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Daily Aliya for Toldot, Shishi (6th Aliya)

Aliya Summary: Isaac blessed Jacob with the “dew of the heaven and the fat of the earth,” and granted him mastery over his brother. No sooner than the blessing ended, Esav arrived from the field, only to be informed by his father – who now understood what had transpired – that the blessing was already given to his younger brother. Esav was furious and Isaac comforted him with a minor blessing. Esav was determined to kill Jacob, but Rivka, who got wind of this plot, asked Isaac to send Jacob to Charan to find a wife. Isaac did so, and blessed Jacob again before he departed.

Yitzchak gave Yakov the blessing of being a master over his brother, and gave Esav the blessing of serving his brother. How can they both be blessings? Perhaps when everyone fulfills their roles in life, everyone is blessed. If there is a master, there must be a servant. Yet the Passuk immediately says that Esav hated Yakov because of the blessing that he got. Wouldn’t Esav instead hate Yakov because of the blessings that he didn’t get? Unless Esav refused to play his role as follower, thereby abandoning and losing everything. We too have roles in life, sometimes different roles simultaneously (i.e. leaders at home and followers at work, or leaders at work and followers in Shul). The truth is that Yakov is better off now being the leader, but he would have made it work just fine as a follower, had that been his role.