"He called Esau his eldest son..." for [Esau] was included within [the aspect of] strict judgment. "And he [Isaac] said, 'Behold now, I am old, I know not the day of my death'." Rabbi Elazar opened with the verse, "Fortunate is the man, whose strength is in You...". (Psalms 84:6) Fortunate is the man who is strengthened by G‑d and puts his trust in Him.

Fortunate is the man who is strengthened by G‑d...

This trust could be like the trust that Chanania, Mishael, and Azaria put in Him when they said, "Behold, our G‑d whom we serve is able to deliver us; He can deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and out of your hand, oh king..." (Daniel 3:17) Come and see! If He would not save them and be with them, it would come to pass that the G‑d's name would not be sanctified before everyone's eyes, as they said. But when they realized they did not speak properly, they spoke again, saying "But if He does not, be it known to you, oh king..."; (Ibid. 3:18) whether He will save us or not, let it be known to you that we will not worship an image.

It was made known to them by Ezekiel, whom they heard and believed, that G‑d would not be with them, so that they would be rewarded. Then they spoke again, saying, "be it known to you, oh king..."

A man should not assume and think, G‑d will save us, or that He will do such and such for me. However, it behooves man to place his trust in G‑d to help him, as long as he strives to keep the commandments of Torah and to walk the path of truth. When a man wishes to be purified, he is surely helped, and he should trust G‑d to help him in this. And he should put his trust in Him, and not in another. Therefore, it is written, "whose strength is in You" [in order to serve His name, whether he receives salvation or not] "In whose heart are Your pathways" (Psalms 84:6) means that it befits him to prepare his heart properly, so that no strange thoughts will come into it, but to be like a smooth highway that is properly maintained and leads to whatever place one needs. So it [his heart] should be [trusting only in G‑d].

Another explanation for, "Fortunate is the man, whose strength is in you." "Strength" [refers to the Torah] as in [the verse:] "G‑d gives strength to His people", (Psalms 29:11) for it is incumbent on a man to be occupied in studying Torah for the sake of G‑d. For whoever is occupied in the Torah, but does not care for His name, it would have been better to never have been born. What is meant by the verse, "in whose heart are Your pathways (in Hebrew, 'mesilot')"? It is as in the verse, "extol (in Hebrew, 'solu') Him who rides upon the clouds; Y-ah is His name"? (Psalms 68:5) When he studies the Torah, his intention should be to extol G‑d, and glorify and make His Name honored and important throughout the world.

Jacob, all that he did was for the sake of G‑d...

Come and see! Jacob, all that he did was for the sake of G‑d, and for that reason G‑d was with him always, and the Shechinah never left him. When Isaac called for Esau his son, Jacob was not there. The Shechinah let Rebecca know, who informed Jacob [for G‑d desired that Jacob be blessed].

Rabbi Yosi said, come and see! If, Heaven forbid, Esau would have been blessed at that time, Jacob would never have ruled over the world [for all of the kelipot and destructive forces created by Adam would have ruled over the world. Jacob was a reincarnation of Adam, and Rebecca of Eve, and Esau was of the snake. Now they came to rectify the earlier sin. And if Heaven forbid Esau — the snake — was blessed, then a great power would be able to suckle from the Shechinah.]. But it was decreed by G‑d that everything happen as it should [by Jacob receiving the blessings].

BeRahamim LeHayyim: Why did the Ari and Chida include this section? What do they want us to learn?

It seems like deja vous over and over again. The deeds of the parents are again signposts for the children.

Perhaps there are no new battles to be fought, only old ones that rear their heads and confront us with personal new challenges. We know that we cannot eliminate negativity from the world. Only with Mashiach will death be swallowed up forever.

What we are taught above is that we need to recognize our negativity. Not necessarily to nourish it, or to give it — Heaven forbid — free reign. But rather to look it straight in the face and say "You are the enemy, and I know it. With that, please do not rule over this moment." Better to feed your enemy with that recognition — which will sweeten the severity — than to attempt to clash head on. All the pushups in the world will only convince him/her to work harder.

And joy is the way out. And the way to receive blessings. And to give them. Ivdu et Hashem beSimhah!

What does this mean to YOU?! Why is it being revealed to you NOW?!

[Bracketed annotations from Metok Midevash and Sulam commentaries]