As Yaakov prayed to Hashem to save him from his evil brother Eisav, he invoked the merit of his saintly ancestors, the Patriarchs. Are they not, however, Esov’s ancestors? How can he entreat Hashem to listen to his prayers in lieu of Eisav’s? We may derive from this pasuk that only one who follows in the footsteps of his ancestors may invoke their merit. Yaakov followed the path which was paved by his forefathers; he maintained their ideals. We may add that it is not sufficient to merely emulate the actions of the Patriarchs externally, but it is even more necessary to internalize the totality of their approach to life. This is indicated by Lot’s behavior. Despite the fact that he was Avraham’s student in the mitzvah of kindness to others, Lot’s spiritual essence was tainted as a result of his decision to live in Sodom. Following in a tzaddik’s path means interacting their ideals into the entirety of one’s philosophy of life.