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He Meant Well

Thursday, 12 November, 2015 - 11:22 am

Two kids, twins, with the same parents, living in the same city and going to the same schools. One grows up to be a community leader, establishes a large family and changes the trajectory of the world.  The other lives his life as a murderer and rapist*.

This is the story of Yitzchak and Rivka and their children Yaakov and Esau. Both grew up with righteous parents and shared goals to follow their parents and grandparents trajectory of enhancing the morals of the world.

Even as womb-mates, Yaakov and Esau fought due to their different views on how to accomplish this monumental task of changing the world. 

Yaakov wanted to engage in holiness, in Torah and Mitzvos. However, he knew that in order to do a mitzvah one needs physical items e.g. parchment and ink to put up a mezuzah. Yaakov happily engaged with the world on a need to use basis.

Esau, on the other hand, knew that to change the world you need to engage with it and get to know it well. then and only then can you maximize the use of it for holiness.

After they were born, Esau got stuck engaging with the world and he meant well however, it ended up changing him before he changed it. Yaakov, on the other hand, was a shepherd and was not able to change the world too much.

This week’s Torah portion begins: These are the children of Yitzchak. As Yaakov and Esau are both descendants of Yitzchak, we need to implement both styles: engage the world deeply like Esau and make the world a better place while imitating Jacob and using the Torah and its values as our foundation and platform for doing so.

Find something physical and elevate it by using it for a mitzvah.

Please reply letting me know the mitzvah you did this week,

Have a good Shabbos.

Rabbi Kushi Schusterman 
*This narrative is a play on the synopsis of the book The Other Wes Moore.

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