Rabbi Dunner looks at the vexing story of Isaac’s blessings in Parshat Toldot.
Intended for Esau it was Jacob who ended up getting them, through subterfuge and trickery. Esau was understandably devastated, and Isaac was mortified.
There is so much that is baffling about this story that it almost goes beyond any attempt to understand it. Why did Isaac not see through Esau? Or if he did, why would he think to bless him? In any event, what was so important about these blessings that had Rebecca and Jacob plotting to get them before Esau did? And if Jacob was the correct recipient, why didn’t Rebecca just have a showdown with Isaac and make sure that he gave them to Jacob, not Esau? Why the dramatic charade? Finally, if the blessings were given (and received) through trickery, how come they worked?
With the help of some fascinating commentaries, Rabbi Dunner shows how the backdrop to this story is so incredibly important, and how the subterfuge was a crucial component for the outcome of this monumental moment in the history of the Jewish nation.