Esau – Esav – numerically equal to "Shalom" – peace. But Esav was the embodiment of war and bloodshed – red, murderous, evil? However, not from birth. Esav, all eventual depravity notwithstanding, born with enormous potential – to harness the physical world, channel its energy to a higher purpose. Tackle it, conquer it, make it count, make it mean something. Prepare the way for Yaakov to perform his best while Esav was performing his. Esav breaks his peace; absorbed in the culture, the environment he is supposed to control; Esav does not elevate to a higher place, thus Yaakov must also assume Esav’s role, his birthright, his inheritance...

We can do better; Shabbat – the day of peace, the ideal Esav which means “Done” – all the work is done; the opportunity to tackle the physical week; harness it, channel it, bring it to a higher purpose to fulfill the words sung at our Friday night tables – how sweet is your peace… the inheritance of Yaakov… Wishing you and yours a Shabbat Shalom! Rabbi Shimshon Silkin

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