The Real World

November 5, 2021
Kislev 1, 5782
Candlelighting Time 5:34 PM

Another famine rages in the area and Yitzchok considers going to Egypt to secure food as his father Avrohom did. However, Hashem cautions him from doing so stating that he should remain where he is because it has been promised to him and his descendants. That promise was made to Avrohom and therefore he should not leave. Additionally, Hashem will increase the numbers of his descendants and through them all nations will merit blessing. Hashem concludes that since Avrohom adhered to all the mitzvos, therefore, Yitzchok should not leave to Egypt. This entire monologue is very intriguing because it seems that Yitzchok should not leave where he is because of Avrohom. Wasn’t Yitzchok prominent himself in his own right to warrant that he should not leave and go to Egypt? The Midrash actually states that Yitzchok was not to leave to Egypt because he had the status of a burnt sacrifice due to the attempt to sacrifice him and therefore should not leave the land of Canaan, the eventual land of Israel. The Midrash seems to contradict that what the Torah explicitly states.

S’fas Emes has a fascinating explanation of this occurrence. Yitzchok represented the characteristic of fidelity to Hashem through exactitude and rigidity. That is what the Midrash conveys that he was a burnt sacrifice, total and exceptional devotion and commitment to Hashem without concession. However, the world was created with the injunction of chesed, infusion of allowance for absolution. This tolerance was depicted by Avrohom’s incomparable loving kindness employed at every opportunity. Yitzchok’s life was a surreal demonstration of every act orchestrated and fixated on pure fulfillment of Hashem’s unadulterated will. The notion that one would receive any degree of renumeration from Hashem that is undeserved did not enter his mind based upon his ultimately demanding relationship with Hashem. Therefore, the command to remain where
he was contained an underlying theme for the future of our nation. Even when seemingly our predicament is tenuous, we will merit Hashem’s ongoing generosity in our link with Him and we will warrant His infinite trait of kindness and sympathy.

This is precisely why Eliezer davened that he would find a wife for Yitzchok steeped in chesed. The inclusion of this trait was critical to somewhat temper the extreme dedication that Yitzchok was so entrenched with. Although his extraordinary ardor was
necessary in the ongoing construction of the nation, in order for it to positively impact us it was essential that it was accompanied with flexibility.

Therefore, it is somewhat equitable that Yitzchok wanted to grant the blessings to Eisav fully aware that his conduct was inadequate to merit them, nonetheless he was the first born and entitled. It was Rifka, realizing that Yitzchok should receive the blessings that allowed the circumvention of events that evaded the dismal prospect that Eisav would
indeed receive the blessings instead of Yitzchok. And so it is in all generations, when the obvious is seemingly the reality, the impossible intervenes and we endure our trials and tribulations.


The lesson of the wells that Yitzchok was so adamant to continue digging until finally he was successful is that we can never surrender to defeat, rather we must always endeavor to accomplish and achieve despite the obstacles that we encounter. Chofetz Chaim