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…

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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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