Talmud this Shabbat: Not About the Steak


One of the rarest gifts in the world of Torah is a true chidush—a new thought, an utterly original insight, that no commentator, in thousands of years, has ever offered before.

Even more rare is a chidush that is true not only of the biblical character, but for all of us—when this insight is universally true.

This Shabbat we are going to encounter just such a chidush.

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, may he rest in peace, asks a question about this verse: “Isaac favored Esau because he had a taste for game.” Genesis 25:28. Can it really be that our forefather Isaac, one of the founders of the Jewish people, preferred Esau over Jacob because Isaac loved steak? The Hebrew expression, tzayid b’fiv, literally means that the trappings of the hunt were in Isaac’s mouth. Surely it has to be about more than a taste for steak.

Rabbi Sacks offers a sensitive psychological profile of Isaac. But not only Isaac. All of us.

If we can deeply get and internalize the humanity and wisdom of Rabbi Sacks’ Torah, we will become better at loving the people in our life. That is the best chidush of all.

Rabbi Sacks’ commentary, and the biblical texts that support it, are attached here.

See you on Shabbat at 8:30.

Gann Chapel Livestream