Take your time, be precise, untangle the Mind
Rabbi Simcha Zissel Ziv, the Alter of Kelm
Jacob represents tranquillity and order. He sat quietly in his tent learning Torah; he loved developing wisdom. He loved traditions - making lentil soup was the tradition to make when losing a loved one - and he loved order.
We see this attribute of order with him when he tended the sheep at Laban's house, and we see it, for example, when he orderly sets up his family in his encounter with Esau. We also see the loving of traditions and orderly handling of prayers with Jacob. He prayed the morning prayer of Abraham, the afternoon prayer of Isaac, and thanks to him, the evening prayer became a new tradition.
Esau represents strength, exuberant, almost naive, energy. He acts before thinking about the consequences, his first-born right he sold in a whim of rashness about which he later regrets and turned his regret into anger towards Jacob. Esau also represents creativity, for a hunter has to be creative to outwit his prey.
Jacob could appreciate Esau's exuberant energy and creativity. It is a perfect way to transform the physical world into a perfect world. Full of energy and with all your creativity transforming everything for the better.
However, without Torah study, without rest, without respect for traditions of the elders and without order, this cannot be achieved. Only with Jacob's attributes is it possible to keep Esau's exuberant energy and creativity in line, to use it for good. Not in a naive, selfish way, but thoughtfully and for another and not for yourself.
When people discover the new path of Noahide life they are bubbling with energy and want to tackle and change everything, they discover a whole new world, a whole new path of life for themselves. That energy must be held, but with Jacob's attributes. By studying the 7 Noahide laws and learning how to shape that new life. In this, it is perfect to use Esau's creativity, because there are fewer set traditions, so there is more room for your own interpretations, but within the limits of order that Jacob taught us.
For instance, Noahides are not obliged to pray 3x a day or use a siddur (prayer book) for this purpose. But it is good to bring a certain regularity, order to this for yourself (this can be done, for instance, by using a Noahide prayer book). Also try to bring order in time, for example by praying once a week, once a day, in a way that feels good for you, but do it regularly and in a fixed (quiet) place.
HaShem was incredibly creative in making creation, look at all the variations, colours, shapes, smells, etc. But everything in His creation contains order, structure and regularity.
Let all this be our example. With full energy and creativity, let us make the world a better place, a place where HaShem can dwell, a place where His creatures have a good time. But with the knowledge that we can only achieve this if we create order in our lives and regularly study Torah - our 7 Laws - in an orderly manner and regularly, orderly and thoughtfully turn to HaShem in prayer.
for Torah study and prayer
in keeping the 7 Commandments and in your words to HaShem in prayer in your words to people
Untangle the Mind
through energy and creativity, find out what you can improve, think of creative solutions for it and put all your energy into achieving your goal.
Brought By Angelique Sijbolts
Angelique Sijbolts is one of the main writers for the Noahide Academy. She has been an observant Noahide for many years. She studies Torah with Rabbi Perets every week. Angelique invests much of her time in editing video-lectures for the Rabbis of the Academy and contributes in administrating the Academy's website in English and Dutch. She lives in the north of the Netherlands. Married and mother of two sons. She works as a teacher in a school with students with special needs. And is a Hebrew Teacher for the levels beginners and intermediate. She likes to walk, to read and play the piano.
Het Heilige in het Alledaagse by Alan Morinis
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