11/26/2006

A Harsh Moral Lesson

The story of Yaakov taking the Brachot from Esav is one of the most dramatic in all of Chumash. There's so much going on - the whole complex of relationships between each of the four principals, the plot and its execution, and the subtexts and context.

One lesson that I think clearly emerges, which I recently saw that R' Samet also concludes from his essay on the Parsha (it's much better - and very different - in Hebrew) is that:
The proper moral decision is not always between good and evil; sometimes it
is between a greater and a lesser evil - but this does not exempt the one
who commits the lesser evil from his debt.

I'd tinker with the last line - it does not negate the right of the wronged party to collect his debt. I'd also formulate the lesson a bit differently differently: Sometimes, doing the right thing in a particular situation comes at a very, very steep price.
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