No, what he actually said…

20 Nov

Once again, short of time…but, moving to Toledot, this week’s portion… here is a thought on Genesis 27, vv 19 and 24.  Here we have the episode where Jacob robs his brother of his father’s blessing.  You might possibly think this doesn’t put J in a very good light.
v 19: Jacob said to his father, “I; Esau your first-born; I have done as you told me”

this is my own translation, to fit in with Rashi, who reads it thus: “I am the one who is bringing you your meal, and Esau is your firstborn”.  The point is made again on v 24

v24: And he said, ” You are that one, my son Esau?”  and he said, ‘I [am]”.  Rashi says, ‘And he said, “I am”.  He did not say, “I am Esau”; just “I am”.
So there it is – Jacob does not actually tell a bare-faced lie to his visually-challenged father.
Rashi apparently draws on the medieval ‘Bereshit Rabbati’ and on ‘Tanchuma Yashan’, no I haven’t read either text.

Happy thanksgiving, and wear your glasses at all times when someone offers you food…


One Response to “No, what he actually said…”

  1. Reuben November 21, 2012 at 3:02 am #

    What an almighty creep. Cf. that Monty Python sermon (“My brother Esau is an HAIRY man …”).

    This weaselly explanation makes him look even worse, I think. Not even straight enough to tell a regular lie!

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