Yitzchok Was An Elder

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Zaw Qayn Yitzchok ©

Elder Yitzchok Was An Elder • Yitzchok Was An Old Man • Yitzchok Was A Grand Father

By Dr. Akiva Gamliel Belk

Our Devri Torah is in the loving Memory of Mr. Donald Wayne Belk and Mr. Gary Lee Belk, may they rest in peace.

Parshat Toldot

Bereisheit [Genesis] 25.19 - 28.9

In Perek Kuf Zayin {Chapter 27}Passuk Aleph {Verse one}  notice words three and four,  qj;x]yI ˆqez... {Zaw Qayn Yitzchok} meaning Isaac was an Elder, Yitzchok was an old man and Yitzchok was a grandfather through Eisov.

Yitzchok was a grandfather through Eisov. {Yaakov had no children at this time}.  Ha Torah Records that Eisov had a son, Eliphaz, through Adah {aka Bosmat}.  Bosmat burned incense to idols.  Rabbi Avrohom Davis / Rabbi Avrohom Kleinkaufman, The Metsudah Chumash / Rashi (Hoboken, NJ: KTAV Publishing House, Inc. 1993) p404 He had three sons through Yehudit, Yeush, Yalom and Korach.  Later Eisov married Bosmat, the daughter of Yishmael.   Bosmat bore Eisov a son, Reueil.  From a historical perspective the marriage to Bosmat, daughter of Yishmael had not take place yet.

The fifth word in Passuk Aleph is ˆ'yh,k]Tiwæ {Vah Tee Chih Heh Naw}  meaning [Yitzchok's] eyesight had faded.   Our sages question, why had Yitzchok's eyesight faded? They give three comments.

-  He gazed upon the likeness of the wicked Eisov...

-  He ate his catches [trappings], and it is written, 'For bribery blinds the clear-sighted.'

-  [Adah and Yehudit] were a source of spiritual provocation to Yitzchok and Rivkah, Bereisheit 26.34-35. The very next verse [27.1] states,  'His Eyesight dimmed.' because of the aggravation Eisov caused him. [What was the aggravation?] The Divine Presence always rested in the house of Yitzchok.  But when Eisov married these two Canaanite women, they would burn incense offerings to the p51 idol gods.  And this caused the Divine Spirit to depart from Yitzchok. Avrohom Davis, Metsudah Midrash Tanchuma Bereishis 1 (Monsey, NY Eastern Book Press Inc. 2005) pp51,52

As noted above these two evil women bore four sons to Eisov.  Our sages Teach that when Yaakov fled from his brother Eisov that Eisov sent his son Elifaz to kill Yaakov, his uncle.  Elifaz overtook Yaakov.  Owing, however, ti the influence of the teachings of Isaac, which he had imbibed, he forbore to do this, as a compromise, in order not to disobey his father wholly, he deprived Jacob of all his possessions. Rabbi Dr. H. Freedman, Midrash Rabba Deuteronomy (New York, NY: The Soncino Press 1983) - p 47 

Yitzchok was an old man.  He was 122 / 123 years of age.  I discussed this a few years back {5760} in a Devri Torah entitled, 'Walking In Yitzchok's Revelation'.  There I stated, Eisov was at the age of 62 when Yitzchok called him saying, 'My son...Behold, if you please, I am old. I do not know the day of my death. Now {therefore} please take your sword and your bow. Go out to the field and trap a tasty dish for me, the way I like it, and bring it to me that I may eat, so that my soul will bless you before I die.'

What brought this on? Yitzchok was 122. He would live for another fifty-eight years. He was now approaching the age {127} when his mother Sarah died. R. Yehoshua B. Korcho said, 'When a person nears the age {of the death} of his parents he should be concerned five years before and five afterwards.' Rabbi Yisrael Isser Zvi Herczeg, The Sapirstein Edition Rashi Bereisheit / Genesis {Brooklyn, New York: Mesorah Publications, Ltd. First Edition 10th impression 2007}, p 291

Yitzchok was an Elder. The Words  qj;x]yI ˆqez... {Zaw Qayn Yitzchok} meaning Isaac was an Elder take on special meaning. The Gematria of qj;x]yI ˆqez... is 365.  

365 = q100 j8 x90 y10  ˆ50 q100 z

Why is the number 365 significant?

Yitzchok was an Elder equals 365 Gematria.

There are 365 prohibitive Mitzvot of Ha Torah.

There are 365 day in a solar year. 

Certainly one is cautioned daily not to transgress the Mitzvot of Ha Torah.  In addition to this we learn Ha Torah makes a distinction between Yitzchok and Eisov. Ha Torah Describes Yitzchok as a well seasoned Elder with the words, qj;x]yI ˆqez....  In this same Perek of Ha Torah, {Bereisheit 27.41 - first word}  Describes Eisov as µfoc]yiwæ {Vah Yees Tohm} meaning an he [Eisov] hates [Yaakov his twin brother].  The Gematria of  µfoc]yiwæ is 365.

365 = µ40 f9 c300 y10 w6

We observe that Eisov was Yitzchok's beginning.  The first one to come out of the womb was Eisov... And after that his brother [Yaakov]... Bereisheit 25.25,26.  So we can say Yaakov was ynivehæ {Hah Shay Nee}meaning the second [son to be born].  The Gematria of ynivehæ is 365.

365 = y10 n50v300h5

Eisov was the first part of Yitzchok's life.  Eisov had two wives at that time and four sons.  Later Eisov had three wives and five sons.  Later on in Yitzchok's life was Yaakov. Yaakov was the second part of Yitzchok's life.  Yaakov had four wives and twelve sons.  Later Yaakov took Yoseif's sons Ephraim and Menasheh to be his, Bereisheit 48.5.  They each receive a portion with Yaakov's other sons.  This mean Yoseif received a double portion.

Iyov states in Ha Tenach, Though your beginning was insignificant, your end will flourish greatly, Iyov 8.7.  Midrash Tanchuma says, This refers to Moshe.  Avrohom Davis, Metsudah Midrash Tanchuma Bereishis 1 (Monsey, NY Eastern Book Press Inc. 2005) p27  Later the Midrash says, Thus, the verse, 'though your beginning was insignificant.' refers to Avrohom. 'Your end will flourish greatly,' refers to the fact that he remarried and had many children in his later years... ibid p29

The argument can be made that the Passuk in Iyov refers to Yitzchok also. 'Though your beginning was insignificant' is representative of  Eisov who had three wives and five sons.  And 'your end will flourish greatly,' refers to Yaakov who had four wives and fourteen sons.  One could also argue that Eisov studied Ha Torah barely until the age of fifteen but Yaakov studied Ha Torah all his life.  Eisov did not teach Ha Torah to his children.  Yaakov taught Ha Torah to his children.

So Yitzchok was an Elder.   Being a Zaw Qayn, an Elder does not mean one has does not have issues with their children.  Look at Yitzchok.  One is deeply affected by their children and grandchildren.  Yitzchok rose above his disappointment in Eisov.  Yitzchok rose above his disappointment of Eisov's idol worshiping wives.  Yitzchok rose above his naughty grandchildren.  Ha Torah Records this accomplishment by The Words  qj;x]yI ˆqez... {Zaw Qayn Yitzchok} meaning Isaac was an Elder.

May each of us rise above the turmoil surrounding us to reach the level of Yitzchok.

Blessings and peace,

Dr. Akiva Gamliel

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