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How Much Do You Have

Thursday, 29 November, 2012 - 8:12 am

Rabbi's Brothers Message


Jacob just spent years of dedicated service for his swindling father-in-law.  Now he is headed home to Israel with his large family and many possessions.  Word reaches him of his brother Esau's approach and Jacob attempts appeasement with a large gift.  It doesn't seem to work so after praying for G-d's help Jacob approaches ready for battle.

The Showdown...

Surprise! Esau kisses and embraces Jacob.  Then they catch up with each other. 

Jacob: It's been a long couple of years working for Laban, but look G-d has blessed me with 4 wives, 12 children, plenty of cows and sheep.  Here take the gifts from me, I have all I need.

Esau: Indeed it is good to see you, however I have many things and I don't need your gifts.  Let me give you a hand on your journey.

Jacob: No thanks.  We have a lot of people, many children and we can't push them too quick.  You go ahead and we'll catch up with you (when Moshiach comes).

In our common speech we reveal our true inside.  Jacob and Esau in their conversation reveal their perspectives on life.  or.

Jacob "Yesh li Kol - I have all" because he sees ALL the items that he possesses speaking to a common purpose.  So he has All.

Esau says "Yesh Li Rav - I have many or much" because he sees everything speaking to a different purpose so he has many.  It is never complete.

In holiness everything speaks to a common goal.  The common denominator of all is revealing holiness and G-dliness in this world.  Whether it is work, diaper changing, wrapping Tefillin or praying on Yom Kippur, they are all about revealing the deeper purpose in creation.

In the realm of the unholy or the mundane everything is preoccupied with its own existence so everything is fragmented.  A diaper is a chore, and work is something you need to get through.  Tefillin can be a ritual to get through and Yom Kippur can be a real hungry day.

The lesson for us: If you feel that your life is fragmented, take a moment to see if the pieces of your life are in harmony with a common purpose.  Or perhaps more effort needs to be put into uncovering their true essence.


Rabbi Eliyahu Schusterman


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