Better Off Blind – Parashat Toldot

November 2, 2018 at 1:20 AM , , ,
“….It came to pass when Yitzchak was old, and his eyes were too dim to see….” – Bereishit 27:1

״….ויהי כי זקן יצחק ותכהין עיניו מראות…״ – בראשית כז, א

…Alternatively, this was to enable Yaakov to take the blessings. —Rashi

To say that blindness is debilitating is an understatement. In fact, Rashi comments later (28:10), “Because Yitzchak’s eyes had become dim and he was confined in his house, he was like a dead person.” Why had G-d caused this to happen? According to one explanation brought by Rashi, this was to enable Yaakov to receive the blessings that Yitzchak intended for his favorite son Eisav.

From here we see the extents one must go to avoid lashon hara, speaking negatively about another Jew.

Yitzchak was 123 years old at the time of the blessings, and he lived until the age of 180. So for fifty-seven years he suffered from blindness, confined to his house, as good as dead, all because of his over assessment of Eisav’s virtue.

Was there really no better way? G-d had appeared to Yitzchak and communicated with him other information. Could He not have simply informed Yitzchak that Eisav wasn’t worthy of the blessings he intended for him? Moreover, Yitzchak already had his suspicions about Eisav. We know that he disapproved of Eisav’s wives and he noted that Eisav doesn’t have the praise of G-d at the tip of his tongue. Would it not have been better for G-d to confirm to Yitzchak that Eisav was wicked instead of causing him to be blind for the last 57 years of his life?!

Instead, for Yaakov to receive the blessings he deserved, G-d deemed it preferable to cause Yitzchak to be an invalid for over five decades than to tell Yitzchak lashon hara about the wicked Eisav!

If this is so when speaking about Eisav, how careful must we then be when speaking about our fellow Jews who are certainly not nearly as wicked as Eisav was?

—Likutei Sichos vol. 15, pp. 215-216


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