Daily Zohar # 3497 – Toldot – Do you have birthrights?
77. בֹּא רְאֵה, [פַּעַם אַחַת הָיָה יוֹשֵׁב רַבִּי שִׁמְעוֹן וּשְׁאָר הַחֲבֵרִים. נִכְנַס לְפָנָיו רַבִּי אֶלְעָזָר בְּנוֹ. אָמְרוּ לְרַבִּי שִׁמְעוֹן, דָּבָר גָּדוֹל רָצִינוּ לְבַקֵּשׁ לְפָנֶיךָ בְּעִנְיָנָם שֶׁל יַעֲקֹב וְעֵשָׂו, אֵיךְ לֹא רָצָה יַעֲקֹב לָתֵת לְעֵשָׂו תַּבְשִׁיל עֲדָשִׁים עַד שֶׁמָּכַר לוֹ אֶת בְּכוֹרָתוֹ? וְעוֹד, שֶׁאָמַר עֵשָׂו לְיִצְחָק אָבִיו, וַיַּעְקְבֵנִי זֶה פַעֲמַיִם.
78. אָמַר לָהֶם, בַּשָּׁעָה הַזֹּאת אַתֶּם חַיָּבִים לְקַבֵּל מַלְקוֹת, שֶׁהֶאֱמַנְתֶּם לְדִבְרֵי עֵשָׂו וְשִׁקַּרְתֶּם לְדִבְרֵי יַעֲקֹב, שֶׁהֲרֵי הַכָּתוּב מֵעִיד עָלָיו וְיַעֲקֹב אִישׁ תָּם, וְעוֹד כָּתוּב תִּתֵּן אֱמֶת לְיַעֲקֹב. אֶלָּא כָּךְ הוּא עִנְיָנוֹ שֶׁל יַעֲקֹב עִם עֵשָׂו, מִשּׁוּם שֶׁעֵשָׂו הָיָה שׂוֹנֵא אֶת הַבְּכוֹרָה בָּרִאשׁוֹנָה, וְהָיָה רוֹצֶה מִיַּעֲקֹב שֶׁיִּקַּח אוֹתָהּ מִמֶּנּוּ אֲפִלּוּ בְּלִי כֶסֶף. זֶהוּ שֶׁכָּתוּב וַיֹּאכַל וַיֵּשְׁתְּ וַיָּקָם וַיֵּלַךְ וַיִּבֶז עֵשָׂו אֶת הַבְּכֹרָה].
How could Isaac not know all the wicked deeds of Esau, when the Shechina was with him. He should have known this in his Holy Spirit, because if the Shechina was not with him, how could he bless Jacob as he did. And he answers, surely the Shechinah would dwell with him in his home, but the Shechinah did not inform him so that Jacob would be blessed not from Isaac, but from the Holy One Blessed be He, as it should be.
When Jacob came to be blessed by his father, the Shechina accompanied him. Isaac knew that his son is worthy to carry the blessings and that he will be blessed through the connection of the Shechina.
Jacob was leaning to the Right column because he had the aspect of concealed Chassadim. Esau was on the Left with his head connected to the Holy side of the Left, but his body was connected to the impure levels. If Isaac was aware of Esau’s wicked deeds, he would have canceled him completely and by that would have canceled the Light that comes from the Left column. The Holy One Blessed be He, wanted Jacob to draw from the Light from the Left to balance both sides and become complete.
The Shechina concealed Esau’s actions from Isaac who was blind and didn’t know that it was Jacob in front of him. Isaac thought that he was blessing Esau, and by that, he continued the Light from the Left to Jacob. Now Jacob had a connection to the Light from both the Right and Left sides. It made him a chariot to the center column to bring balance to the Tree of Life.
Once, Rabbi Shimon and the other friends were sitting, Rabbi Elazar his son came before him, they told Rabbi Shimon, we have a big thing to ask of you about Jacob and Esau. How could Jacob not want to give Esau a lentil stew, until he sold him his birthright? How is it possible that Jacob will deceive Esau?” We read that Esau said to his father (Genesis 27:36)
“וַיֹּאמֶר הֲכִי קָרָא שְׁמוֹ יַעֲקֹב וַיַּעְקְבֵנִי זֶה פַעֲמַיִם אֶת בְּכֹרָתִי לָקָח וְהִנֵּה עַתָּה לָקַח בִּרְכָתִי וַיֹּאמַר הֲלֹא אָצַלְתָּ לִּי בְּרָכָה.”
“And Esau said, “Is he not rightly named Jacob? For he has supplanted me these two times. He took away my birthright, and now look, he has taken away my blessing!”
Rabbi Shimon told them that they deserve a punishment for believing the words of Esau and consider Jacob a liar when the Torah testifies on Jacob, saying “וְיַעֲקֹב אִישׁ תָּם”, “And Jacob was a complete (תם) man”, and also (Michah 7:20) “תִּתֵּן אֱמֶת לְיַעֲקֹב” “give truth to Jacob”.
He explained that Esau hated the birthright at the beginning, and would ask Jacob to take it from him even without money as it is written;
Genesis 25:34 “וְיַעֲקֹב נָתַן לְעֵשָׂו לֶחֶם וּנְזִיד עֲדָשִׁים וַיֹּאכַל וַיֵּשְׁתְּ וַיָּקָם וַיֵּלַךְ וַיִּבֶז עֵשָׂו אֶת הַבְּכֹרָה.”
“And Jacob gave Esau bread and stew of lentils; then he ate and drank, arose, and went his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright.”
The ‘birthrights’ have the aspect of connection to higher spiritual levels. Esau was looking for immediate gratifications, preferring the pleasures of this world rather than focus on spirituality.
“וַיֹּאמֶר יַעֲקֹב הִשָּׁבְעָה לִּי כַּיּוֹם וַיִּשָּׁבַע לוֹ וַיִּמְכֹּר אֶת בְּכֹרָתוֹ לְיַעֲקֹב.”
“Then Jacob said, “Swear to me as of this day.” So he swore to him, and sold his birthright to Jacob.”
Jacob was smart and to have complete ownership of the birthrights, he made Esau swear to him to close and seal the deal also on the spiritual level.
“וְאָמַרְתָּ אֶל פַּרְעֹה כֹּה אָמַר יְהוָה בְּנִי בְכֹרִי יִשְׂרָאֵל.”
“Then you shall say to Pharaoh, ‘Thus says YHVH: “Israel is My son, My firstborn.”
Jacob is the father of all Israelites. He leads us to the Final Redemption that is the time when we are rewarded with the blessings of the firstborn.
We connect to our inheritance when we study the Torah, but we lose the ‘birthrights’ when we focus on the pleasures of this world.