This week’s parsha contains the interactions between Yitzchak’s (Isaac’s) twin sons Yaakov and Eisav (Jacob and Esau). The most famous of these is the usurpation of Yitzchak’s blessing, where, dressed in animal skins, Yaakov pretends to be his brother to receive his father’s greatest blessing. It is clear that this, much more than the birthright (Bereishit / Genesis 25:31-34) Eisav sells to Yaakov, is the prize worth fighting for. The words that came out of Yitzchak’s mouth blessing his son clearly were seen as having a tremendous amount of power – many viewed this type of blessing as being a prophecy with the full force that a prophetic utterance carries. Ibn Ezra, in analyzing the various aspects of both of the blessings Yitzchak gives to his sons, concludes that this is not a prophecy; rather, it is a prayer (commentary to 27:40). For those of us living today, not necessarily believing in prophets, the idea that a parent’s deepest wishes expressed directly to their children are ‘merely’ a prayer is no less attractive. If we lived in a society in which only the eldest was deserving of such an outpouring of love and support, I have no doubt that there would be entire industries built up around creative ways to emulate our forefather Yaakov and be the sole recipient of our parent’s hopes for our future.
Or blessing; we all need
Our parent’s love