Yitzchak’s Delicacies

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Dear Rabbi Simon,
In Parshas Toldos we learn that Yitzchak wants to bless Eisav, and so tells him, “And make for me some tasty food,כאשר אהבתי, like I love.”
On a superficial level it would appear that Yitzchak craves the physical pleasure of eating. How can this be for a Tzadik like Yitzchak?

Dear Tzi,
Thank you for your question, posed by the classic commentaries as well. Rabbenu Bechaye (14th c.) says that in order to invoke the divine spirit a prophet must be in a state of quietude and joy. See Shabbat 30b from 2 Kings 3:15. Yitzchak asked for delicacies rather than music (as in the case of Elisha in the book of Kings) because he intended to confer upon Esav blessings of food: grain, wine, etc.
Radak (13th c.) has a different explanation: In elderly people the sense of taste in compromised, so that they do not have a strong appetite. Therefore, Yitzchak asked for game, an uncommon and novel delicacy which would bring him joy in order to bestow the blessing.
Others say that Yitzchak’s intention in asking for a hard-to-find delicacy was simply to compound Esav’s merit, as kibud av was a mitzvah in which he excelled. This would make him worthy of the blessing which Yitzchak sought to bestow.
Best wishes
Rabbi Rashi Simon

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Ask the Rabbi: Quinoa on Pesach
Dear Rabbi Simon,
Where do you stand on quinoa (and the kitniyot ban) for Pesach?
Many thanks,
Dear Tzippy,
In line with other American authorities, I am in favour of quinoa. Although I reject completely the voices (mostly from Israel) seeking to abolish the ban on kitniyot entirely, IMO we do not need to include in the prohibition pseudo-grains that were unknown in the Old World until modern times. Best to buy with a Pesach hechsher though, to be free of any possible wheat contamination.
Rabbi Rashi Simon
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