Vayishlach. Insignificant Verses - Really?
Are there meaningless verses in the Torah?
Our dramatic parsha ends with a long and arduous list of the genealogy of Esau and his clan. The family tree is written in painstaking detail over forty-three verses. It is difficult to fathom why the Torah expends such attention to Esau’s progeny.
The Talmud brings the story of the idolatrous and blasphemous king of Judah - Manasseh:
“who examined Biblical narratives to prove them worthless. Thus, he jeered, ‘had Moses nothing to write but, “And Lotan's sister was Timna” (Gen 36:22); “And Timna was a concubine to Eliphaz”(Gen 36:12)?’
The verses that Manasseh mocked are taken from that list of Esav’s genealogy in Chapter 36! But is he correct? What do these verses teach us? Are these verses worthless?