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Daily Aliya for Toldot, Chamishi (5th Aliya)

Aliya Summary: Isaac agreed to Avimelech’s request. On that day, Isaac’s servants informed him that they had successfully dug another well. At the age of forty, Esav married two wives. Their idolatrous ways anguished Isaac and Rivka. Isaac had now advanced in age, and he became blind. He summoned Esav and told him that he wished to bless him, but first he should go to the field and hunt some game for him to eat. Rivka heard this conversation and advised Jacob to don Esav’s clothing and trick Isaac into blessing him instead. Rivka prepared meat and gave it to Jacob to bring to his father. She also took hairy goatskin and put it on Jacob’s smooth arms and neck. Jacob approached his father and presented himself as Esav, and Isaac ate from the repast Rivka had prepared.

Rivka took upon herself the potential curse if the deception were to be discovered. Targum Onkeles adds a very significant phrase to his translation, adding “to me was told as prophecy…” This way of looking at the episode is that Rivka was, in essence, commanded by G-d to arrange that the blessings go to Yaakov, and in specifically this way. Why is this way of attaining the blessings so important? It might be because wanting something often means going out and getting it, and psychologically helps us appreciate it more.