Esav Lives!

Esav Lives! Sad, but true.

Living in the Land of Israel, I usually ignore talk media, i.e., radio and TV—especially TV. (There are many reasons why I avoid it. One is that I choose to not have a TV!) Visiting in the USA, as I have been for the last few weeks, I have been unable to totally avoid it. While I do have political opinions, I refrain from expressing them because political discussions never create good will. (Political negotiations might, but discussions don’t.) So I won’t express any here.

But I will say that catching bits and pieces of “news” programs and talking heads, particularly those with a liberal streak, reminded me of a Midrash. (It’s Bereishis Rabbah, but I can’t give an exact citation because I don’t have a copy of said Midrash.) Our uncle Esav is described as being a master of rhetoric. He knew how to question people in such a way, that although they were innocent of all crimes, they could only answer in a way that implicated them.

Esav Lives! The divisiveness created and reenforced by “commentators” would be laughable if it were not so sad, tragic and poisonous. Each one claims that his (or her) opinion is truth, that his opponents are moronic devils, devoid of logic and decency.

Human respect is disintegrating. Well, it has been for centuries, but people who use language, our unique God-given gift that makes us human, to demean and divide people for their own glory and profit—well, why should someone in his right mind listen to them?

Good make-up, a nice voice or hair-do don’t make a person more correct or fair and even-handed in presenting viewpoints. Nor does an appointment by a television station or media conglomerate instill a person with accurate perception and understanding of events, or the foresight to know which ideas, innovations and events will prove most beneficial for mankind and which not.

Perception and wisdom like that are not gained in journalism school or in front of a camera. They are gained only through prolonged effort in the study of Torah—when it’s preceded and accompanied by genuine humility and concern for others.

© Copyright 2011 Breslov Research Institute

Author: Ozer Bergman

Ozer Bergman is an editor for the Breslov Research Institute, a spiritual coach, and author of Where Earth and Heaven Kiss: A Practical Guide to Rebbe Nachman's Path of Meditation.

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