Let's table the discussion" is a new Adath Israel Shul initiative where a story or thought is presented in order to stimulate exciting and constructive discussion around our Shabbos table or among friends and children. (Dedicated to the Refuah Sheleima of Shalva Adina Bas Sarah Chana & Eliyahu Aharon Ben Yocheved Yetta Ettel).

When little Shlomo’s grandfather fell and broke his hip, Shlomo could see that his parents were worried. “What’s wrong?” the six year old Shlomo asked. He was informed about his father’s fall and subsequent hospitalization. He heard that his precious grandfather’s strength “was zapped.”

Two days later, Shlomo was in a hospital waiting area when he saw the doctor’s face. Again, Shlomo was worried. He was told that his grandfather had developed a fever and that this was not good.

Three short days after that, Shlomo heard that his grandfather was not speaking. The mood in the home was grim and immediately Shlomo began to wail “Oy! Poor Dovid!”

His parents could not figure out what Shlomo’s 15 month old brother had to do with the situation. “What does Dovid have to do with it?” they asked.

“You don’t get it?” Shlomo said, “Poor Dovid also falls when he walks and can get fevers and he too, does not talk well yet. Is he sick too?”

Shlomo’s parents quickly set him straight. “It is perfectly normal for Dovid to fall. He is still learning to walk. It makes sense that he doesn’t speak yet, but he is learning to communicate. And as for the occasional fever? That’s part of growing up.”

The Zivihiler Rebbe notes the same contrast between Eisav “the Ben Haadol” and Yaakov who is identified in the Parsha as the “Ben HaKatan” despite their difference in age being a mere few seconds. The difference in age is highlighted not to identify them as living in two different times but rather with 2 different healing powers. Eisav lives in the present fully. He needs to eat NOW, he takes what he wants NOW and he never plans for later. If it happens that he needs to undergo any repair in himself, physical – and certainly spiritual – there is no ability to do so for he is fully grown and what you see is what you get.

Yaakov is the opposite. Yaakov is taught to think about a tomorrow. Yaakov plans for the future and recognizes that long the way, there are challenges and the path he chooses might occasionally need correction or recalculation. Being young or early in the living process, Yaakov can make that change. 

Eisav’s premature “maturity” ultimately leads him unable to see error and grow from it. Yaakov’s youthfulness leaves room for his maturation in the right time – for eternity.

Can one be “too old” to change the way one acts?

Are YOU “too mature” to grow from YOUR mistakes?

Let’s  “table” the discussion – by discussing it with our children, spouses, families and guests and open an exciting  discussion into our homes and communities.