Posted by: mosesfromsinai | November 16, 2009

Toldos – The Aroma of Good Deeds

The week’s Parsha contains a variety of events.  Primarily we watch the birth of the twins, Esav and Yakov, and their development.  Eisav becomes a murderer and an adulterer, and Yakov takes to learning Torah in the Yeshiva.  (It seemed like an in town Yeshiva as Yakov appears to be living at home rather than dorming – Yakov will later spend 14 years in an out of town Yeshiva.)

Moses is watching the story of Yitzchak giving the special blessings away.  Moses sees on the “screen” Rivka overhearing Yitzchak instruct Esav what meal to prepare before he will give Esav the blessings. (It has been a few days now since Moses has had anything to eat – Moses, remember was up there for 40 days and 40 nights without physical food or drink – one wonders if Moses got a little hungry as he heard the menu Yitzchak ordered and Rivka prepare).  Rivka, the 2nd Jewish mother, quickly jumps into action to see that the right thing takes place.  Rivka knows who the real Tzadik is and calls Yakov in to receive the special blessings.   She would have made Hollywood proud on how she disguises Yakov and preps him to take Esav’s place.

One unique item stands out in the disguise and that is the special garment that Rivka takes from her closet that belongs to Esav and gives to Yakov to wear.  This is the garment that Adam wore in the Garden of Eden and was later taken by Nimrod.  Esav, takes care of Nimrod (kills him) and takes the garment.  This is a special garment that makes hunting easy.  Though Esav was married and had his own residence, he did not trust his wives with this prize garment.  He gave it to his mother to guard.  Esav wore this garment each time he visited and served his father.

It was this garment that helped close the deal for Yakov to receive the blessings.  Moses sees Yitzchak, who is now blind, smell the garment and become so impressed with the aroma.  Yitzchak had not encountered that aroma since his being offered on the Alter by his father Avraham.  Yitzchak knew that the person wearing this garment was the correct person to receive the special blessings.  (Among the blessings is the concept of the Holy Temple and the incense that would be offered on the Alter creating the same aroma)  The question that comes to mind, and Moses is wondering, why was Yitzchak amazed at the aroma?  Did he not smell this aroma each time Esav came to serve him?  This was the garment Esav wore each time he came.  A possible answer may be,  Yitzchak’ smelling senses were very exceptional.  When Esav turned to being a murderer and adulterer at age 13, his sins would convey an odor that Yitzchak would be able to detect.  Esav needed a neutralizer.  This he found in the garment that Nimrod had.  He killed Nimrod and would wear this garment each time he visited his father so that Yitzchak would not be able to smell the sins that Esav had committed.  On Esav, the garment served only as a neutralizer.

Yakov, who was a scholar and Tzadik, when he wore the garment it produced the highest aroma that is found in the Garden of Eden.  (When Moshiach will come, the aroma will be back here again).  Yitzchak had that opportunity to smell the aroma when he was willing to sacrifice his life on the Alter.  Thus Yitzchak was positive he had the right person for the blessings.  (Also note that since the actual Torah was not yet given, Yakov, though he studied a great deal of Torah, did not have the “aroma” of Gan Eden that normally a Tzadik would have.)

Today, our good deeds serves as our “garments”.  Our positive actions convey a “pleasant aroma.”  We feel comfortable when we are in the company of good people.  Let us pursue a course of positive action and good deeds.  Thus we will always be giving off a pleasant “aroma.”  (Still recommend a good deodorant just in case).

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