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“And the first one came out ruddy all over like a hairy mantle, and they called his name Eisav.” (25:25)

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Rashi explains that the name Eisav is derived from the root word vag (made). Consequently, the name Eisav was given to him because of his appearance. He was completely formed and matured. We may suggest that the Torah is not merely concerned with describing Eisav’s extraordinary physical appearance, but rather in teaching a fundamental spiritual message, as well. Eisav exemplified a unique type of evil, evil disguised as good. The Midrash compares him to a large vessel, externally bejeweled with diamonds, while internally consisting of earthenware. He cared only for the superficial, viewing himself as complete as long as he appeared perfect externally. He was not concerned with his inner self-development. He had no desire for change, for he felt he wasn’t lacking anything. In describing Eisav, this pasuk alludes to the following thought. In order to be able to accept lessons and admonishment from others, one must always feel that he can engage in spiritual advancement. It is only through an awareness of our shortcomings that we can work towards achieving perfection.

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