Yesterday as I was walking the old Jerusalem train tracks, minding my business and admiring the view, a couple of walkers stopped me:
"You're religious. Maybe you can help us."That was a very compelling opening line. What could they want from me?
"OK." I was curious.
"I've been trying to teach my friend Parshat Shavua, (Torah Portion of the Week,) and we have a problem. How could a man as righteous as Jacob lie to his father?" One of them asked me.Actually, this verse is from an earlier week, Toldot, Genesis Chapter 27:
19And Jacob said to his father, "I am Esau your firstborn. I have done as you have spoken to me. Please rise, sit down and eat of my game, so that your soul will bless me."
יטוַיֹּ֨אמֶר יַֽעֲקֹ֜ב אֶל־אָבִ֗יו אָֽנֹכִי֙ עֵשָׂ֣ו בְּכֹרֶ֔ךָ עָשִׂ֕יתִי כַּֽאֲשֶׁ֥ר דִּבַּ֖רְתָּ אֵלָ֑י קֽוּם־נָ֣א שְׁבָ֗ה וְאָכְלָה֙ מִצֵּידִ֔י בַּֽעֲב֖וּר תְּבָֽרֲכַ֥נִּי נַפְשֶֽׁךָ:
"אָֽנֹכִי֙' עֵשָׂ֣ו בְּכֹרֶ֔ךָ I am myself; Esau your firstborn"
"Wow. That makes sense. Thank you so much."And they went their way, and I went mine. Does this happen anyplace else, or just Jerusalem?