Answer: Let’s say I came to visit you. Before coming over I had a good dinner and even though you offer different foods to me, I am not hungry, that is, my desire to receive pleasure is not big at all. I tell you: “You know, I do not want anything, but for you (for the sake of bestowal) I am willing to accept a small treat, for example tea and cake.” I receive my treat, and I feel no shame; I did it with the intention to please the host, and this makes both of us equal because when I do not receive for my own sake, it is referred to as giving to you, and this makes me full of self-respect.
We sit at the table, having a conversation, time is passing by and I start getting hungry. You say: “So, maybe you would like something?” But now, I really am hungry! I smell the food; they are “attacking” me! So what do I do? I am afraid to remain in this big desire. I am facing a big desire, will I be able to resist this big pleasure while having this big desire and can I perform the same action to please the host?
This is called Jacob is afraid. He does not know whether he will be able to overcome his egoism, his desire to receive pleasure, because Esau is in it, he begins to demand, he is coming closer to Jacob and says: “We are brothers! Let us be together!” Our egoistic desire tells us: “Do you want spirituality? I am with you! Do you want to reach the Light? I love Light! Give it to me!”
We must push it away, confuse it, trick it, tell it, “All right, see you tomorrow,” and run as fast as we can and as far as we can. The Torah teaches us how to work with our egoism by gradually taking pieces from it for correction until we correct the entire egoism.
The Weekly Portion 11/18/2010, The Zohar