Leilu Nishmas Reb Eliyahu Tzion ben Reb Chananya Niasoff ז״ל
And in the merit of our partner in Torah, Yigal Yisroel ben Sofia, שיחי׳
Rashi says that trying to impress and deceive his father Isaac, Esau would ask his father: “How does one tithe the salt and the straw?” Yet this seems strange. For this question implies not extra piety, but absolute ignorance! For it is a clear law that these items are exempt of all tithing obligations. The class goes on to explore this Rashi on two levels—the literal and the mystical. In the first we discover the intelligence and depth of Eisav’s question, considering the unique properties of salt and straw. Then we go on to explain this question from a deeper perspective, analyzing the majesty and tragedy of Eisav, whose struggles were unique and who attracted the deep love and empathy of his father. The prophet says that G-d loathes Eisav. But the Kabbalists show us how easy it is to miss the real message of the verse. The class aims at liberating us from the erroneous notion that struggling with evil is evil. It is the other way around: Our struggle with evil is where our unique spiritual potential and greatness lay.