temple emanu-el
top border
Torah Commentary
Tol'dot (November 17, 2012)

Prince H. Davis, Administrative Assistant

IN THIS WEEK’S parashah we encounter the story of Esau selling his birthright to Jacob. Interestingly, after the transaction, the Torah tells us that Esau scorned and belittled the birthright. The fact that he sold it for a bowl of lentils proves that the birthright was of little value to him. Why then, after the sale, does the Torah recount that Esau scorned it?

The Torah is teaching us a very important understanding of the human character. No one wants to believe that he or she is a fool and has done something stupid. So when we do something wrong or foolish, we compound our mistake by rationalizing and justifying what we did. In this way we add to the folly and never learn from our mistakes.

We all do rash things once in a while, but the smart person is the one who recognizes his or her mistake and works to correct it in the future. The late Steve Jobs once said, “Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly and get on with improving your other innovations.”

This is an important lesson to apply throughout life. Shabbat Shalom!

Join the conversation and post your thoughts.

Back to Torah Study
photo of temple
One East 65th St., New York, New York 10065. Phone  212-744-1400
One East 65th Street, New York, NY 10065    (212) 744-1400 horizontal rule Member Log In | Calendar | Site Map | Contact Us | Text Size [+] [-]