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Gadlus HaDaas - Thinking Big

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Dec 15, 2022
לזכות הרב חיים מאיר בן מילכה לבריאות השלימה וכל טוב סלה
וְאָמַרְתָּ֖ אֶל־פַּרְעֹ֑ה כֹּ֚ה אָמַ֣ר יְהֹוָ֔ה בְּנִ֥י בְכֹרִ֖י יִשְׂרָאֵֽל׃
וָאֹמַ֣ר אֵלֶ֗יךָ שַׁלַּ֤ח אֶת־בְּנִי֙ וְיַֽעַבְדֵ֔נִי וַתְּמָאֵ֖ן לְשַׁלְּח֑וֹ הִנֵּה֙ אָנֹכִ֣י הֹרֵ֔ג אֶת־בִּנְךָ֖ בְּכֹרֶֽךָ: 
You shall say to Paroh, "Thus says Hashem, 'Israel is My son, My firstborn, and I have said to you, 'Send out My son that he may worship Me, but you have refused to send him out; behold, I will kill your son, your firstborn.

בני בכורי – לשון גדולה, כמו: גם אני בכור אתנהו (תהלים פ״ט:כ״ח), זהו פשוטו.
ומדרשו: כאן חתם הקב״ה על מכירת הבכורה שלקח יעקב מעשו.
[ISRAEL IS] MY SON, MY FIRSTBORN – The term בכור "firstborn" denotes greatness as, (Psalms 89:28) "I also will appoint him a בכור" (which is explained by the following words, "the highest of the kings of the earth"). This is the literal meaning; A Midrashic comment is: Here (in these words) the Holy One, blessed be He, set His seal to the sale of the birthright which Jacob had purchased from Esau (Genesis Rabbah 63:14).
2. Rashi says that Yaakov was cooking lentils in order to feed the mourner [Yitzchak] a meal - called סעודת הבראה - after the passing of Avraham. It was these lentils that were used to purchase the Bechora. הלא דבר הוא!! It was the food of CHESED of סעודת הבראה that was then used to purchase the Bechora. The depth of this is that death is an expression of strict judgment - מדת הדין, but מדת הדין is only a כח שני - accessory force, in the world. It is not the primary force in this world. The primary force is מדת החסד. There is only דין in this world in order to ultimately bring to חסד. The pasuk says עולם חסד יבנה - The world was created for חסד. Punishment is necessary after sin but not as the ultimate goal of creation. The Tachlis is כולו הטוב והמטיב [See Pesachim 50a] and the promise of "ומחה ה' א-להים דמעה על כל פנים".  
3. That is why right after one meets with מדת הדין and suffers the loss of a close relative, he is given a meal in order to show that the goal is חסד. That is the idea of סעודת הבראה. The Yesod of the world is חסד. 
4. The perception of this אמונה both requires and grants one גדלות הדעת - a mature, spiritual outlook. One of the differences between קטנות and גדלות is that even though our חכמים gave קטנים the capacity to make kinyanim [עי' גיטין ס"ה אמר רבא שלש מדות ובר"ן שם] but only those that are נתפסים בחוש - concrete and straightforward, such as משיכה or הגבהה where we can see with our own eyes how the ownership is being transferred. But more abstract kinyanim such as קנין סודר don't work for קטנים. With a דעת of קטנות minors can't understand how such kinyanim should be effective - so they are not. 
5. Chazal tell us that Yaakov and Esav made a deal. Esav took this world and Yaakov took the next. This world is concrete while the next is [for us here] abstract. Esav with his דעת דקטנות can't relate to the next world. Esav is a "קטן נתתיך בגוים" [Ovadiah 1-2]. With his קטנות הדעת the phenomenon of death is perceived as the primary goal and purpose of creation. We are here in order to ultimately die. That is the plan. "הנה אנכי הולך למות ולמה זה לי בכורה" - Why do I need this Bechorah? It will only be meaningful after I die and after I die that is it - I am not coming back. Once it is over - it is over. גדלות הדעת understands that there is so much more than this world. The צדוקים only believed in one world [ברכות נ"ד] while our Avoda is "מן העולם ועד עולם" - a world to follow this one. [The word "בכר" is comprised of numbers that double the previous ones. ב is double א and כ is double י and ר is double ק. The next world built upon this world].
6. With this we can understand the Medrash that when Esav heard that Avraham died he said that since the מדת הדין affected Avraham there must be no judgment and no judge. לית דין ולית דיין. Did Esav think that Avraham was going to live forever?? A wise man can perceive the future even in the present. איזהו חכם ? הרואה את הנולד. A person with קטנות הדעת only sees the here and now [that is a perspective that characterizes children and those who lack emotional maturity and intelligence]. Esav saw that Avraham died so all he could see was that this is it. It is the end. So he said לית דין ולית דיין. The  whole world is a cruel place. On that the Medrash says [based on Yirmiyahu 22-10] אל תבכו למת - זה אברהם שיש תחיית המתים. There is no reason to cry for Avraham because there is תחיית המתים. 
7. Blood is red. מדת הדין. Esav was born אדמוני - red. Rashi says that this is a sign that he will be a murderer. "הלעיטיני נא מן האדום האדום הזה" - Give me the red stuff. The world is מדת הדין. A cruel place. Yaakov buys with this the Bechora. Bechora establishes Avoda which brings us to and will be carried out in the most ideal form at the time of תחיית המתים. Yaakov's response is "Take the red stuff. This world is not about דין but about חסד [that is why I prepared them in the first place - for חסד]. There is the Avoda of the Bechor which ultimately leads to תחיית המתים. Give me the חסד represented by the Bechora and you can have your 'reds' which is your perception that the world is דין." These "חסד lentils" of סעודת הבאה show that the deeper Tachlis of life is חסד. As we saw: עולם חסד יבנה. 
8. Yetzias Mitzraim produced "בני בכורי ישראל" who bring the world to תחיית המתים. That Bechora started with Yaakov's purchase of the Bechora from Esav. והם הם דברי רש"י who says בני בכורה - לשון גדולה. The Bechora can only be appreciated with גדלות הדעת and includes the opposite of הנה אנכי הולך למות i.e. the Avoda that brings to תחיית המתים. Therefore, Hashem said, "שלח את עמי ויעבדוני" - Send my nation to do the Avoda. If you refuse then "הנה אנכי הורג את בנך בכורך" - The Esav-dike mehalech of הנה אנכי הולך למות.  
9. Wow! 
[עפ"י תורת מורנו ראש הישיבה שליט"א] 
Takeaway - Educate your children [and yourself!!!] that this is ultimately a kind world. That is the goal. The kinder we are - the closer the world comes to being a place of complete kindness. 

Bo Toldot 

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Learning on the Marcos and Adina Katz YUTorah site is sponsored today by the Goldberg and Mernick Families in loving memory of the yahrzeit of Illean K. Goldberg, Chaya Miriam bas Chanoch and by Ann Arbesfeld and family in loving memory of Rabbi Hyman Arbesfeld, הרב חיים בן אברהם ע"ה