Rabbi Yitzchak Arama, author of Akeidas Yitzchak (1420-1494)

“Let my master pass before his servant, and I will continue slowly, according to the work that is before me and according to the children, until I come to my master, to Seir” (Bereishis 33:14).

The Midrash, cited by Rashi, points out that Yaakov never fulfilled his promise to come to Seir in his lifetime, and that it will be fulfilled only in the messianic era, regarding which the prophet Ovadiah writes: “And the saviors will go up Mount Zion to judge the Mount of Esav” (Ovadiah 1:21).

Accordingly, the Akeidas Yitzchak interprets the entire verse as a metaphoric description of Jewish history. Yaakov said, “I have much work to do! My children cannot reach their full potential unless they go through the refinery of trials, suffering and exile three times (i.e. Egypt, Babylonia and Rome). Only then will their souls be purified and ready to absorb spiritual good, to be the chosen people and to live peacefully forever. This refining process will take a long time, and will end with the coming of moshiach, when I will come to you at Seir.” (Akeidas Yitzchak Shaar 26)


Rabbinic Quotations

Yaakov and Esav