Jewish identity, Thanksgiving and Jewish unity - Special Sections

Jewish identity, Thanksgiving and Jewish unity

Jon Erlbaum | Special to the Jewish News | Posted: Wednesday, November 8, 2017 9:45 am

Secular discussion of the material world has many different spins that parallel the battle for the birthright between Jacob and Esau. Our forefather Jacob models for humankind the discipline of seeking beneath the surface. Esau, on the other hand, demonstrates the desire to focus on the surface itself.

The instant gratification-seeking Esau begins to expose his superficial world view when he sells his birthright for a bowl of lentils, barely giving it a second thought. After returning from the hunt, Esau is consumed by his desire for food to the point where he tells his brother Jacob, “Pour into me, now, some of that red red.” “Red red” what? What happened to the noun “lentil?” As Rabbi Yaakov Asher Sinclair explains, by describing the object of his desire through fixation on its color Esau is beginning to reveal his true “colors.”

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