Torah Portion
Written by YEHUDA KATZ   


"So Esau went to Ismael and took Mochalot,the daughter of Ismael son of Abraham,sister of Neboath, in addition to his wives, as a wife for himself." (28:9)

After Issac instructed his son Jacob not to marry a Cannanite woman, Esau then takes a wife from the house of Ismael. Esau realizes his father's displeasure with the Cannanite woman so he then marries from the house of Abraham. However, the verse clearly states that Esau does not divorce any of his Cannanite wives. This is very preculiar? This will perhapes help us understand Esau. We find a very interesting Talmud Yerushalmi (Nedarim 3:8), as follows: "Rabbi Acha says in the name of Rabbi Huna: In the future, the evil Esau will don his tallis and go sit among the righteous in Gan Edan, and G-d will drag him out of there."

(end of Quote)

According to Eastern European Jewry, its customary for a man to don a tallis only after marriage. Esau wanted to please his father so he marries Ismael's daughter,yet he doesn't devorce his Cannanite wives. This is very repulsive. Perhaps this will help us understand the Talmud Yerushalmi. Esau enters Gan Edan with his Tallis demonstrating that he had fullfilled his father's wishes by marrying a descendant of Abraham, yet G-d drags him out because at the same time he is still married to Cannanite woman.Esau wants it all, righteousness and material pleasure, but to G-d this is unacceptible.Esau is draged from Gan Edan because he is the person that Tractate Tanis 16a and what Rabbanu Yona in Sharei Tshuva 1:11 calls ,"A person immersing himself in a purifying ritual bath, while is still holding on to an unclean object." This is precisely Esau's dilemma a willingness to cleanse while still holding on to filth.Its an impossibilty to accomplish.We must realize that to do honest Tshuva (repentance), we must be willing to let go of the sin.. Otherwise its meanigless.

Have a good Shabbos


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