Post 331

Family Counselling, Part 7:
Jacob's Past, Continued

BLOGGER: It strikes me that the whole dynamic is sad, because you are not sufficiently thinking about your other sons, in the way that your father didn’t think of you.


BLOGGER: I mean, it’s fun and fulfilling to express your love for your child, but if that show of love is accompanied by a disregard for the other children, it’s going to lead to problems. It’s just going to lead to problems. Right?

JACOB: I see no problems.


JACOB: I do not!

BLOGGER: Alright. You don’t see that your elder sons are openly expressing resentment towards Joseph?

JACOB: This is natural! Even I have been angry with Joseph at times!

BLOGGER: At Joseph?


BLOGGER: Why? When?

JACOB: This talk of dreams. I did not like to hear it then. It made me angry. I said to him myself, “What is this dream that you have dreamed? Shall I and your mother and your brothers indeed come to bow ourselves to the ground before you?” I said that.

BLOGGER: You did?


BLOGGER: Okay, well, it seems that the parenting here is almost reckless sometimes. It seems you are doing whatever makes you feel happy in the moment, without thinking beyond that to the others, your other children. Your father did the same thing — all of his focus was on Esau, by the sound of it, and where did that leave you?

JACOB: I did not expect more.

BLOGGER: I guess you had your mother. But tell me, did it not lead to tension with your brother, and your father?


BLOGGER: Didn’t it? Didn’t it lead to hard feelings? Friction of some kind?

JACOB: Esau decided to kill me.

BLOGGER: Woah! To kill you? To literally murder you?


BLOGGER: Because of the blessing?

JACOB: And the birthright.

BLOGGER: I see. What happened?

JACOB: My mother came to me and said, “Your brother comforts himself with thoughts of killing you when your father dies.” She was imagining that my father would be dead and that I would be too. She said she didn’t want to lose both of us. She told me to go to the house of her brother, Laban.

BLOGGER: Laban — is that the father of Leah and Rachel?

JACOB: Yes, the same.

BLOGGER: So you married your cousin?


BLOGGER: I mean, you married your cousins — plural.


BLOGGER: And so what happened with Esau? He never caught up with you?

JACOB: I did not see him for many years after that. I did not meet him until after the birth of my eleventh — after the birth of Joseph. And even then, I was dread afraid.

BLOGGER: Afraid of Esau?

JACOB: Yes, of Esau, that he might still want to avenge himself. And I was afraid, moreover, that he would kill not only me, but also my wives and children.


JACOB: But it was not like this. Esau was not angry with me anymore.

BLOGGER: Well that’s a relief!

JACOB: Yes, absolutely.

BLOGGER: And with respect with your own sons, will you agree with me that you might need to strengthen your relationship with your elder sons?

JACOB: My relationship with all of my sons is fine. There is no need to ‘strengthen’ anything.

BLOGGER: So you don’t see the repetition of a worrisome pattern?


BLOGGER: Nothing to worry about?

JACOB: Nothing to worry about.

BLOGGER: I hope you’re right.