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HomeSpirituality and FaithSpiritual GrowthEsau: The Sword and the Servant
 
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Esau: The Sword and the Servant    

Esau: The Sword and the Servant



Even, and especially, in the office, the hand of Hashem becomes the most clear. When you focus on emuna, even your enemy can become your friend…

 



In the Book of Bereshis, Yitzchak gives his son Esau a cryptic blessing: 

 

You shall live by your sword, and you shall serve your brother, and it will be, when you grieve, that you will break his yoke off your neck. Genesis 27:40 

 

When the Jewish people, the sons of Yaakov, serve Hashem, the children of Esau, generally recognized as the Western, Christian world, will serve them. When the Jewish people sin, they will be at the mercy of Esau.  

 

To this very day this blessing shows itself in the most amazing ways.  

 

A friend from my Wall Street days told me the most amazing story: 

 

His friend Adam got a job at an investment bank a few years ago. Things were going well until he got a new boss, Bob. He was a non-practicing Catholic, first generation American from Serbian parents.  

 

From the get-go Bob was always on his case. He suspected anti-Semitism, but couldn’t prove it. He never got demoted, and his reviews were fine, but he did get passed up for a promotion.  

 

He thought it was because he was observant. I told him to read over The Garden of Emuna. Even guys like Bob are just messengers from Hashem to mend our ways. He listened, but not too intently.  

 

About a year into the job, Jackie enters the office. Young, in her early 30s, she knew how to get on Bob’s good side without going too far. Bob was married but Jackie was ambitious. She was Jewish, but not observant. This infuriated Adam.  

 

“Just focus on yourself. When you see other people’s faults, remember what the Tanya admonishes: focus on your own faults. Work on yourself. Forget about these people – it’s Hashem Who decides livelihood.” 

 

He began to read Rabbi Arush’s books. He made changes. His speech became more refined and he woke up an hour earlier to learn the Torah portion of the week.  

 

Unexpected Changes 

 

Then there is Steve. He is the VP of the department, Bob’s boss. Steve is a happily married man. That didn’t stop Jackie. Whenever Steve was near, she turned on the charm. She never went too far, but far enough to feel as if she has this man in the palm of her hands. It got to her head.  

 

Whenever Bob made a decision, Jackie second guessed him. She was vocal about it. She even contradicted him right to his face in front of his other employee, Adam. Adam always looked the other way and focused on his work.  

 

Esau is the master of duplicity. When you sin, he is your master. When you repent, he is your servant.  

 

Bob became both.  

 

“You will never believe this, Dave…” 

 

After another year of Jackie berating Bob, he hired Tiffany as his new assistant. Skinny, blonde, and in her early 20s, she also liked to talk it up with Steve. Very quickly Jackie lost her luster.  

 

Bob went on the attack. Every miniscule infraction Jackie made he made sure everyone knew about. Every time Jackie made a recommendation, Bob would berate her – knowing that Steve no longer cared. Very quickly her reputation was in shambles. She quit not long after.  

 

How Hashem Makes a Man All things to All People 

 

Adam, on the other hand, was given a raise and a transfer to Mergers and Acquisitions. The recommendation came from Bob. Bob saw how Adam prevented a full-scale mutiny in his group by not siding with Jackie whenever she second-guessed him. In appreciation, he did him a favor.  

 

Jackie pinned her hopes on starting with a married man. There is no way to know how much grief she caused Steve and his wife at home – or their children 

 

Adam pinned his hopes on Hashem. He did his work, stayed honest, and focused on his mitzvot first and foremost, having emuna that this situation was from his loving Father in Heaven 

 

Bob, son of Esau, was Jackie’s sword and Adam’s servant all at the same time.  

 

The next time it looks like someone is digging into you at work, or in any situation where they appear unstoppable, remember: 

 

  1. - It all comes from Hashem. He is telling you to audit yourself and find places to improve yourself.  
     

  1. - Once you make the right changes, no matter how daunting your “opponent” may be, it will all go away in the blink of an eye. Hashem can remove the problem as quickly as He sent it.  
     

  1. - The entire world is a narrow bridge! The key is not to be afraid.  
     

May we all be inscribed in the Book of Life and greet Moshiach ben David in our Holy Land to rebuilt our Holy Temple.  
 

* * * 

David Ben Horin lives in Israel with his wife and children. 

 





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