"Do you come here often?"

"No. I mean, I'm here every day."

"Why did you say, 'No'?"

"Because I hate being here. I feel like such an impostor... This isn't who I am."

"So why do you do it?"

"My mother told me to."

Imagine what Jacob must have felt like dressed in Esau's clothing, stealing into his father's room and conniving to receive the blessings intended for his brother. Wholesome, sensitive Jacob, who had spent his entire lifetime closeted in the "tents of study," donning hunting clothes and pasting artificial hair on his arms and the back of his neck to procure "the dew of heaven and the fat of the land." Whatever for does Jacob need "the dew of heaven and the fat of the land," anyway?

Indeed, Isaac planned to divide the world between his two sons. Esau the enterprising "man of the world" would get its material resources, and holy Jacob would inherit the spiritual legacy of Abraham. Jacob would preside over the tents of study where the divine wisdom is learned and taught, and in which a plaque on the wall would credit brother Esau for his generous contributions toward the support of these holy endeavors.

But Rebecca intervened. No, she said, the material world cannot be left to the materialists. It is the Jacobs of the world — the spiritual ones who spurn the race for power and wealth — who must wield the power and control the wealth. "Get in there," she said to her son. "Put on your brother's clothes and enter your father's room — we cannot let Esau get the blessings."

"But what will I do with the fat of the land? I'm no businessman."

"Thank G‑d! Imagine what our world would be like if its business were run by businessmen!"

Many years went by. Some of Jacob's descendants became scholars, mystics and men and women of the spirit. Others donned business suits, lab coats, or craftsmen's gear. At first, the latter felt awkward in their foreign clothes. But as generation followed generation, these became somewhat more comfortable with repeated wear.

So each generation made sure to tell their children the story of the Jew in the hunter's clothes. Remember, they said, this isn't who we are. This is a costume, a disguise. We're doing it only because our mother told us to.