Ever notice how quiet a noisy room becomes when someone whispers a secret? On the other hand, try to lecture to someone in a loud voice, and they will immediately tune you out. You can be imparting the greatest wisdom; it won’t even be heard.

This week, Rebecca teaches us an incredibly powerful lesson on how to communicate with your spouse over a difference of opinion.

The episode is actually very perplexing. Due to her own life experiences, Rebecca keenly understood the different characteristics of her two sons, Jacob and Esau. Isaac, on the other hand, who grew up in the pious home of Sarah and Abraham, didn’t share her perception.

Jacob is described as a man of integrity and sincerity, “a man in the tent,” who sat and studied his books. Esau, on the other hand, was his polar opposite: a “man of the field,” who knew how to maneuver his way with his cunning corruption.

Isaac was about to bless Esau. Rebecca interceded and instructed Jacob to dress up like Esau and trick his blind father into blessing him instead.

The commentaries explain that Esau had a very lofty soul and a great potential. Isaac hoped he would use his “street smart” abilities and his more colorful personality to make Torah values accessible to the world. Jacob, on the other hand, he felt, was simpler, straighter; he wasn’t savvy and wouldn’t master the necessary public relations skills or techniques.

But while Isaac envisioned Esau’s potential, Rebecca grasped the practical reality. Esau’s suave charisma would be used for nothing altruistic, and the blessings would merely assist him in his immoral goals.

Now here’s the tricky part. Why didn’t Rebecca just sit down over a cup of coffee and explain to her husband what she intuitively understood? What would be gained by Jacob committing an act of deception?

When Jacob “dressed up in Esau’s clothes” he allowed Isaac to glimpse a dimension of his personality that Isaac had never seen. Through Rebecca’s plan, Isaac would finally comprehend that Jacob was not one dimensional; he was not so piously removed from this world that it would inhibit him from understanding its ways. When push came to shove, Jacob was very capable in using the “garments” of the world –and he would be able to do so in the future for positive results.

So why didn’t Rebecca just communicate this deeper perception to Isaac and persuade him to see things her way?

Perhaps Rebecca realized that even if she would convince Isaac, it wouldn’t be wholehearted. Isaac might accede to her perspective, but he wouldn’t own it.

Because lessons that we own are those that we discover by ourselves. If you really want to teach someone something valuable, talking to them about it is not enough. You have to enable them to see it on their own.