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Entries in trickery (1)


"You've Become Esau"

In Gen 31:28, while complaining to Yaakov of his tricky ways, Lavan says:
ולא נטשתני לנשק לבני ולבנתי עתה הסכלת עשו
28. And why did you not let me kiss my sons and my daughters? Now you have done foolishly in so doing.
The final word "aso" reads identically in Hebrew to "Esav".

Might this be Lavan mocking: "Look at you, Mr High and Mighty, you're no different now from Esav in your trickery and immorality"?
Or perhaps the subtext is the echo of Yaakov's own thoughts - I am no different to my twin" -  feeling debased by all this engagement in crass materialistic acquisition through unpleasant, if not unfair, means?

A different idea: I imagine that when Yaakov had to flee before Esav he did not manage to kiss his family goodbye or take a proper leave of the household - and that has been rankling with him ever since. Arriving, tired and heartsore, at Lavan's house, he told of this sorrow. Lavan, master manipulator, tucked this away and now has found the opportune moment to fling at Yaakov the accusation:
"Look, you've just done the same thing!"

When we do problematic things, no matter how justified the ends, we run the risk of becoming those people whom a moment before we judged. The one positive outcome might be that we feel ashamed to judge anyone after that.