Rabbi's Message

  • November 13, 2015


    Rav Mordechai Shifman, from Emek Academy in Los Angeles, has a fascinating insight to a Rashi in this week's parsha, that I wanted to share with you. Have a great Shabbos!

    "Eisav came in from the field and he was exhausted"(25:29)
    Rashi cites a Midrash which explains "ayeif" means that Eisav was tired after having committed murder. Rashi generally follows the literal interpretation of the verse, relying on the Midrash only when it supports the simple reading. Where in the verse do we see that "tired" does not simply mean physically exhausted? Furthermore, why does the act of murder cause a state of exhaustion?
    There are two ways in which one can be exhausted. A person can be either physically exhausted due to an expenditure of energy, or emotionally exhausted as a result of being involved in something that leaves him feeling completely unfulfilled. A person who mans a store all day long, without any customers entering may be completely drained at the end of the day; this is not because of any physical strain, but because he did not accomplish anything.
    Murder is an act which is completely destructive and cannot offer a person any true sense of accomplishment. Therefore, the Torah connects exhaustion to murder, for ultimately this is the feeling that the murderer experiences. What must still be resolved is the question of where in the verse Rashi sees that the exhaustion is an emotional one, rather than a physical one. The answer lies in the continuation of the narrative. Eisav comes home exhausted and requests to be fed. A person who is physically exhausted desires sleep, not food. Wanting to eat is very often a manifestation of emotional exhaustion. When a person feels emotionally unfulfilled, he turns to food to satisfy his craving for fulfillment.