Friday, November 20, 2009

Sad Lamed: Be-reyshit/Genesis 27:30 Parashat Tol'dot


וַיְהִי, כַּאֲשֶׁר כִּלָּה יִצְחָק לְבָרֵךְ אֶת-יַעֲקֹב, וַיְהִי אַךְ יָצֹא יָצָא יַעֲקֹב, מֵאֵת פְּנֵי יִצְחָק אָבִיו; וְעֵשָׂו אָחִיו, בָּא מִצֵּידוֹ.

And it happened that as soon as Yitz'chaq had finished blessing Ya'aqov, and Ya'aqov had barely left the presence of Yitz'chaq his father, that Esav his brother returned from his hunting.

Vayehi ka'asher kilah Yitzchaq l'vareykh et-Ya'aqov vayehi akh yatzo yatza Ya'aqov mey'eyt p'ney Yitzchaq aviv v'Eysav achiv ba mitzeydo

In most types of Torah Ketav or script, the letter Lamed has what is called a Tag or a Keter, a single crownlet. Normally - in fact in all cases - the Tagin point upwards. Very rarely some scribes will, in the word that says Yitzchaq "was finished" - כִּלָּה kilah - blessing Ya'aqov, the Tag of that Lamed is written by the Sofrim/scribes pointing downward and curled (Sefer HaTagin, Torah Sh'lemah).

This is the only instance in our tradition where this is done - and it's hardly ever done at all anymore, even though it's a standard agreed-upon feature.

From this we learn that this particular brakhah/blessing was transmitted through Yitz'chaq to Ya'aqov from The One Above and did not simply come from Yitz'chaq to Ya'aqov. Therefore, it was no mistake that the younger brother, Ya'aqov, was raised above the elder brother, Esav, and the deception which the Prophetess Our Mother Rivqah engaged her favourite son in was Divinely inspired.

Now we can all stop feeling guilty!

Copyright © A. Barclay.

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