I dedicate this parsha post as a zechus for a refuah sheleima for Devora Rudya bas Fraida Gila.


The following is a Chiddush of my own, that I discovered last Erev Shabbos.


We all know the famous tale of Yaakov and Eisav, Jacob and Esau.  After twenty years of barrenness, Rivkah at last gave birth– to twins!  The elder was born, an unusual little one, developed with hair, and his parents called him Eisav.  The younger emerged grasping his brother’s heel; they named him Yaakov.  The boys grew up much alike, and only when they neared spiritual adulthood, did their dominant inclinations lead them down their split respective paths for life.  Eisav was wild and pursued his passions, and honed his skills as a hunter.  His base deeds and activities, mirroring those of his uncle Yishmael, were what his life revolved around, and he was drawn to the temples of idol worship.  Yaakov, at the other end of the spectrum, grew into a master of Torah, yet was a student of it his whole life.  He was a tzaddik, and destined to become the progenitor and pillar of the Jewish People.

It so happened that one day, Eisav returned home from a bloody hunt, famished and fatigued, when he observed Yaakov tending to a pot of lentil stew.  (Why was this on the menu for the day?  It was in fact the day Avraham, the patriarch, passed on from this world, in hoary age and contentment.  Yaakov was preparing lentils, a customary dish of mourners, for his father Yitzchak.)  Exhausted beyond capacity to even serve himself, he addressed Yaakov “Haliteini na min ha’adom ha’adom – Give me, please, a swallow of this red stuff.”  Yaakov wondered silently in distress if this coarse, gluttonous man would really be the one entrusted with the birthright, merit to serve G-d with holy service such as the sacrifices, and blessed with an exclusive blessing.  He realized this could not be so; Eisav was not worthy of such a privilege and responsibility to G-d!  Eisav further proved his younger brother’s unspoken point when he acquiesced to his proposal, of selling the birthright to the latter in exchange for the lentil stew, initially cooked for their father.  “Eisav thus scorned the birthright.” {Bereishis 25:34}

Transmittal of the birthright was of tremendous value, and indeed something taken very seriously at the time.  Yitzchak, unaware of his elder son’s unworthiness, was prepared to bestow upon him the coveted prerogative.  How, then, was Yaakov to come and claim what was now legally his, without his father’s knowledge?  This is where Rivkah entered the scene.  She, through a prophecy foretold to her through Ruach haKodesh when she carried her children in her womb, knew Eisav’s genuine character.  She created a plan to ensure that it would indeed be the righteous Yaakov who’d receive the eternal blessing that was paired with the birthright.  She dressed the smooth-skinned Yaakov in rough goat skins to mimic Eisav’s hairiness.  She prepared the delicacy that Eisav had been commissioned to make to bring in to his father, ‘so that his soul would bless him’ in a content and pleased state.  Yaakov entered into his father’s tent under two shadows allowing his concealment:  Eisav was out hunting for game to cook for his father, and therefore knew nothing of the scheme; and secondly, Yitzchak’s blindness inhibited him from recognizing just what son he was blessing.  It was all part of the Divine Plan that Yaakov receive these brachos.

When Yaakov’s intimate time with his father concluded, just as he slipped out of the tent, Eisav entered through the opposite door.  Had the elder spotted the younger imposing as himself, he would’ve surely slain in him in his fury; Yaakov’s life was spared by a hairsbreadth.  The real Eisav told his father to sit, served him the dish he cooked, and demanded his bracha.  Yitzchak was perturbed, and suddenly seized by violent trembling, as he realized what happened:  He had been deceived into giving Yaakov the blessing.  However, he declared that he remain blessed.  He relayed to Eisav the event that had occurred.   Eisav cried out with heartrending bitterness, and asked:

“‘Hachi kara sh’mo Ya’akov?  Vayakveini zeh pa’amim; et b’chorasi lakach v’hinei ata lakack birchasi.’  Vayomar ‘halo atzalta li b’racha?’ — ‘Is he not rightly called Yaakov?  He has deceived me twice; he took my birthright and now he has taken my blessing.’  He said, ‘Have you not saved a blessing for me?'”  {Bereishis 27:36}

I picked up on something interesting here…  The words “b’chorasi – my birthright” and “birchasi – my blessing” share the same root letters:  Beis/ב, Chaf/כ, and Reish/ר  (bechor/בכר – birthright; barech/ברכ – bless).  Therefore, the roots have equivalent gematrios (numerical equivalents).  Perhaps this connection signifies to us, that the privilege of the birthright and the blessing, we’re both indeed unified and one.

Eisav was a man of lusts and material gratification.  His desirous traits allowed no room for patience and abstinence.  If it was something he couldn’t acquire to immediately subdue his passion, or if a benefit wasn’t measurable, sensual and tangible, then he was simply unable to find worth in it.  “Vayivez Eisav et hab’chora – (Thus) Eisav scorned the birthright.”  {Bereishis 25:34}  The principal value of the Bechora was spiritual; furthermore, the majority of the honors it merited would be allotted at distant times ahead.  But Eisav’s gaze was not set towards the future, for he was a man of “the here and the now.”  Little did he know, in his lack of sensitivity, that when he casually sold the ‘worthless’ birthright status, he simultaneously forfeited his blessing.

On the other hand, a believing and trusting Jew is willing to wait.  Although clear and obvious blessing may at times be hidden from our limited human perception, we know that we are the Chosen Ones, as Hashem says of us in the Torah: “Yisrael (another name for Yaakov) is My firstborn.”  We’re loved and cherished by Hashem, forever and always.  The Jewish People are no strangers to suffering and Divine discipline, though…  Jewish history is rampant with pain, loss, persecution and tragedy.  Yet, by G-d’s grace, we are still here, still standing, still growing and passing on the heritage.  Look carefully once more at Yitzchak’s blessing, and you will note that he prophetically warned his son Yaakov, future father of the Klal Yisrael, that immense trials lay ahead.

“Or’reiycha arur, um’varacheiycha baruch – Those who curse you are cursed, and those who bless you are blessed.”  {Bereishis 27:29}

Rashi notes the order of the verse, and inquires why the negative, the curse, is mentioned prior to the positive of the blessing.  He explains that it is common for the wicked to lead tranquil lives in this world, but their end is met with only curse and pain.  Oppositely, a tzadik, a righteous person, is usually challenged with struggles and bitterness during his life, but ultimately rewarded with true and eternal blessing and peace.  In the wording of his blessing, Yitzchak hinted to Yaakov that his children, all righteous, would have to endure astonishing suffering.  But he also promised, and we must always hold fast to our belief, that there is indeed a bright light at the end of this dark tunnel.


Your children are waiting for You, Hashem, and our Geulah (Redemption).  We’re not giving up.  But we’re ready for the brighter days You’ve promised.  We’re Your firstborn child… and we’re ready to come home.