This Sidra recounts the story of our forefather Yitzchak.  Hashem

recognizes his ability to carry on in Avraham's footsteps and says to

him. "Fear not, for I am with thee and will bless thee, and multiply

thy seed for My servant Avraham's sake."   When Yitzchak turns sixty

his wife Rivka gives birth to twin sons, Yakov and Eisav.  The boys

are different from one another, Eisav the elder twin, turns out to be

a hunter a purser of prey, a materialist, caring not one iota for

spiritual matters.  On the other hand, Yakov the younger of the twins

is quiet, studious, peace-loving, and worthy of carrying the spiritual

torch lit by Avraham and now held by his father Yitzchak.  Yet,

somehow Yitzchak has been taken in by Eisav and favors him over Yakov.

Yitzchak in his old age sends Eisav to hunt game and bring him food so he may bless him.  Rivka is determined that Yakov her favorite shall receive the blessing of Avraham and commands Yakov to follow her instructions.  She cooks for Yitzchak and dresses Yakov in Eisav's garments so that he should smell and feel like Eisav.  Thus

masqueraded, Yakov goes to see his father.  Yitzchak hesitates but

finally blesses Yakov with the bracha of Avraham giving him the

blessing of greatness.  Eisav returns from the field to discover the

deception and is enraged at Yakov, and begs his father to bless him as well, which he does.  Yakov fears for his life and with his father

and mother, permission leaves for Syria.  Just before he leaves

Yitzchak blesses him "May Hashem bless thee, and make thee fruitful

and multiply thee, that thou mayest be a congregation of peoples; and give thee the blessing of Avraham to thee, and to thy seed with thee; that thou mayest inherit the land of thy sojourning which Hashem has promised to give unto Avraham your grandfather."

We are taught that "The deeds of the fathers are omens for the

children,"  so say the rabbis in regard to Avraham, Yitzchak and

Yakov.  The Patriarchs, in terms of the individual, lived the history

and fate of Israel.  The failures and triumphs, the struggles and

satisfactions, all parallel often with remarkable clarity, the

experience of the Jewish people.  The struggle between Yakov and

Eisav, twins born in today's Sidra, is regarded as a portent of

relations between descendants.  Yakov need not apologize.  He need not insist on his brotherhood with Eisav, while Eisav graciously nods in agreement.  He need not come with a hat in hand to Eisav's cultures and beg for enlightenment.  Yakov and his descendants are to be a light unto the world rather than a mirror unto the nations.


The primary purpose of our Torah is to be a guide for the living, by

means of commandments, narratives, stories, and mitzvot.  In this way, we establish the purpose of our lives here on Earth to have man live with a man in peace and mutual respect.



Shabbat Shalom 
Rabbi Gabe Elias 



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