Esav, unlike his grandson Amalek, stands on din with respect to the Jewish People. His father Yitzhak’s bracha ensures that Esav is justly aggrieved if Yaakov fails to live up to his promise.
But, just what is Esav’s claim against us? Is it a general, “not keeping the Torah”, or is there something specific in the Torah we are not keeping?
Very possibly, the core of Esav’s claim is manifest is Esav’s religious convictions, i.e., Christianity. The core Christian ideology boils down to 1) love G-d and 2) love your neighbor as thyself.
Spiritually speaking, the basis then of Esav’s claim against Yaakov is that Yaakov is not doing these two mizvot properly.
So, what should we do? Now, the problem we’re all having is that the Shulhan Aruch just does not codify how we are supposed to carry out these mitzvot. And the mass of Torah writings on these mitzvot can be vague and hard to arrive at a practical, simple, l’halacha approach.
But of course, the Beit Yosef’s intention was never to cover those mitzvot, for his master, the Rambam, had already done so in the most fine and pure fashion in Mishne Torah.
Simply put, the Mishne Torah says regarding these mitzvot:
- Love of G-d – Try to have our words and actions make G-d beloved in the eyes of Jew and Gentile.
- Love of Friends – Speak praises about your friend. Look for opportunities to say good things about other people. When you have the right audience, say something really great about a friend or neighbor! A safe, easy way to do this is tell a father in shul that you saw his kid do “mitzvah such and such”, that he’s a great kid, and the father should have a lot of nachas. This is the mitzvah d’oraita l’halacaha. Doing this creates tremendous brotherhood and friendship. (The other important components of this mitzvah, l’halacha, is showing care and concern about the property, belongings, and honor of another as much as we have concern about our own property, belongings, and honor.)
If we, Yaakov, makes these mitzvot the #1 priority in learning and practice, we can defuse Esav’s prosecution. This will not stop Amalek’s frightening wave from coming, but it will provide us a way to at least maybe make it through alive.
The Tsunami is still way out at sea. We don’t know what the high water mark will be, but its big and coming fast. The Blood Moon was no joke – blood, fire, and pillars of smoke.
We must focus almost all of our spiritual energy on these two mitzvot above all else – l’maaseh and l’ halacha – then we’ll have a fighting chance.