Note: I wrote this on May 25. It was Memorial Day in America and everyone was enjoying a day on the beach.
Esav’s Merits Run Out
I do not claim to have met Moshiach in person or to know when he will reveal himself. God has not spoken to me. Angels have not revealed the future to me. The dead have not come to me in dreams with messages. I have no Kabbalah-inspired insights or powers. I can open a Chumash to a random page and point to a pasuk, but I will not declare it a message from heaven.
All that said, I have enough seichel to put two and two together. The Torah is meant to be learned and understood. We are supposed to learn, understand, and make decisions in real life accordingly. I have learned the words of Chazal, I see what is going on in the world, and it doesn’t take prophecy or special powers to connect the dots.
There are numerous indications that the nations of the world are in the process of an epic downfall, which will usher in the redemption of Israel and the Jewish people. In the last few days, I believe a critical line has been crossed, with only mild attention, that spells the doom of Esav.
We have a tradition that Yaakov and Esav have a see-saw relationship. When one is up, the other is down. For thousands of years the descendants of Esav have, for the most part, ruled the world, while the Jewish people were like the dust of the earth. Since the return to Israel our stock has slowly but continuously risen, while Esav has begun to decline.
There are several impediments that have slowed the process of our rise. The main impediment is the utter blindness of the Galus Jews, their stiff-necked unwillingness to recognize the divine call for them to return home en masse. I have written about this extensively, and will continue to do so, but this essay is not the place for it.
One of the other main impediments is Esav’s rightful hold on power. The time must be right not only for our redemption to occur, but for Esav to lose his position on the see-saw. Chazal teach that our initial entry into Israel was delayed in part for the occupying nations to fill their measure of sins until they deserved to be kicked out.
Chazal also teach that Esav excelled at one mitzva for which he merited world domination until this day. Just as we remain exiled until our sins are expiated, Esav stays in power until his merits run out. The mitzva that is the source of Esav’s power is kibbud av v’em, honoring his parents, and I daresay, albeit without any inside information, that his merits are just about finished.
For last few decades, Western society, which comes from Esav, has increasingly been waging war on traditional family values. It began with “women’s liberation”, which has morphed into a feminist movement whose true aim is to demolish God’s definition of Woman as Man’s helpmate and the mother of all life. It continued with the “sexual revolution”, which glorified promiscuity and attacked the very notion of shame.
The next battle was against babies. Contraception became the norm; procreation became an inconvenient byproduct of sex to be “controlled” and “prevented”. The murder of unwanted children received the sanitized term “abortion” to mask the true horror of the act. “Planned Parenthood” is an organization devoted to the planning of un-parenthood, facilitating the death of that which makes one a parent.
Amalek, the grandson of Esav, specializes in euphemisms and clever use of language to promote the abhorrent as sacred in polite company. The most unmotherly act imaginable is celebrated as “a woman’s right to choose”. What decent person could possibly be against a woman having a right to make choices, after all? So yes, a mother may choose to murder her child before birth, or even slightly after, if it comes down to it. In fact, she should be applauded for making this “empowering” choice.
According to the CDC, more than 46 million unborn children were killed by their mothers in the United States as of 2016. This is progress.
The war on tradition and children did not stop even there. Next to fall was the notion of marriage as a holy union specifically between a man and a woman. Esav embraced all manner of “alternative lifestyles” in favor of this lone option mandated by God on Day One of the human race. There is the “single lifestyle”, in which marriage is rejected as a shackle that interferes with one’s “self-actualization”. Becoming a “single mom” is an ideal for many “liberated” women, who may choose to have a child, though the child cannot choose to have a father.
There is the “open relationship”, in which married people commit adultery, but it’s not immoral because they decided that together.
There is “polyamory”, in which adultery is committed with numerous people, but it’s fine because they love each other.
And of course, there is gay marriage, where procreation is biologically impossible, aside from pesky biblical comments. Gay marriage is celebrated by Esav as the new holy of holies, the yardstick by which “moral” societies are now to be judged. Whoever allows gay people to push the envelope the farthest takes the moral lead, those who lag behind are condemned, and the game of “progress” continues from there with no end. Needless to say, those who choose to enter relationships where procreation is biologically impossible must be permitted to obtain children some other way, even renting a woman’s womb for that purpose. The only thing morally superior to a woman’s right to kill a child is the right to sell it.
Now the war has reached what may be its final stage. Not content to kill those who would come after them in the name of progress, now they are killing those who came before them in the name of “mercy”. Europe is increasingly embracing euthanasia of the sick and elderly, and the covid pandemic has accelerated the spread of this court-sanctioned murder of the weak and defenseless. If sick old people will voluntary forfeit their lives, that is most ideal. If not, society and medical practitioners may encourage them. If that fails, and they stubbornly wish to continue living, a termination of their life can be imposed upon them. Mercifully, of course, painlessly if possible, though they may struggle and thrash should they realize what is happening.
We cannot blame elderly people with sickness or dementia for not understanding that their lives are no longer worth living.
Presumably, this mercy is reserved primarily for those without great wealth or high connections. It is hard to imagine, say, the Pope being put to eternal rest should he contract covid. But grandma in the nursing home is no longer needed. She lived her life, she isn’t productive anymore, she isn’t paying taxes, and in fact she is only drawing money out of the system. She can go now.
Really, grandma, it’s about you having mercy on the rest of us, say the Europeans, those enlightened descendants of Esav who are never too busy to lecture Israel on morality.
Whatever starts in Europe eventually finds its way to America, and “physician-assisted death” is gradually catching on there too. Only Amalek could conjure up such a term, as physicians used to exist specifically to assist people in continuing to live. Nowadays, if a person is not murdered by his mother before being born, his own child might give the death sentence.
This brings us back to Esav’s hold on power. His sole merit was kibud av v’em. Now the descendants of Esav are increasingly killing their parents, deciding on their behalf that their lives are no longer worth living or fighting for. It is inconceivable that they will continue to enjoy reward for the kibud av v’em of their forefather when they have completely severed themselves from his example.
Esav’s father, Yitzchak, was blind. Esav served him and provided for him with the greatest of respect. Today, his descendants might simply have whacked him. For his own sake, of course, to put him out of his suffering. Clean and relatively swift, of course, by cutting off his oxygen or injecting him with poison. But a whacking all the same.
Esav’s two-millennium hold on power has been hanging by a single thread. That thread has frayed and may well have finally snapped.
Israel’s side of the see-saw has been steadily rising. The other side may be about to finally crash.