In the book Ecology & the Jewish Spirit' edited by Ellen Bernstein, Shamu Fenyvesi invites us to reconsider the gifts of Esau in his essay 'Restoring a Blessing.' Here he describes Esau as one who was in touch with the wilderness and perhaps practiced a more integrated lifestyle with the beyond human world than did Jacob who remained near the tents and learned mostly through books. Their reconciliation is described as an incredible exchange of world's in which each brother's realm became a learning space for the other and thereby they each emerged more whole.
Who in our tradition have you eskewed? Do we have a false understanding of their true role? Do we in judging them hide from a part of ourselves that in encountering, we may discover a gift of healing medicine to bring back to the tribe? Do we feel estranged from or connected to Hagar for her paradoxical role, Ishmael for his particular mission, Jonah for his procrastination, Tamar for her chutzbah, Noa for his descent, Lots' wife for looking back, Avraham's father for his idolatry, Pharaoh for his injustice, Delilah for her betrayal, Eve for her curiosity...
And who in our modern world to we dislike, fear, avoid...? In politics? In our communities? In our families? In our communities? In ourselves? Each of these is a separate level; a different dimension of encountering.
As I ponder these questions, I give thanks to the soft guide of falling leaves, naked trees, and imminent need for increased and sharpened night vision as there is much here to explore carefully, gently, with tenderness, compassion, honesty, and open trust. May we all release into this time to allow for what emerges to reveal vision and understanding.
* According to Kabbalah Month by Month; A Year of Spiritual Practice and Personal Transformation; Melinda Ribner