Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Laboring on Ferguson -- Jacob/Esau -- yet ANOTHER view

I've been laboring on the symbolism of the Jacob/Esau story that was given to me by my relative as it relates to Ferguson and the Black experience. I had a difficult time with it and I was not comfortable with my analysis. It bothered me. I think the meaning of the story is much easier to understand than I thought at first. I glossed over the Reform rabbi interpretation of Jacob/Esau which may be the most important and salient point.

I should have focused on the birthright itself. Why should Jacob be the only one to get the birthright? Esau says or cries to his father "But father isn't there enough room for more than one birthright?" That is the theme on which I should have concentrated. I should have illuminated the fact that we all are deserving of the birthright and that it is not reserved for just one. We are all the chosen ones. Does there have to be one group on top and one on the bottom for all time? As my relative says "Life is not or should not be a zero/sum game."

In John 14:2 even Jesus is said to have instructed "In my Father's house are many mansions."

I did, though, relate it to the inclusiveness and the promise of America but, as MLK said, the bad promissory note to the Black man was returned "marked insufficient funds." The Black man historically has always been the one left out of the American Dream.

My interpretation had more to do with the method of acquiring the promise rather than the promise of the birthright itself. Ferguson makes us refocus our efforts to be inclusive of everyone.

The moral of the Esau story, therefore, as the reform rabbis see it, is that the birthright should be for all people, for all time and not reserved for just one. I agree!