Brothers & Sisters
Our beautiful, second daughter Charlie Eden was born this September. Already we are sensing into her particular energy. A sweetness and calmness that is all her own. It is amazing to witness our girls as their personalities emerge, and recognize them as individuals. My heart swells when I see Aliyah’s instinctive protection over her little sister, or when I watch Charlie staring intently at Aliyah with profound curiosity. Sometimes I feel that they already know one another so well, and I say a little prayer to myself that they will always feel this close.
So last week as I read the parsha, Toldot, with its storyline of the rift between Jacob and Esav, there was an extra pain in my heart. Suddenly I had so much compassion for Rebecca – a mother who must have been in deep anguish to see her sons at war.
And then it comes to the controversy of the blessing. There was one blessing intended for each son, related to their natural essence and inherent life potential.
Esav was a man of physicality, connected to nature, to the texture of the earth. He was born with the capacity to master the fields and extract the holy from the wild.
Jacob’s inclinations were to the dimension of intellect and spirit. He was a man who sat in “tents” reaching into both this world and the realm of the heavens. His talents related to mind and soul.
In an aligned existence, the brothers would have each mastered their realm and worked together to unite physicality and spirituality. To give divine meaning to material existence. They should have each received the blessing that was theirs.
But something went wrong.
Somewhere along the way, Esav missed the mark. He didn’t come close to reaching his potential. His natural ability that could have been channeled for brilliance and good, was used in a way that was self-serving. So much so that he was willing to give up his birthright for a bowl of soup.
And so it is Jacob who received Esav’s blessing in addition to his own. He and his lineage (of which we are a part) took upon the work of merging matter and spirit.
What happened? Where did Esav stray off the path? Where was the guidance he needed?
It is heartbreaking to see the unrealized potential in this man, because it points to the places in which we could all fall short of connecting with our inherent abilities in order to bring something utterly unique and wondrous into the world.
As a mother it speaks to me even more loudly; I have this unbelievable responsibility to help each of my daughters tap into their individual essence, so that they can feel and live into the blessing of their existence.
Imagine a different world in which Esav and Jacob would have worked together to bring divinity to earth. A world in which they would each experience the joy of living in sync. That is the world I want for my girls. That is the world we want for all of our children.
So as I say a little prayer for my daughters this Shabbat, I am keeping in mind that they each live up to their blessing. I don’t yet know consciously what that is, but I know it’s my purpose to help them uncover it. And I know that as they do, their bond will only deepen.
May we all have the insight, humility and openness of heart to see the unique potential in each of our children, and may we have the patience and grace to draw it out of them. May they find joy on their path, find joy in their kinship, and may they each receive the blessing intended for their soul.
(dedicated to my incredible sister & brother)