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Thought for the Day: Frustration Removes Our Mask

A few days back I wrote about a Beis HaLevi regarding Yitzchak Avinu mistakenly concluding that Eisav was standing before him and not Yaakov based on the evidence "the voice is the voice of Yaakov; the hands are the hands of Eisav".  The Beis HaLevi explains that Eisav had arranged to speak using Yaakov Avinu's speech patterns because he suspected that Yaakov Avinu would attempt to take the brachos by disguising his hands and voice to match Eisav.  See more details there.

I thought (and still think) that is a beautiful p'shat.  However, I was bothered by the 500 lb gorilla staring back at me: when Eisav actually did come in, he spoke in his normal (gruff, unrefined) manner.  And all that we before he discovered that Yaakov had, in fact, already received the brachos.  According to this Beis HaLevi, Eisav should have come in all smooth taking and stuff.  Since the Beis HaLevi had the same chumash I do, I felt it deserved further investigation.

First: how long do you think all this took?  Rivka had to talk Yaakov into the deal, then the sheep needed to be dressed and cooked, then sheared and Yaakov disguised, then Yaakov had a nice conversation with his father.  Probably a good few hours.  Where was Eisav all this time?  Especially given that Eisav was not know for his patience and had left ready to steal an animal if he couldn't find a hefker one right away.  Then he just happens to walk in at the very moment that Yaakov Avinu is walking out?  The Ohr Chaim haKodesh notes that the timing was arranged so that Yaakov would get the brachos (so Eisav couldn't get there a moment earlier) and so that Yitchak Avinu's declaration of "gam baruch yi'ye" would be toch k'dai dibur of the brachos.

I would like to propose that Eisav was feeling very frustrated by the time he returned.  In order to get him back at just the right second, animals must have presented themselves to him and then fled just at the last moment.  Chazal tell us (Eruvin 65b) that the real person is seen by his behavior when he is drunk, spending money, or angry.  Given that, all the plans Eisav made in the world wouldn't have helped.  He was angry and so he was Eisav; inside and out.


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