Jewish, Jewish, Everywhere, & not a drop to drink
Sunday, November 30, 2003
Question for Simshalom about nature of being "First Born" in Judaism.
Very good essay sim shalom.....these comparisons come to light and understanding considering our present state. The rabbis have done a find job, as you are trying also to bring about an understanding. I often meditate on the Torah....laws of conduct, as I meditate I too ask Why? So reading yer essay here something came to my mind that has been there for as long as I can remember....this being. The question of the first born and his inheritance. The significance of his additional portion. You have related within yer essay, of some sort of spiritual obligation a special blessing to the first born given by HaShem. I agree with this, but also see much misunderstanding surrounding it. If we take into consideration the responsibilities of the first born , as the leader of the family we then understand his greater portion. Thus allowing him to take the positon of his father and have the substance to do that task with. Now with Jacob and Essau we have two sons....and as you have related one son having the moral committment and takeing seriously his inheritance ( Jacob)....the other brother being Essau which by his nature would not follow in his fathers ways, but prone to murder and disobedience. Outwardly showing respect and honour to his father but inwardly a contempt for his birthright. Now I ask this, who would HaShem chose to be the leader of his fledgling group. By tradition we have been taught it is the first born, but NO it appears that it is the upright he seeks out. Thus the moral and ethical mind of Jacob wins over . As we also see the choice of the younger David ( whom HaShem used to unite all the children of Jacob in a later time)....We as Jews even though by birthright recieve a greater portion. if we do not have the moral and ethical heart of Jacob, what does that make us?....What value are we to our families or the family of human kind. Will our inheritance be stipped from us such as Essau's was.....finding the younger brother more fit for the task at hand? Yes we do have the promise!! But with that promise comes great responsibilities ( which by tradition is passed on to the first born) But we see here how that can be taken away...because of contempt for it. Sim Shalom thank yu for your essay , I promise to keep up with you in it...very needful things to reveal.
Thanks for your response.
The subject of being "First Born" is extremely serious in Judaism, as it even ties in with the formation of the nation of Israel at the time of the Exodus over 3,300 years ago.
The Children of Israel are called God's FIRSTBORN and because the ancient Egyptians abused them their own first-born suffered direly:
"God said to Moses...You must say to Pharaoh, 'This is what God says: ISRAEL IS MY SON, MY F I R S T B O R N. I have told you to let My son go and serve Me. If you refuse to let him leave, I will ultimately kill your own FIRST-BORN son'." (Exodus 4, verses 21-23)
And then later: "Moses said to Pharaoh in God's name,...'Every FIRST-BORN in Egypt will die, from the FIRST-BORN of Pharaoh sitting on his throne, to the FIRST-BORN of the slave girl...every FIRST-BORN animal will also die...Never before has there been anything like it, and never again will there be the like...'." (Exodus 11, verses 4-6).
So the subject matter of being "First Born" in God's eyes, and hence in Judaism and the Torah as a whole, is a very, very serious and volatile and subject without which an understanding of the Torah is not possible.
Thanks for staying tuned.
And onother person says:
Dear SIm and "XYZ" and everyone
I like the point "XYZ" is making, I believe to, that Hashem did on
purpose, to show that one could be chosen by birth right, yet could loose
his rights by consequence of his attitude , very big lesson ,which hashem I
guess didn't want to miss, proofing for following generations, that, the
mitzvoth prevail on the birthright, that hashem could if we don't behave
spiritually remove his blessing and change it into a curse, like it was
describe by MOche before his passed on the command to JOshua,
..SIm thank you for bringing more holiness into this haven..
And SIMSHALOM Responds:
Thank you for your input.
One point never to lose sight of is that the JEWISH PEOPLE's, meaning the Children of Israel's, "First Born" Status as "God's First Born Son" is PERMANENT!
Christianity has claimed that it became the "new" Israel and so it thenit, or its founder, became the "new" "first born". This is totally against Judaism!
Judaism maintains that the Jewish People alone remain forever God's FIRSTBORN son, even though they may sometimes slip in observance of the Torah and mitzvot, nevertheless, they will never lose the status of : "THIS IS WHAT GOD SAYS ; ISRAEL IS MY FIRSTBORN" (Exodus Chapter 4, verse 22). No "ands, ifs or buts!"
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