Ben Zuckert | Straight Out of the Bible
Don’t wear goatskins
Published: Wednesday, October 2, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, October 2, 2013 03:10
This week is my third column, and as Schoolhouse Rock! famously put it: “Three is a magic number.” For example, you’ve got the Holy Trinity, Three Little Pigs, Three 6 Mafia — that’s the rule of three. It’s an incredible number.
What’s this column about again?
To go back to the Bible, we’re keeping it strictly Old Testament with Genesis 27. Bear with me on this one. Isaac and Rebecca have two sons: Jacob and Esau. Rebecca overhears her blind, old husband telling Esau to hunt food for him so that he can give Esau his blessing. Rebecca, however, prefers the younger son, Jacob, whom she wants to receive the blessing. So she disguises Jacob with Esau’s clothing and covers him with goatskins, I repeat, goatskins to make him seem as hairy as his older brother.
How hairy was Esau? I don’t want to know.
Jacob goes to Isaac with food prepared by Rebecca, Isaac feels his hands and gives Jacob his blessing (side note: Isaac could tell that it wasn’t Esau’s voice, but that didn’t matter because Jacob felt hairy. What kind of logic is that?). Anyway, when Esau returns from hunting, Isaac is incredibly confused. Esau is upset because Jacob got the blessing and vows to kill his brother.
Alright, that was a lot, but now it’s time to bring this up to date: B.C. to A.D.
Okay, I don’t think I can connect goatskins to Tufts, unless you’ve got some weird Crafts House Halloween costume planned, but I’ve got another idea.
Motherly figures, however much we love them, can sometimes interfere in our collegiate lives. For example, they make you take German so you can speak to your grandma who doesn’t speak any English, but you can’t stand the language or your grandma. It’s not life or death, but it was for Jacob, so keep that in mind. Although if Rebecca hadn’t gotten involved in the whole blessing ordeal, a lot of biblical history could have been avoided. But as you know, moms will be moms and that’s just the way it is. Things will never be the same (RIP Tupac).
Remember: college is a time to be yourself, not your absurdly hairy older brother.
That being said, your parental figure still wants the best for you. After Esau threatened to kill Jacob, Rebecca said, “This is not good, like at all.” So she sent Jacob away to save his life. Now at Tufts, maybe your mom slips you a super crispy, golden nugget of advice that could surprisingly be of some use. The problem is her past advice wasn’t that helpful, so you don’t want to pay attention to what she says anymore. For example, you follow your mom’s advice to take German, but then you realize you want to study abroad in Russia after meeting Svetlana from Moscow on the Internet. You blame your mom for making you take German, but then she tells you that Svetlana isn’t actually Russian, just a 40-year-old man in Ohio sitting in his basement eating Cheetos. After some research, you find out she was right.
But if your mom is telling you to put on goatskins, say no. It’s as simple as that. Just say no to goatskins.
For now, stay biblical. Actually, that’s not a good idea. It sounds so good though. Also, if you have any requests or concerns, holler at the scholar.
Next week, I’ll be shifting gears a little bit as I discuss congressional gridlock and the future of our nation.
Ben Zuckert is a senior majoring in political science. He can be reached at Benjamin.Zuckert@tufts.edu