Friday, November 25, 2011

Rivkah darshens a pasuk

Summary: An amusing remez from the Vilna Gaon.

Post: There is a pasuk and Rashi at the beginning of Toldos:

22. And the children struggled within her, and she said, "If [it be] so, why am I [like] this?" And she went to inquire of the Lord.כב. וַיִּתְרֹצֲצוּ הַבָּנִים בְּקִרְבָּהּ וַתֹּאמֶר אִם כֵּן לָמָּה זֶּה אָנֹכִי וַתֵּלֶךְ לִדְרֹשׁ אֶת יְ־הֹוָ־ה:
struggled: Perforce, this verse calls for a Midrashic interpretation, for it does not explain what this struggling was all about, and [Scripture] wrote,“If it be so, why am I [like] this?” Our Rabbis (Gen. Rabbah 63:6) interpreted it [the word וַיִתְרוֹצִצוּ] as an expression of running (רוֹצָה) . When she passed by the entrances of [the] Torah [academies] of Shem and Eber, Jacob would run and struggle to come out; when she passed the entrance of [a temple of] idolatry, Esau would run and struggle to come out. Another explanation: They were struggling with each other and quarreling about the inheritance of the two worlds (Mid. Avkir).ויתרוצצו: על כרחך המקרא הזה אומר דורשני, שסתם מה היא רציצה זו וכתב אם כן למה זה אנכי. רבותינו דרשוהו לשון ריצה, כשהיתה עוברת על פתחי תורה של שם ועבר יעקב רץ ומפרכס לצאת, עוברת על פתחי עבודה זרה עשו מפרכס לצאת. דבר אחר מתרוצצים זה עם זה ומריבים בנחלת שני עולמות:

Here is an amusing Gra, in Kol Eliyahu. After citing the verse, he writes:

"There is to explain in the plane of remez, based on what is stated in the gemara in several places:
Shimon haAmsuni darshened every instance of the word את in the Torah. Once he reached the verse of את ה' אלקיך תירא he broke off [and rejected the methology], etc. Until Rabbi Akiva came and darshened את ה' אלקיך תירא to include Torah scholars.
And behold, Rashi za'l explains here in the name of the midrash upon ויתרוצצו הבנים בקרבה that when she passed the entryways of idolatry, Esav would kick to go out, and when she passed the entryways of Shem and Ever, Yaakov wished to go out. 

And behold, Rivkah was unaware that these were two fetuses, and she thought that it was a single fetus. If so, there was a place to ponder, chas veShalam, that there were two forces {in Heaven}, since here was a single fetus encompassing the two opposites. And therefore the thought, and she said, אם כן למה זה אנכי,  'If so, what is this אנכי', that is to say that which is written in the 10 Commandments, אנכי Hashem Your God, which was the opposite of what she was experiencing in this struggling [רציצה]. Therefore, she went לדרש את ה, that is to say, to darshen the pasuk of את ה' אלקיך תירא [in the manner Shimon HaAmsuni knew was false]. And {next pasuk} 'Hashem said to her, there are two nations in your womb', one who is a tzaddik and one who is a rasha. And it should not arise in your mind at all that there are, chas veShalaom, two forces."

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