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Beit Midrash Torah Portion and Tanach Toldot

Parashat Toldot

Eisav and Shalom

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Ba’al haTurim comments that the gematriya (numerical equivalent of the letters) of the name Esav equals the gematriya of the word shalom (peace).

While Ba’al haTurim’s comment is certainly true (both Esav and shalom equal 376), the obvious question is what Ba’al haTurim wants to teach us. After all, one hardly considers Esav to be a paragon of peace.

My father explained Ba’al haTurim’s comment. To say that Ya’akov stands for peace is true and perhaps even self-evident. However, ultimately it is irrelevant. Peace depends on the aggressor’s willingness to accept it. Until or unless Esav is ready for peace, Ya’akov alone cannot achieve peace. This is the significance of "Esav b’gematriya shalom".

It is clear and obvious that in Eretz Yisrael we are Ya’akov and the Arabs are Esav.

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