Using Your Talents by Matan Leff


The Torah clearly states that Yitzchak Avinu loved Eisav more that Ya’akov, yet Ya’akov was a far better person than Eisav. Is it really possible that Eisav could fool Yitzchak for so many years? Even if he could, how could Yitzchak not have known that Ya’akov was the greater Tzaddik and therefore more deserving of his Berachah? This is more than a question of how Eisav could deceive Yitzchak; it is a question of how we see other people. Eisav was born to focus on material matters and to be active in the world. He was not meant to be an “Ish Tam Yosheiv Ohalim” (BeReishit 25:27), “a simple man, who dwelled in tents (studied Torah, according to Rashi),” like Yaakov, but was instead meant to use his worldly nature to serve Hashem. However, rather than serve Hashem, Eisav used his skills for evil.

Any talents given to us by HaKadosh Baruch Hu have the possibility to work LeSheim Shamayim. Therefore, when we think to ourselves, “Look at how that boy over there learns; I am unable to do that,” we should instead think, “Learning may not be a talent of mine, but I can do my best and use what Hashem has given me to contribute elsewhere a positive way.” When Yitzchak interacted with Eisav, he saw his nature and potential to serve Hashem in such a powerful way that he ignored Ya’akov who was actualizing his potential as an “Ish Tam Yosheiv Ohalim.” Yitzchak instead thought that the Eisav he saw, in whom he saw so much God-given talent, must have been using that talent for the good. Yitzchak therefore felt that Eisav deserved his Berachah, because his actions were just as meaningful as Ya’akov’s.

Unfortunately, Eisav’s front was just that, a front. He used his nature for evil instead of good and everyone suffered because of it. Why didn’t Yitzchak see Eisav for what he really was? Yitzchak looked at what Eisav could be, rather than what he actually was. We ask Hashem to do the same and look at our potential rather than our past sins, and we want to ensure that we do not become like Eisav, who never developed into what or whom he could have been.

What’s in a Naming? by Rabbi Ezra Wiener

Eisav’s Unworthy Love by Aaron Lieblich