Parsha Toldot: Why More is More
Call me crazy, but my mind continually connects a disparity of topics under an umbrella of personal inspiration. Case in point: Pre-fall ’17 and Torah Portion. This week, the common thread is a motivated push to achieve fullest potential; the recognition that greatness lies not in where you are, but rather in how far you have come and where you are going.
This mindset is reflected by a sartorial scene that is currently commanded by an individualistic vision of more-is-more: more layers, more prints, more color, more spirit! The impending year is permeated with neoteric botanicals and box-checks, magical appliqués and embroideries; all spun with a statement, off-kilter appeal. Even our basics (button downs, hoodies, knits) have been reworked to include an element of artistic innovation. Deconstructed, reconstructed; we watch in awe as a surge of standout designers pull from the past, push present boundaries and redefine the future of fashion, season after season. But hey, if complacency breeds failure, why not raise the bar?
In tune with this idea, in Parshat Toldot, Rabbi Shaul Rosenblatt expounds on the lives of our forefather Issac’s twin sons, Jacob and Esau. Born of a violent nature, Esau’s challenge was to harness his temperament and channel his passion to spur positive change in the world. Jacob’s test was more subtle. Due to his inherently good-hearted disposition, becoming a tzaddik seemed only natural with his respected lineage. The question was whether he would work to become more: Would he strive for greatness instead of just goodness? Jacob could have settled for mediocrity just as his brother settled for immorality. And had he done so, his mistake would have been equal to Esau’s.
No matter Biblical patriarch or creative director, life demands we all ambitiously propel ourselves into uncharted territory, empowered by originality and motivated by the journey. Though not always smooth sailing, if not moving forward, we are presumably digressing. (No comparison, no judgement – who are we to know the challenges faced by others?)
“Set your sights high in life. That’s why you’re here,” finishes Rabbi Rosenblatt. Cue the impending Gucci Pre-fall 2017 collection.