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INSIGHT: Reverse Reading

Who’s Who?

Who’s Who?

Yaakov followed his mother’s instructions and entered his father’s room carrying the steaming plate of delicious meat.

“Father,” Yaakov said.

“Here I am. Who are you, my son?” Yitzchak asked.

Yaakov chose his words very carefully, so as not to tell a lie. “It is I,” replied Yaakov. After waiting a few seconds, he continued, “Eisav B’chorecha” – Eisav (is) your firstborn son. Father, I did what you asked. Now please get up and eat what I have brought you so that you may bless me.”

Yitzchak was very confused. It didn’t sound like Eisav’s usual growl.

“My dear son, how did you manage to hunt and cook a meal so fast?” asked Yitzchak.

“With HaShem’s help, I did it,” he answered.

“Hmmm…” thought Yitzchak. “This sounds more like a “Yaakov-answer” than an “Eisav-answer”.”

“Come here and let me touch you, my son,” Yitzchak requested. “This will be the test for me to know whether you are truly Eisav.”

Yaakov stepped up closer, and his father touched his goatskin-covered hands. Now Yitzchak was even more confused, “the voice is the voice of Yaakov, but the hands are the hands of Eisav!”

Once again, Yitzchak asked, “Are you my son Eisav?”

Yaakov answered simply, “I am” (without adding the word Eisav).

Yaakov served his father the meat and poured him wine.

“Please, my son. Come closer so I may kiss you,” said Yitzchak.

At that point, something incredible happened! As Yaakov bent over to kiss his father, Yitzchak smelled the wonderful Gan Eden fragrance coming from his garments. This was quite unusual for Eisav’s grimy hunting clothes.

Yitzchak blessed his son, “May HaShem bless you with the best of everything, plentiful rain and dew, abundant grain and wine. You will be a master over your brother, and the nations of the world will bow to you. Those who curse you will be cursed, and those who bless you will be blessed.”

All in all, a wonderful blessing for the future of Yaakov’s children – Bnei Yisrael – the Jewish people!

Shazak insight

Who’s Who?

וַיַעַשׂ גַם הוּא מַטְעַמִים וַיָבֵא לְאָבִיו

In telling us that Yaakov brought his father delicious meat to eat before getting the blessings, the Torah uses the words “Vayovei L’Aviv” (“and he brought to his father”).

Look very carefully at the words as they are written in the Torah without the vowels.

ויבא לאביו

Read these words backwards and you get the same exact thing!

Words and phrases like that are called palindromes, taken from the Greek, meaning ‘running back again.’

Some palindromes in English are:

Kayak

Racecar

Madam I’m Adam

Never odd or even

Was it a cat I saw?

No lemon, no melon

What’s the lesson?

 

Yaakov was bringing food to his father, performing the Mitzvah of Kibbud Av – honoring his father. Like these words which go forward and backward, Kibbud Av VaEim is one of those things that will eventually come back to you.

Treat your parents with respect, and your children will treat you with respect. What you give is what you’ll get!

BTW: Come to think of it, Mom and Dad are also palindromes and, in Hebrew… אמא and אבא!

Treat your parents with respect and later when you become parents, your kids will treat you with plenty of respect.

SHAZAK
Geared for Kids... Great for Adults!

Geared for Kids... Great for Adults!

Did you know learning Torah could be this much fun?
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