A Grain of Sand

"I will multiply you as the stars in heaven and as the sand upon the shore." - Genesis 22:17

"I can see the master's hand in every leaf that trembles, in every grain of sand." - Dylan, Every Grain of Sand (on Shot of Love)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Dark Side, Part II

A reader shares an insight:

Characters are rather one dimensional in Star Wars, particularly the prequel trilogy. The Emperor is more a source of pure evil than a person, but to the extent that a name can be put to the evil it is the pursuit of power. The beguilement of power is treated more comprehensively in the Lord of the Rings where again the greatest power is associated with complete corruption. The ultimate victory over evil in both is ultimately achieved by the hero within himself. Another way to see Jacob and Esau is an internal battle within each of us. But the story here is more complex and includes much more than just a quest for power.
Regarding the inner struggle: there's a beautiful commentary by the [previous] Slonimer rebbe that discusses the idea that the twins represent the yetzer ha tov and the yetzer ha ra, our good and evil inclinations, respectively. When Rebecca cries out during her pregnancy, distraught that the twins are struggling within her womb, "Lamah Zeh Anochi," either "why is this happening to me?" or "Why do I exist?" she is articulating the agony of this ancient struggle.

The Slonimer says that the Torah tells us that the prophecy that The older [brother] will serve the younger actually refers to this struggle.

Esau, representing our evil inclination, is 'older' because people have this inclination dominant within them first, as children. We have a moral instinct but not great moral strength as children. Around adolescence, he says, this 'older brother' serves the younger - that is, more recently powerful - good inclination by being subservient to it.

True, the one dimensional characters (Han Solo is maybe the only multi-dimensional character) don't allow for exploration of this development and wrestling.

Use the yetzer....

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