Jacob good, Esau bad. This is the dichotomy we place upon these twins, about whom we read in Toledot, this week’s Torah portion.
While Esau is the wild man of the fields, the hunter who consorts with Hittite women, Jacob is tam, wholehearted, and yosheiv ohalim, the one who dwells in tents and, according to our sages, anachronistically studies Torah.
Jacob becomes our patriarch, a leader of our people, a hero. He earns a new name, “Israel,” the father of the 12 tribes.