Tuesday, Apr 16, 2024

Megillah 6: Edom’s Protection

On this daf, we find some teachings about Edom and the Jewish people.

Yaakov was born on the heel of Eisov. The Netziv explains the deeper meaning of this: “This teaches two things. Firstly, if we are in exile, we ask Hashem to give us the exile of Edom, which is preferable, as Rabbah bar bar Chanah asked Hashem, ‘If we don’t merit Your protection, please afford us the protection of the Edomites.’ It also means that when Yaakov does as is fitting and is on a high level, he will prevent Eisov from ascendancy and dominion, like one who holds his friend back by grasping his leg.”

The Ben Ish Chai offers his own special insights in this Gemara: “Although Rabbah bar bar Chanah begged Hashem, ‘If we don’t merit Your protection, please afford us the protection of the Edomites,’ we also find that the decrees of Edom were unbearable for the Jewish people.

“It seems that the Edomites were only unbearable for those who were not chachomim. As our sages revealed, when the voice is the voice of Yaakov, the hands of Eisov become ineffectual. The ignorant found Edom’s decrees unbearable, but for those who learned, their rule was manageable, since their decrees could generally be negotiated by the chachomim. Regular folk felt more threatened by the Edomites than other nations” (Ha’amek Dovor, Bereishis, 25:26; Ben Yehoyada).

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