Project Genesis




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Jewish Texts

How Could Jacob Steal the Blessings?

Question: What is the rational for the means justifying the ends with regard to Jacob stealing Esau’s blessing from their father Isaac. Why does the conspiracy between Jacob and Rebekah toward Isaac, and Esau, succeed?

Answer: Your question looks simple, but it is in reality quite complex, and could easily consume the pages of a large book. I’m not going to write that much but I’ll give you a few basics. G-d’s plan for the world was that Esau support Yaacov (Jacob) so that Yaacov could be free to study and undertake G-d’s priestly duties. To do this Esau and Yaacov would each receive the appropriate blessing. These are serious blessings through which necessary G-dly assistance would be received.Esau however was not going to adhere to his end of the bargain. Yaacov would not be able to survive over the long run without the assistance of Esau, UNLESS he had that Bracha (blessing). The fact of the matter is that Esau offered to sell the Bracha for a cheap price, because Esau did not see spiritual value, and Yaacov’s purchase makes the idea of theft merely philosophical discussion material. When Yaacov switched places with Esau it was to make sure Esau did not prevent him from receiving the Bracha he had already purchased.

In all of this G-d was orchestrating the sequence of events. Rivka (Rebecca) and Yaacov both had high prophetic abilities and understood Esau. Yitzchak (Isaac) was also a Navi (prophet) but was blinded by his son’s demeanor, as Esau’s greatest attribute was the honor in which he held his parents. In the world outside that honor however, he was a different person. Rivka and Yaacov knew this; Yitzchak did not, or would not accept it.

It was therefore a conspiracy of right over evil. Nevertheless, G-d runs the world on the basis of “Middah Knegged Middah,” more commonly known as, “what goes around comes around.” Since Yaacov committed this conspiracy, other conspiracies would be committed against him later on

And there you have an introduction,
Eliahu Levenson

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