Chosen and Loved

In this week’s Torah portion, we are introduced to Yitzhak’s two children Esau and Jacob. While we know that Avraham’s line will continue in Yitzhak and not Yishmael, why didn’t Jacob and Esau both share the mantel of the future people instead of it just going to Jacob’s children? We read,

“And the boys grew; and Esau was a cunning hunter, a man of the field; and Jacob was a quiet man, dwelling in tents. Now Isaac loved Esau, because he did eat of his venison; and Rebekah loved Jacob.” (Genesis 25:27-28)

It is clear from the start that Jacob and Rebekah do not share an equal love for their children. From the start, they were in competition for their parents’ love. Rebekah and Jacob failed at keeping Esau in the fold. How could they ever be one people?

I often am called upon to explain what it means that we are members of a “Chosen Nation”. In response, I will reflect that Adina and I are blessed with three children. I can admit that it might be more to show off pictures then to make a point. We love Yadid, Yishama, and Emunah as individuals. This means that we love them differently, but no less equally. We want them all to think that they are equally chosen by us. We will do whatever we can to express this love to them and we expect them to make the world a better place. Alternatively, in the words of Mother Teresa, “You are unique just like everyone else.”

I understand that as the Chosen People, our actions are held to a very high standard. I do not want to give up the experience of being loved and Chosen, but that does not mean that others should not have the same experience. I believe that if everyone felt loved by their parents if not Gcd, they too would strive to live a life that reflected that love. We are a Chosen Nation, just like everyone else. We will never have partners in making the world a better place until everyone feels loved and knows what is expected of them.

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