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If Israel has it, then I Demand it
Manhigut Yehudit--The Jewish Leadership Movement ^ | 11/24/'11 | Moshe Feiglin

Posted on 11/24/2011 7:49:19 AM PST by Zionist Conspirator

"And Jacob gave Esau bread and lentil soup and he ate and he drank and he rose and he went and Esau despised the birthright." (From this week's Torah portion, Toldot, Genesis 25:34)

Esau is a practical guy. Modern. He isn't interested in "birthrights," titles and mysticism. He builds the world with his own two hands. Jacob's soup smells good and if his primitive dreamer of a brother wants some intangible entity in exchange for the red stew, he is more than happy to sell it to him. After all, everybody dies in the end anyway, so what good is a birthright?

"When Esau heard the words of his father, and he shouted a great and exceedingly bitter cry and he said to his father, "Bless me as well, my father." (ibid:27:34)

Just a minute. Is this the same Esau who scorned the birthright? And even if now he has changed his mind and wants the blessing of the firstborn, he already sold it to Jacob. So what can he possibly claim? And why the change from one extreme to the other – from scorning the birthright to crying and shouting when he loses it?

To understand the mentality of the nations of the world regarding Israel, it is a good idea to join one of the groups that ascends the Temple Mount in purity. Although Ishmael prevails on the Mount, Esau also has his hands in the pot, albeit in a more subtle manner. As long as the Temple Mount was not in the hands of the Jews and abandoned, it interested no one. Even today, Arab children still play soccer on the Mount. And when the Arabs gather to pray, they face Mecca, with their hindquarters facing the site of the Holy Temple on the Temple Mount. Just one thing is important to them: that the Jews should not pray there. In other words, as long as the birthright and blessing is in their hands, it is meaningless to them. But from the moment that Israel has the birthright, it becomes very desirable and its loss evokes an exceedingly bitter cry.

Shabbat Shalom,

Moshe Feiglin


TOPICS: Apologetics; Current Events; Judaism; Religion & Politics
KEYWORDS: esau; ishmael; parashah; templemount
Excellent column by Moshe Feiglin connecting contemporary politics with parashat hashavu`a.
1 posted on 11/24/2011 7:49:21 AM PST by Zionist Conspirator
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To: Alouette; hlmencken3; rmlew; Nachum; dervish; Yehuda; Ancesthntr; TorahTrueJew; Yomin Postelnik; ...

Ping.


2 posted on 11/24/2011 7:50:32 AM PST by Zionist Conspirator (Ki-hagoy vehamamlakhah 'asher lo'-ya`avdukh yove'du; vehagoyim charov yecheravu.)
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To: Zionist Conspirator

Bump. Good article. Happy Thanksgiving


3 posted on 11/24/2011 8:11:56 AM PST by Track9
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To: Zionist Conspirator

Isn’t that the truth? May the Lord bless and keep Israel.


4 posted on 11/24/2011 8:17:15 AM PST by Former Fetus (Saved by grace through faith)
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To: Zionist Conspirator

Remarkable insight.

One could even take it further, and remark that Mohammed could never have invented Islam if he has not had the Jewish Bible to draw upon and distort to his own purposes.

Even to going back and re-writing which sons received the inheritance.

That is why I have come to think of Islam not as an independent theistic religion, but fundamentally as a heresy, based on Judaism and Christianity, but distorting both and turning them upside down.


5 posted on 11/24/2011 8:24:20 AM PST by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: Zionist Conspirator

It wasn’t his to give an his father obviously never recognized the deal since on his death bed he thought he was giving his blessing to Esau.

It must have been enormously tempting for the sons of Jacob to rearrange the details of this story. The fact that they didn’t adds to the credibility of the books IMO.


6 posted on 11/24/2011 8:47:06 AM PST by DManA
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Beautifully written and completely logical.
7 posted on 11/24/2011 8:47:23 AM PST by pyx (Rule#1.The LEFT lies.Rule#2.See Rule#1. IF THE LEFT CONTROLS THE LANGUAGE, IT CONTROLS THE ARGUMENT.)
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To: Cicero

bump bookmark


8 posted on 11/24/2011 9:03:04 AM PST by ▀udda▀udd (7 days - 7 ways a Guero y Guay Lao << >> with a floating, shifting, ever changing)
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To: Zionist Conspirator

Great article - thanks for sharing. I’m sending it on to some who will appreciate it as well.


9 posted on 11/24/2011 9:53:22 AM PST by GOPPachyderm
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To: Cicero; All

Yours is a very important post; it captures the essence.

I’ve forced myself, distasteful as it was, to dredge through just enough to realize the same.


10 posted on 11/24/2011 10:17:28 AM PST by PieterCasparzen (We have to fix things ourselves.)
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To: All
I just want to thank everyone for his comments! (Yes, that's right; the correct possessive pronound for everyone is his!)

I once read a very interesting article on the selling of `Esav's birthright. Most people, reading the story in translation, assume that after `Esav agreed to give Jacob his birthright, then Jacob gave him the soup. But the author of this particular article pointed out that when the Torah's text transitions to the selling it doesn't use the vav hahippukh but the the regular perfect. This implies a non-chronological break in the narrative, meaning that it very well may have been that Jacob had already given `Esav the soup before the topic of the birthright even came up. I've always thought that was interesting. This means that while the translation makes Jacob sound like a nasty schemer who took advantage of his brother's hunger to get something from him, the original Hebrew implies that `Esav had already satisfied his appetite and simply sold his birthright because he was a thoroughly un-spiritual person who didn't appreciate it (and hence was unworthy of it).

11 posted on 11/24/2011 12:13:47 PM PST by Zionist Conspirator (Ki-hagoy vehamamlakhah 'asher lo'-ya`avdukh yove'du; vehagoyim charov yecheravu.)
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To: Zionist Conspirator

That’s the Arab way. They did the same in Gaza, destroyed the greenhouses.

Happy Thanksgiving.


12 posted on 11/24/2011 1:07:56 PM PST by dervish (female candidates: the last frontier)
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To: Zionist Conspirator
I think there's a very good probability that Esau had disdained his birthright before that incident. We shouldn't forget that they both were living in Jacob's home, so even though Esau was hungry from his hunting trip, there was no danger that he was going to starve - not in his own father's house. The fact that he was willing to give it up for a bowl of soup showed how little it meant to him.

That's a good example for the same mindset with the Arabs and Palestinians in Israel today. Under Israeli rule, there is order, free commerce, jobs, food, medicine, pretty much all they need and most would probably prefer living that way than being at war, terrified of terrorist acts - which kill just as many Muslims as Jews. The facts that their leaders have turned down so many generous - more than generous in my estimation - offers in exchange for peace only shows they really have no such desire for peace but only the elimination of Israel, driving them into the sea. I remember Israel in my prayers regularly.

13 posted on 11/24/2011 11:14:07 PM PST by boatbums ( Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us. Titus 3:5)
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To: Zionist Conspirator

I’m not trying to make any kind of point but I’m curious. Why do you think it was so crucially important in Jacob and Esau’s generation who got the blessing but didn’t matter a bit in the next? The descendents of all 12 of Jacob’s sons were in God’s covenant but for some reason Esau’s were cut out.


14 posted on 11/25/2011 6:06:07 AM PST by DManA
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To: DManA
I’m not trying to make any kind of point but I’m curious. Why do you think it was so crucially important in Jacob and Esau’s generation who got the blessing but didn’t matter a bit in the next? The descendents of all 12 of Jacob’s sons were in God’s covenant but for some reason Esau’s were cut out.

Yishma`'el and `Esav were cut out because they were evil men. The twelve sons of Jacob were all righteous.

That answer won't satisfy you if you're a Calvinist, but it's the traditional Jewish position.

15 posted on 11/25/2011 7:44:39 AM PST by Zionist Conspirator (Ki-hagoy vehamamlakhah 'asher lo'-ya`avdukh yove'du; vehagoyim charov yecheravu.)
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To: Zionist Conspirator

It’s not a particular satisfying answer to anyone since the Bible makes no case that Esau was evil. I fact it paints a very sympathetic picture of him when Esau and Jacob meet, and Jacob was afraid Esau was about to kill him, Esau instead embraced him and reconciled.


16 posted on 11/25/2011 8:26:50 AM PST by DManA
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To: DManA
It’s not a particular satisfying answer to anyone since the Bible makes no case that Esau was evil. I fact it paints a very sympathetic picture of him when Esau and Jacob meet, and Jacob was afraid Esau was about to kill him, Esau instead embraced him and reconciled.

Then he raised his grandson `Amaleq to take vengeance on his brother.

I doubt very seriously you accept the Oral Torah, but without this it is impossible to get the true message.

17 posted on 11/26/2011 3:53:21 PM PST by Zionist Conspirator (Ki-hagoy vehamamlakhah 'asher lo'-ya`avdukh yove'du; vehagoyim charov yecheravu.)
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To: DManA

Actually, the original Hebrew uses expressions and idioms that leave little doubt about Esau’s poor character.

“A man of the field”, for example, is an idiom indicating an idler. Even the plain text states that Isaac and Rebecca were very disappointed with Esau’s choice of wives. Later, Esau makes matters worse by also taking a daughter of Ishmael. When Esau bestows a kiss on Jacob when they meet again, the scroll text marks the word ‘kiss’, indicating its problematic nature. Esau’s death is not mentioned, another indication that he was not righteous.

In rabbinic literature, Esau represents Rome, and so the interaction of the brothers represents Israel and Western Civilization.


18 posted on 11/26/2011 5:17:59 PM PST by jjotto ("Ya could look it up!")
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To: jjotto

All the Patriarchs had character flaws. Selling your brother into slavery is a pretty disturbing thing to do. They all at least flirted with unrighteousness.


19 posted on 11/26/2011 5:28:07 PM PST by DManA
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To: jjotto

What I was narrowly interested in, and seeking information on was how people at that time and in that culture thought about the “Birth Right”. Jacob treats it like it is the property if Esau, to keep or dispose of as he pleased. This seems to take Isaac’s thoughts on the matter out of the picture. Didn’t the father have the right to bestow the birth right on any son he chose?


20 posted on 11/26/2011 5:40:17 PM PST by DManA
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To: DManA

http://www.ou.org/torah/article/parshat_toldot_6_part_2

...Esav “sold the birthright”. The term used for sold is vayevaz. This is an unusual and ambiguous term. It is interpreted by many authorities to mean “and he sold”. However, Rashi offers another interpretation. He posits that the term means “and he rejected”. Why does Rashi adopt this interpretation?

Ibn Ezra understands the birthright as the privilege to inherit a larger portion of the father’s property. If this is the nature of this right, its sale cannot be viewed as immoral. It is a straightforward business calculation. Ibn Ezra interprets vayevaz to mean “and he sold”. This translation does not involve any moral judgement of Esav’s decision.

However, Rashi agrees with Rabbaynu Avraham ben HaRambam. He explains that the firstborn was destined to be a kohen [priest]. The abandonment of this right is a moral decision. It is a rejection or belittlement of a spiritual opportunity. Therefore, Rashi interprets vayevaz to mean rejection. This implies a moral judgement of Esav’s action...


21 posted on 11/26/2011 6:18:53 PM PST by jjotto ("Ya could look it up!")
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To: jjotto

Interesting. Thank you.


22 posted on 11/26/2011 6:23:27 PM PST by DManA
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