Loving a Rebellious Son

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Why does Yitzchak want to bless Esau rather than Yaacov? Did he not know that Esau was wicked and that Yaacov was righteous? There are many deep answers to this question that appears in this week’s Portion, but here is one beautiful idea by Rabbi Rabbi Chaim Ben Atar (the “Or HaChaim”):
Yitzchak was not confused and did not make a mistake. He saw deeply and recognized the good that was within Esau. He thought that this violent hunter could be redirected in a positive direction. And so, he wrote:

Yitzchak wanted to bless the wicked Esau because he thought that through the blessings Esau would become good and improve his behavior, because righteous people hurt when their sons do evil things, and Yitzchak tried to do him good, and he might have succeeded in that.

Please pay attention to the last few words: “he might have succeeded”. Yitzchak our father teaches us how to be fathers and mothers, and he believed that even Esau can change. With the right attitude, with a blessing and a prayer, with outreach and love – Yitzchak might have succeeded in changing Esau.

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