December 8, 2023 |

Children of Isaac


Jacob and Esau are Isaac’s sons.

Esau is a hunter. But Jacob is a simple man, a dweller of tents.

Jacob’s offspring—and not Esau’s offspring—will carry the mantle of Isaac.


Once, Esau returns from the hunt and is hungry to the point of death. Jacob,
meanwhile, cooks lentils.

Esau remains hungry, though he hunts: though he seeks to capture food from far
and wide.

Meanwhile Jacob, a dweller of tents, makes a meal. A dweller of tents,
he understands how to use what is near at hand.


Torah is the study of the holiness of the close-by. In it you jump into
questions like how to prepare meat, or what fire is, or what constitutes the
act of sewing.


Torah will be the task of the family of Isaac, through the end of time. So the
task of the family of Isaac is to grow nourishment from the-near-at hand. It is
a task for dwellers of tents.

Jacob is a dweller of tents. It is no surprise, then, that Jacob would
carry the mantle of his family.


We are that family.


Abe Mezrich

Joined: October 11, 2007

Abe Mezrich is a new-York based writer and lecturer, and the author of a weekly dvar Torah. Contact him at

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