Story-ideas-1011172

The ultimate blessing

  • RabbiLandau
On the first night of Pesach in the Jewish year 2171, Yaakov Avinu, the studious, devoted servant of Hashem, followed his mother’s prophetic advice and tricked his father, Yitzchak, into giving him the blessings of the first born. His older brother Esav, the talented, brilliant trickster and murderer, was furious, and bent on revenge. Yaakov was forced to flee, while Esav resided in comfort.
by Rabbi Yonatan Landau, Ohr Somayach Savoy | Nov 08, 2018

Thirty-four years later, the two brothers met again. Esav had since acquired vast tracts of land; while Yaakov had lived as a stranger in a hostile environment. Esav had won glory as a successful hunter; Yaakov had spent freezing nights guarding his wicked uncle’s flocks. Esav had amassed an army with 400 generals; Yaakov had but 11 young sons. Esav enjoyed independence; Yaakov had been at the mercy of his cunning host. Esav pursued wealth and power; Yaakov toiled in Torah and composed Tehillim.

Yet, when they finally met and Yaakov sent a tribute to placate his vengeful brother, Esav could only say, “I have a lot.” Yaakov declared, “I have everything.”

Esav rejected the world-to-come in exchange for indulgence in this world, and still felt lacking. Yaakov dedicated his life to Hashem and, despite his suffering, felt that he had everything.

Esav lived in a meaningless space. Even when he basked in success, he felt inadequate. Yaakov lived in G-d’s world, and saw whatever Hashem allocated to him as perfect.

We Jews are heirs to Yaakov Avinu, and yet, somehow, we are not always cognisant of our legacy. We live in a world of stress and troubles; a world that does not always view us favourably. However, Yaakov teaches us that through Torah one can achieve meaning, fulfilment, and happiness.

Hashem should bless us all with this!

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