faith in Motion
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5773

> Being a Levi
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5773

Honor + Respect = Shalom Bayis
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5758

Levi-like Actions
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5772

ArtScroll

A Mouthful to Swallow
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5757

Out Of Control
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5772

Spies and Stones - The Shepherd Sticks with His Flock
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5766

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Pennies From Heaven
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5758

Through Thick and Thin
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5760

He is in Control
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5773

"Your Money Or Your Wife?" and Other Such Life Decisions
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5771



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