Toldot. Living for Today, or for Tomorrow?
In 2018, the UK Office of National Statistics report showed that 53% of young people – meaning those between the ages of 22 and 29 – have no savings at all. One reason, they explained, was that among participants in the poll,
“There was general agreement that young people should be spending their money on enjoying themselves while they were still young. This meant that they prioritised spending now over saving for the future.”
Should we be living for now, or for the long term?
One scene in our parsha relates to this fundamental dilemma, and it shows a vast divide between the two protagonists of the parsha, Yaakov and Esav:
Once when Jacob was cooking a stew, Esau came in from the open, famished. Esau said to Jacob, “Give me some of that red stuff to gulp down, for I am famished”—which is why he was named Edom. Jacob said, “First sell me your birthright.” Esau said, “I am at the point of death, so of what use is my birthright to me?” But Jacob said, “Swear to me first.” So he swore to him, and sold his birthright to Jacob. Jacob then gave Esau bread and lentil stew; he ate, he drank, he rose, he left. Esau spurned the birthright. (25:29-34)
he ate, he drank, he rose, he left. Esau spurned the birthright.
Why did Jacob want the birt