In Part I, we learned that the Torah treats the Land of Israel as a “Morasha” – a Heritage handed down from the previous generation. The Land must be possessed and preserved by the current generation to be handed down to the next generation for eternity.
The idea to “give away parts of the Land of Israel” to create a Palestinian Arab State in exchange for “Peace” is against Torah law in our present circumstances.
We suggested that the Torah-observant community was happy about the deal because there were enough “poison pills” in it to ensure terms would never be accepted by the Palestinian side. But at the same time, the deal would allow us to annex the Jordan Valley and Jewish Settlements into the State of Israel even if the Palestinians rejected the plan.
It looks like the Torah-observant community is willing to “pretend” to accept the idea of a Palestinian State in order to take control over the Jordan Valley and Jewish Settlements in Judea and Samaria. Isn’t that being dishonest?
IS THERE A PRECEDENT FOR THIS IN THE TORAH?
Many people are disturbed by the story in Genesis where Yaakov, on his mother’s instructions, pretends to be his brother Esav in order to “steal” Esav’s blessings. But did Yaakov really “steal” those blessings?
The blessings were the ones meant for the “firstborn” who would take over the “family business” which was to build a Nation on the Land promised to Abraham. That Nation would teach the world about the One True God. (being a light to the nations).
Esav was Isaac’s firstborn son, but he was a hedonist and materialist who had no room in his life for spirituality. Esav felt this physical life was all there is and that when you die, there is nothing after. He says this explicitly to his brother Jacob when he demands some of the “red stuff”…
Here is the story:
וַיֶּאֱהַ֥ב יִצְחָ֛ק אֶת־עֵשָׂ֖ו כִּי־צַ֣יִד בְּפִ֑יו וְרִבְקָ֖ה אֹהֶ֥בֶת אֶֽת־יַעֲקֹֽב׃
Isaac favored Esau because he had a taste for game; but Rebekah favored Jacob.
וַיָּ֥זֶד יַעֲקֹ֖ב נָזִ֑יד וַיָּבֹ֥א עֵשָׂ֛ו מִן־הַשָּׂדֶ֖ה וְה֥וּא עָיֵֽף׃
Once when Jacob was cooking a stew, Esau came in from the open, famished.
וַיֹּ֨אמֶר עֵשָׂ֜ו אֶֽל־יַעֲקֹ֗ב הַלְעִיטֵ֤נִי נָא֙ מִן־הָאָדֹ֤ם הָאָדֹם֙ הַזֶּ֔ה כִּ֥י עָיֵ֖ף אָנֹ֑כִי עַל־כֵּ֥ן קָרָֽא־שְׁמ֖וֹ אֱדֽוֹם׃
And Esau said to Jacob, “Give me some of that red stuff to gulp down, for I am famished”—which is why he was named Edom.
וַיֹּ֖אמֶר יַעֲקֹ֑ב מִכְרָ֥ה כַיּ֛וֹם אֶת־בְּכֹֽרָתְךָ֖ לִֽי׃
Jacob said, “First sell me your birthright.”
וַיֹּ֣אמֶר עֵשָׂ֔ו הִנֵּ֛ה אָנֹכִ֥י הוֹלֵ֖ךְ לָמ֑וּת וְלָמָּה־זֶּ֥ה לִ֖י בְּכֹרָֽה׃
And Esau said, “I am at the point of death, so of what use is my birthright to me?”
וַיֹּ֣אמֶר יַעֲקֹ֗ב הִשָּׁ֤בְעָה לִּי֙ כַּיּ֔וֹם וַיִּשָּׁבַ֖ע ל֑וֹ וַיִּמְכֹּ֥ר אֶת־בְּכֹרָת֖וֹ לְיַעֲקֹֽב׃
But Jacob said, “Swear to me first.” So he swore to him, and sold his birthright to Jacob.
וְיַעֲקֹ֞ב נָתַ֣ן לְעֵשָׂ֗ו לֶ֚חֶם וּנְזִ֣יד עֲדָשִׁ֔ים וַיֹּ֣אכַל וַיֵּ֔שְׁתְּ וַיָּ֖קָם וַיֵּלַ֑ךְ וַיִּ֥בֶז עֵשָׂ֖ו אֶת־הַבְּכֹרָֽה׃ (ס)
Jacob then gave Esau bread and lentil stew; he ate and drank, and he rose and went away. Thus did Esau spurn the birthright.
WHEN ESAV SOLD AND SPURNED HIS FIRSTBORN BIRTHRIGHT –
THE FIRSTBORN BLESSINGS FOR THE LAND WENT WITH IT
The minute that the birthright was sold to Yaakav… the future firstborn blessings automatically belonged to Yaakov.
However, even though Esav wasn’t interested in the values of his grandfather Avraham and father Isaac, he was good at “pretending” to care about his father and his values. He thought he would be able to get the blessings without ever having to take responsibilty
Isaac was deceived into seeing the potential of Esav to get back on track and seriously take responsibility to be the King of the future Nation of Israel.
So Isaac gave Esav a “commandment” to honor his father by hunting some game and prepare a meal for Isaac. Isaac hoped that Esav would gain merit in performing this “mitzvah” for his father and choose to repent his evil ways.
Rebecca knew that Esav might be able to deceive Isaac into thinking he had changed. Then Isaac would give Esav the blessings over the Land which would be a disaster.
So she convinced Yaakov to “pretend” to be the firstborn son Esav and manipulate the situation so that Yaakov would receive the firstborn blessing that was already his!
ESAV IS “OUTSMARTED”
When Esav discovers that Yaakov has received the “firstborn” blessings for the Land he is angry that his plan to “have his cake and eat it too” has been foiled. He knows he has been outsmarted by his brother.
Esav doesn’t demand Yaakov’s blessings back because they were “stolen.” Esav knows they didn’t really belong to him after the sale of his birthright. Instead Esav asks his father for another blessing.
וַיֹּ֡אמֶר הֲכִי֩ קָרָ֨א שְׁמ֜וֹ יַעֲקֹ֗ב וַֽיַּעְקְבֵ֙נִי֙ זֶ֣ה פַעֲמַ֔יִם אֶת־בְּכֹרָתִ֣י לָקָ֔ח וְהִנֵּ֥ה עַתָּ֖ה לָקַ֣ח בִּרְכָתִ֑י וַיֹּאמַ֕ר הֲלֹא־אָצַ֥לְתָּ לִּ֖י בְּרָכָֽה׃
[Esau] said, “Was he, then, named Jacob that he might supplant me these two times? First he took away my birthright and now he has taken away my blessing!” And he added, “Have you not reserved a blessing for me?”
This translation says “supplant”. A better translation of “Yaakveni” means “outsmarted me” . Esav says “He outsmarted me twice.”
Esav has been beaten as his own game.
HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF
Today the Palestinians are claiming the whole Land is their birthright. They claim to represent the rightful firstborn of Abraham.
But we know that the Torah teaches us that the birthright is handed down from Abraham to Isaac and to Jacob/Israel.
How do we in Israel today take possession of the Land which is already ours? By beating our enemies at their own game…
But don’t the Palestinian Arabs claim to be descendants of Yishmael, and not Esav?
…TO BE CONTINUED IN PART III.
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