(Haftara Malachi 1:1-2:7)

  1. Yitzchak was almost sacrificed on the altar by his father, Avraham.       How might that event have affected him and his relationships with his family? Would this story of Ya’akov and Esav have been different if that event had not occurred?
  1. [27:19] “And Ya’akov said to his father, “I am Esav, your first-born…”  How could the history of the Jewish people start with a lie? Is there any way to justify Ya’akov’s trickery?
  1. [27:33] “And Yitzchak was terrified with a terrible terror…and he really will be blessed.” Yitzchak seems to be totally disoriented at first, and then he seems to be very self-confident when he says, “…and he (Ya’akov) really will be blessed”. What might have been going through his mind when he was so confused, and what made him so sure of himself after that?
  1. [27:34] “…and he screamed a big and bitter scream…” In the story of      Ya’akov and Esav, the heroes (Rivkah and Ya’akov) are not totally innocent and the villain (Esav) is shown to be very human and is not totally guilty.       What is the Torah trying to teach us by making this story so complex?
  1. [Haftara: Malachi 2:5] “My covenant was with him (Levi)…” God says that the service of the people of Israel is unsatisfactory, but the tribe of Levi is faithful to God. It is extremely difficult to educate a whole nation to serve God. Why didn’t God limit the service to a priesthood (Levi)? They could lead the rest of the people in a positive direction, but not expect total devotion from the regular people?


[27:28] “And God will give you…”

This pasuk can also be read in Hebrew as “And He will give you God…” That itself is the blessing—you will be worthy to serve God.

–R. Simchah Binem of Peshischa, 1765-1827, Poland.

This study page is dedicated to the memory of Gad Eliahu ben David and Kochava—Eli Zucker

And this study page is dedicated to the memory of Sarah Bella bat Yitzchak Kummer, Chaim Yosef Yechiel ben Eliyahu Kummer and Eliyahu and Margaret Kummer


Mizmor LeDavid meets at the Mesorati High School, 8 Beitar Street, in the auditorium. There is another minyan that meets there, we are the one further north. Accessible from Beitar, the single gate at the bottom of the semi-circle of steps, or from the north end of Efrata Street, through the gate on the right, then turn left.

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