By Rabbi Daniel Lapin
February 12, 2012
Imagine your son’s high school principal calling you with the news that your child was caught stealing test keys from his teacher’s desk and selling them. After your heart started beating regularly again, you confront your child. How would you react if he reassured you, “Don’t worry Dad. It was Trevor’s idea and he said he would take all the blame if we were caught.” Upon hearing this, you’d hardly sigh with relief. Instead you might ask, “What were you thinking?”
In Genesis 27 we encounter a similar situation. Isaac asked his elder son, Esau, to bring him food before receiving a blessing. Rebecca, overhearing her husband’s request, directed their younger son, Jacob, to take food to Isaac and receive the blessing while masquerading as Esau. Jacob demurs, warning that his father might discover the subterfuge and curse rather than bless him.
his mother said to him, “Your curse will be on me, my son;
just listen to my voice…”
Jacob should have said to Rebecca, “Mom, that’s not how the world works. It’s all very well for you to say, ‘Your curse will be on me!’ but at the end of the day, if my father curses me, it will be me who is cursed, not you.” Yet he seems to have been satisfied by his mother’s assurance. Why?
Rebecca was not telling her son that any curse that might flow from the trickery would be on her. That is manifestly impossible. If he was truly doing wrong, he would be culpable regardless of who else guided or encouraged him.
What Rebecca was telling her son was, “Look Jacob, I have prophetic insight and I know that in your entire life you will endure only three curses. Your brother Esau will hate you and try to kill you; your future father-in-law will cheat you; and you will lose your son Joseph for 22 years. These three and only these three lie ahead, therefore don’t worry about your father dealing out another curse to you. If he did, it would be a fourth and I know you are destined to suffer only the three I’ve mentioned.”
Ancient Jewish wisdom explains that the one Hebrew word ALAI usually translated by the phrase will be on me is a prophetic acronym in this case.
Each of its three letters, reading from right to left, AYIN, LAMED, & YUD refer to the three curses in Jacob’s life, Esau, Laban (Lavan), and Joseph (Yosef).
Contrary to most translations, Rebecca is not claiming that any potential curse resulting from deceiving Isaac would mysteriously skip over Jacob and land upon her. Instead, she is reassuring Jacob by letting him know that his curse in total, for his entire life will comprise only the three indicated by the acronym ALAI.
Jacob understood that his mother possessed prophetic powers. He was reassured that she was correctly advising him and proceeded to institute her plan for receiving the blessing he had legitimately purchased from Esau so many years earlier.
Knowing this prophecy allowed Jacob to act decisively without the paralyzing fear that comes from imagined terrors.
Gaining increased understanding into how the world really works helps identify the real threats that lie in wait. Tower of Power, The Gathering Storm, Clash of Destiny, and Madam I’m Adam each shine a laser beam of clarity onto one peril jeopardizing your family, your community, your society and your world.
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For many centuries, these dangers have mostly arrived sequentially. Almost without historic precedent we now face them at the same time. We fear the extinction of the traditional family, the erosion of communal cohesion, the collapse of the social contract, and a world threatened by frenzied fanatics. Understanding the true nature of these real threats liberates us to do what we must to fight them without the paralyzing dread of the unknown. Each of these 2 audio CD sets is available individually or you can save substantially by purchasing them as the Genesis Journeys Set, which is reduced even more this week.
© 2012 Rabbi Daniel Lapin - All Rights Reserved
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Rabbi Daniel Lapin, known world-wide as America's Rabbi, is a noted rabbinic scholar, best-selling author and host of the Rabbi Daniel Lapin Show on San Francisco’s KSFO. He is one of America’s most eloquent speakers and his ability to extract life principles from the Bible and transmit them in an entertaining manner has brought countless numbers of Jews and Christians closer to their respective faiths. In 2007 Newsweek magazine included him in its list of America’s fifty most influential rabbis.
You can contact Rabbi Daniel Lapin through his website.
Web Site: www.rabbidaniellapin.com