Anafim Steps into Ya’akov and Esav’s Shoes

This week in Anafim (“Branches” for second and third graders), we visited the Yetzirah (“Art/Creativity”) studio to express our ideas about our Ya’akov v’Esav text.

Children picked a scene from the text and made interpretations of how they thought Ya’akov and Esav were feeling in that moment.

Modalities like watercolor and collage allowed us to think and feel with these characters in ways that are different from how we share our ideas through writing and group conversations. We found that when we stepped into these characters shoes, big ideas and questions emerged about sibling relationships, parenting, and justice.

Esav after he sold his birthright (Genesis 25): “He’s feeling a bit worried and a bit good. Worried because he doesn’t know if his birthright might later on be important. He realizes he just sold his priceless birthright . . . The dark blue is that he’s kind of mad at himself. The blue is the weirdness, the green is the happiness and the pink is the so-so because he might just be feeling ok.”



Genesis 25: Esav is feeling kind of annoyed because [Ya’akov] is grabbing him and he wants to have personal space when he is born. Ya’akov is feeling nice because he gets to grab. He’s grabbing because he’s scared of being alive, maybe because he might be scared to go into the world and be a person.



This is the part where Esav got mad because his brother got the blessing [Genesis 27]. He’s mad and sad because someone stole his blessing and he wanted to get blessed so he could have a good life. Yitzchak is worried because he gave the blessing to the wrong person. He’s worried that Esav will throw a temper tantrum, and it said in the text that he was going to kill his brother. I’ve read a lot of myth stories and I know that great men try to kill everyone when they get mad.

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