The Story Of Jacob And Esau Teaches Us How To Trick Our Egoism
A question I received: Why does the Torah justify Jacob when he lies to Esau? Esau comes to Jacob with open arms, yet Jacob turns away from him and tries to buy himself off with gifts.
My Answer: The Torah speaks about a person’s correction, whereby he becomes similar to the Creator. Jacob represents the intention of bestowal and Esau represents the will to receive, our egoism. Esau doesn’t understand that he always remains empty because his intention is “for the sake of himself,” and that only by changing it to the intention of “for others” will he instantly be filled by the Upper, eternal fulfillment – the Light. This is something egoism doesn’t understand, and that’s why a person must trick his egoism. He has to entice the ego to work on spiritual development by telling it that it will avoid suffering and to be filled by spiritual fulfillment and revelation.
This way, one’s egoism helps one to study Kabbalah, because it expects fulfillment from it. It studies Lo Lishma – for the sake of oneself. However, in the process of studying, connecting with friends, and thereby receiving the Light of Correction, the person ceases valuing the intention “for himself” and instead starts valuing the intention “to bestow” – for the sake of others, for the sake of the Creator.
This happens by virtue of the Light’s influence. And when one’s intention changes, he can begin to use his egoism (Esau) in order to receive for the sake of bestowal. This is how one attains eternal, perfect fulfillment. This maneuver is similar to the way we trick or entice a child to study, and eventually he comes to understand that it was done for his own good. This is how the Creator plays with each and every one of us.
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