Is there a way to make sense of Eisav Harasha knowing he did 5 big aveiros in one day (including murder) and wanting to kill his brother Yackov, and also exhibiting very good kibbud av vaem? How do we explain this fellow?

  • 2
    Maybe the same way many Nazis spoke politely as they massacred Jews...
    – ElonMusk
    Commented Nov 19, 2023 at 1:04
  • 3
    Plenty of people are that way. Evil in many ways but not in all I once had a neighbor who was rumored to be a mafia hit man, he kept a car that he didn’t use in my parents garage which was presumably a getaway car, one day he just disappeared… In all my dealings with him he was a nice guy, he used to attend block meetings about safety and fighting crime.
    – Schmerel
    Commented Nov 19, 2023 at 1:17
  • 1
    Esau was his father's favorite. Esau paid him back by being very good to him. Commented Nov 19, 2023 at 2:07
  • @MauriceMizrahi I think it's the other way around: Esav was his favorite because he was honored his father so greatly.
    – ElonMusk
    Commented Nov 19, 2023 at 3:19
  • Genesis 25:28 says otherwise. Commented Nov 19, 2023 at 3:41

1 Answer 1


At the Bottom of page 179 of the Juggler and The King, Rav Aahron Feldman explains the Gra, where he basically asks how can someone evil (Eisav) do a Mitzvah so well.

He answers that it was in his best interests (selfish) do so as this will cause his children to take care of him in his old age the same way he cared for his father.

He adds there may be an even subtler self interest where to get the maximum pleasure out of this world there needs to be law and order and honoring the past generations fostors a respect for tradition which helps create social stability. Thus he could get the most pleasure out of this world.

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