It is hard for us to imagine Esau wearing a suit and a tie, giving an impressive speech. But reality is complex, and the outside appearance is not always in line with a person’s inner character. Esau is perceived as a violent, cruel man with a scary face, but in reality he was a spiritual leader, with a big following. And this is what Rabbi Eliyahu Dessler writes in his wonderful book, “Michtav M’Eliyahu” (“A Letter from Elijah”):
“Esau – He is the founder of hypocrisy which exists till this very day. He is the one who renewed the concept that one can transgress every transgression in the “book”, and yet is still considered to be a respectable person who has never been touched by a ‘scandal’. This gentleman is nothing but a bunch of lies, and everything he does serves as a tool for his phony life of falsehoods”.
We all know such “gentlemen” until this very day, and this week’s Portion reminds us to check whether a person also serves as a role model; it serves as a reminder for us to search what hides behind the charisma and talent of celebrities. Recently we have found out the truth about famous people who were considered to be “cultural heroes”. This long list of incidents reminds us of the truth: “Who is a hero? The one who conquers his own (evil) inclination”.