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November 12, 1993 - Image 52

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1993-11-12

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

The Shaarey Zedek Cultural Commission

is pleased to announce this year's

LAKER CONCERT

TUESDAY EVENING, NOVEMBER 16, 7:00 P.M.

At Congregation Shaarey Zedek

A GALA CANTORIAL CONCERT

Featuring Some of America's Greatest Cantors
in a program of Hebrew, Yiddish
and cantorial renditions

Sponsored by The Laker Family

Admission Is Free — Open To The Community

In addition to local cantors in the Detoit area who will
participate, the following nationally renowned cantors
will appear:
Louis Danto, Toronto, Ont.
Paul Kowarsky, Toronto, Ont.
Nathan Lam, Los Angeles, Ca.
Leon Lissek, St. Louis, Mo.
Abraham Lubin, Bethesda, Md.
Benjamin Maissner, Toronto, Ont.
Alberto Mizrahi, Chicago, II.
Elliott Partner, St. Louis, Mo.
David Propis, Bellaire, Tx.
Henry Rosenblum, Highland Park, II.

Dr. Alden Leib

Chairman
Cultural Commission

Meryl and Dr. Terry Podolsky

Concert Chairmen

Beth Shalom's

HAPPY
CHANUKAH

\
LW
Sisterhood Gift el
Bazaar Z

Latke Lunch
Children's Crafts
Children's Book Sale
Kids Bazaar
Live Entertainment - 1:00 pm
free Gift Wrapping

WWI

111

"IL I " I I VI

Sunday, November 21st
10 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

...mi...

0 0 0

The arms of Congregation Beth Shalom

Youth Commission, Religious School Parents, Sisterhood, J.E.F.F., Man's Club

14601 W. Lincoln • Oak Park
Call 547-7970 for more information

■■ •••••• ■•■ 111-

52

Advertising in The Jewish News Gets Results
Place Your Ad Today. Call 354-6060

Fulfilling A Legacy
By Selling A Birthright

DR. RICHARD C. HERTZ SPECIAL TO THE JEWISH NEWS

T

his week's sedrah deals
with the birth of the twins
Jacob and Esau. Esau
was born bloody and
hairy, but Jacob was born hold-
ing on to the heel of the infant
Esau. Jacob's name was given
as one who "supplants" or "one
who manages to take the place
of another by scheming." This
indeed characterized Jacob's
early life.
Isaac favored Esau because
he was a hunter, a man of the
field; Rebecca favored Jacob, a
quiet man dwelling in tents. He
stayed close to home and close
his mother, where he must have
learned some of her shrewed-
ness.
In one of the most dramatic
moments of Scripture, Esau
came in from the fields after
hunting, exhausted and feeling
ill. He was willing to sell to his
younger brother his own
birthright for a mess of pottage,
really a bowl of red lentil soup.
The struggle goes on for
seniority between the twins and
continued into their adulthood.
Esau was willing to transfer the

Shabbat Toledot:
Genesis 25:19-28:9
I Samuel 20:18-42.

birthright to Jacob, giving up
the wealth and flocks that
would go with the birthright.
The status of the first born was
bound up with responsibilities
and obligations as well as priv-
ileges and prerogatives. Yet
Esau, when he finished eating
the broth, did not quarrel with
Jacob. Apparently he cared
little for the sacred institution
of the first born.
Isaac became prosperous. It
wasn't until the end of Isaac's
life that the birthright became
important to Esau. Rebecca,
who was strong willed and cun-
ning, managed to manipulate
the situation of the final bless-
ing from Isaac.
Whether Isaac, as blind as he
was, recognized Jacob or was
suspicious, Scripture does not
tell. He simply said, "Which of
my sons are you?" And Jacob
said to his father, "I am Esau
your first born."
Fully convinced that Esau
was really the one standing be-
fore him, Isaac proceeded to
communicate the decisive bless-

Dr. Richard Hertz is rabbi
emeritus of Temple Beth El.

ing, which really relates in
Scripture's language to the na-
tional destiny of the Jewish peo-
ple rather than to the fate of an
individual Jacob.
Esau harbored a bitter
grudge against Jacob because
of Jacob's having stolen the
blessing. Rebecca now sensed
the intensity of the vindictive
reaction of Esau and urged Ja-
cob, for his own safety, to leave
at once, far away from Esau.
Jacob was recognized as the
true heir to the covenant, but
he must not marry outside the
family. Jacob left to go to his
mother's family, to Laban, his
mother's brother. The sedrah
ends with Jacob going to Pad-
darn-Aram to seek a wife while
Esau went to Ishmeil and took
his wife from among the Ish-
melites.
Isaac's role in Scripture was
to preserve the tradition and to
remain loyal to that tradition.
He was the bridge between
Abraham and Jacob in the
patriachal drama.
Did Rebecca really deceive
Isaac dressing up Jacob? In his
heart he must have known that
Esau could not carry on the
legacy of Abraham. Isaac knew
full well that it was Jacob who
had the strength of character to
go forward. The dramatic mo-
ment of the confrontation of
Isaac with Esau, the father
trembling and the son weeping
bitterly, shows something of the
heart of Isaac.
Rebecca comes out of this
family situation as something
different from her earlier years.
She became the woman who
loved both of her children, but
loved them differently. She rec-
ognized that Jacob desired the
birthright so deeply that he
was willing to cheat in order to
secure it, and Esau who so
lightly esteemed it that he for-
feited the birthright and sold it
for a pot of lentil soup.
The Midrash says that the
moment Isaac mentions God's
name he knew it was Jacob and
not Esau. But the deception re-
ported by Scripture does so
without approving of it. God's
actions can use human faults to
fulfill His ends. ❑

The grandeur of the world is
always in accordance with
the grandeur of the mind
that contemplates it. The
good finds here his paradise,
the bad partakes here al-
ready of his hell.
—Heinrich Heine

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