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The Voice

By: Rav Rafi Rosenblum

At the end of the Parsha, we learn of Yaakov’s successful attempt to obtain the brachos from his father, Yitzchak. Yitzchak feels Yaakov and notices that he is hairy like Esav, but that his voice is similar to Yaakov’s. This is when we get the famous quote: “Hakol kol Yaakov v’hayadayim yedey Esav”. It is the voice of Yaakov, but the hands of Esav. We would expect the next pasuk to tell us how confused Yitzchak was, but instead the Torah continues to tell us how Yitzchak proceeded to give Yaakov the brachos. Why would Yitzchak give the brachos if there was any doubt in his mind? I would like to share with you the answer given by the Beis Halevi to this question.

Esav was suspicious that Yaakov might try to get the brachos from Yitzchak, so he proposed a plan to his father. When he was going to come and get the brachos, he would speak in Yaakov’s voice. He knew that Yaakov was able to imitate his voice (see the Ramban perek 27, pasuk 12) and that if Yaakov would try to get the brachos, he would probably use Esav’s voice. Therefore, Esav thought he was one step ahead of Yaakov by telling Yitzchak that he would use Yaakov’s voice (like in a game of rock paper scissors you always try to think about what the other person thinks you are going to put out and then change your choice). Now, everything falls into place. When Yitzchak heard the voice and then felt the hairy hands, he wasn’t left wondering who it was. It was obvious to him that this was Esav, because he had both of the necessary signs. That is why he then continued to give Yaakov the brachos without asking any questions. Amazing!!!

We are just left with one question. If Yaakov was able to imitate his brother’s voice, why didn’t he? Wouldn’t that have been the best way to get the brachos? The Beis Halevi answers this by saying that Yaakov knew that Esav knew that he could copy his voice and that he was suspicious that something might be up. He therefore used his own voice because he was one step ahead of Esav. I would like to propose another answer. We know that Yaakov was recognized for his middah of emes – always looking to tell the truth. Even when he was getting the brachos that were rightfully his, he made sure to only bend the truth and not say an outright lie (אנכי עשו בכורך). I would like to say that Yaakov said that he would be willing to dress up in sheep’s wool to get the brachos, but that he wasn’t willing to use Esav’s voice to get it. That was too much for someone whose whole essence was emes. He even felt uncomfortable doing anything to trick his father into giving him the brachos. He tells his mother אולי ימושני אבי – maybe my father will feel me (27,12). Based on something that the Vilna Gaon writes, the word אולי means that maybe it will happen and that I hope it does happen. Why would Yaakov want Yitzchak to feel him? I would like to answer that Yaakov was such an ish emes that he felt bad tricking his father and that he wanted him to figure it out. However, Hashem arranged it so Yaakov would use his own voice; but that Esav would tell his father that the sign is that he will be using Yaakov’s voice. So by being so dedicated to only saying the emes, Yaakov ended up with the brachos.

Let’s learn from Yaakov Aveinu to always attach ourselves to the emes and to avoid sheker at all times. By doing so, we can rest assured that Hashem will make sure that things work out for us like they did for Yaakov. I hope everyone has a fabulous Shabbos.




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