Thursday, 7 July, 2022 - 11:24 am

“Whenever Rivkah passed the yeshivah of Shem and Eiver, Yaakov wanted to jump out of her womb; and when she passed a place of idol worship, Eisav wanted to jump out” - Rashi

Comparatively speaking, we are taught in Masechet Niddah that when a child is in his mother’s womb a malach (angel) teaches them the entire Torah. Accordingly, it appears that Yaakov wanted to leave his angelic study partner in favor of the yeshivah of Shem and Eiver.
As such, we must therefore ask, why would anyone, especially Yaakov, give up the opportunity to learn with a Malach to attend the earthly yeshiva of Shem and Eiver?

While I certainly understand why Yaakov would want to attend TDS but at what cost? Giving up his chance to learn from a Malach? There's not much else that can top that kind of learning experience!

The famed chasidic master, R’ Bunim of Peshischa answered this riddle with the advice, presumably, every parent gives their children before they leave to yeshiva: “make sure you get a good Chavrusa! (a study partner)”. Every yeshiva Boy knows that one of the most important aspects for success in the yeshiva experience is making sure to have a good chavrusa. In our case,Yaakov, despite being in utero, clearly understood this social dynamic as well. 

As Yaakov was learning the “yeshivah” in utero alongside his twin brother, circumstantially, his “chavrusa” would, unfortunately, be Eisav, not a very good option. 

Being profoundly concerned about the impact of his company Yaakov was, therefore, willing to give up his angelic tutor to attend a yeshivah where he could be certain to be in company of other Yaakov’s, as he made the final preparations for his shlichus in life as the father of Bnei Yisroel.

Shabbat Shalom!

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