Esau exchanges his legacy for a pot of lentil soup. Esau rationalises his decision with the following statement: “Behold I am going to die, and of what use to me is [the right of] the firstborn?” Life in this world is limited, and death is inevitable. How do we respond to this? There are two very different approaches. Esau’s approach is to seize every opportunity for physical indulgence. Jacob’s is to use this life as a platform to do mitzvahs, to accumulate as many good deeds as possible, which we take with us on our journey to the next world, and in so doing to reach up and connect with eternity, to utilise mortality itself as a means to immortality. Ultimately, it was Jacob who continued the legacy of Abraham and Isaac, a legacy that extends to this very day, and will continue to the end of time, to a time beyond time.
Why do we sometimes put short-term wants before longer-term, more meaningful objectives? And how might we re-prioritize?