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Browse Torah Articles: Sefer Beresheet: Parashat Toledot: We all Make Mistakes

Contributed by: Rabbi Haim Shaul

In our Parasha this week, we read the story of Esav selling the birthright to Yaacob. After the transaction the Torah tells us that Esav scorned and belittled the birthright.

It is obvious from the fact that he sold it for a bowl of lentils that he didn’t value his Bechorah. Why then, after the sale, does the Torah relate that Esav scorned it?

The Torah is teaching us a very important insight into the human character. No one wants to believe that he or she is a fool and has done something stupid. So when we do something wrong or foolish, we compound our mistake by rationalizing and justifying what we did. This way we compound stupidity and will never learn from our mistakes.

We all do stupid things once in a while, but the smart person is the one who recognizes his mistake and works to correct it in the future.

A prominent member of our community, when asked how a person can succeed in business answered "never make the same mistake twice."

This is an important lesson to apply throughout life.
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