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Torah Study Esau’s head

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Posted: Wednesday, December 31, 2014 10:00 am

Vayechi, Genesis 47:28-50:26

Adam and Eve, Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca, Jacob and Leah: These are the occupants of the Cave of Machpellah, right? While this is true, the Talmud (Sotah 13a) tells of an incident that occurs in this week’s parsha. When Jacob’s sons were taking him to be buried in the Cave of Machpellah, Esau stood at the entrance and claimed that the last remaining burial spot belonged to him. The sons argued that Esau had sold his firstborn rights to Jacob. Esau challenged them to produce the deed for the sale. Naphtali ran back to fetch the deed. At this time, Chushim, the deaf son of Dan, said, “Should my grandfather Jacob lie here in this way until Naphtali returns?” at which point Chushim killed Esau, whose head then rolled into the cave and came to rest at the foot of Jacob’s burial place (Pirkei d’Rabbi Eliezer).

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