The Chitite people who lived in Chevron helped Avraham buy Me’arat Hamachpela from Ephron the Chitite. The p’sukim (Bereishit 23:3-20) stress in several places the involvement of this group in all elements of the interaction between the two. We find the Nation of Chet in this week’s parasha as well. Yitzchak’s son Eisav married two Chitite women: Yehudit the daughter of Be’eiri the Chitite, and Bosmat the daughter of Eilon the Chitite (ibid. 26:34).
The Midrash (Bereishit Rabba 63:2) says on the Pasuk, “So said Hashem to the house of Yaakov, who redeemed Avraham” (Yeshaya 29:22) that Avraham was saved from the furnace into which he was thrown in the merit of Yaakov. What makes Yaakov so great?
Question #1: His own Lulav?
“Am I required to purchase for my son his own lulav?”
Question #2: Three-year old Tzitzis?
“At what age should my son start wearing tzitzis?”
Question #3: Minor Kohanim
“I know that one must be very careful that a kohen, even an infant, does not become contaminated with the tumah of a meis. Yet I rarely see a child under bar mitzvah duchen. Is this consistent?”
Question #4: Kiruv Kohanim
“We are in the process of being mekarev a fellow who is a kohen. He enjoys joining us for our family outings, and we love to visit museums. Could this present potential halachic issues?”
As the two brothers, Yaakov and Eisav, were born and developed, Israel’s constant tension vis a vis Eisav’s descendants was set for generations. The struggle began with the prophecy before their birth that “one nation will overcome the other nation” (Bereishit 25:23).Let’s look at Hashem’s part in all of this. Rivka was barren and needed a miracle to conceive. Why did the miracle include a twin brother, who anyway is not part of the Chosen Nation?
The Talmud begins with a discussion of night (regarding Kri’at Shema). Creation started at night (Bereishit 1:5). Night precedes day. There are two philosophies in this matter: the Jewish and the non-Jewish. Whatever includes more complexity requires more preparatory time. Whoever is preparing for a more important position must work longer for it. We find, in terms of different periods, that the world we live in is like the night (Pesachim 2b), in which we prepare for the world to come, which is like the day. “It is for us to do [the mitzvot] today and receive their reward tomorrow (in the next world)” (Eiruvin 22a).