This is a series for the bar/bat mitzvah parent on quick, concise and meaningful messages from the weekly Torah portion – perfect for use in a parent speech.


Never, ever go shopping when you’re hungry. If you’re starving in the supermarket, your cart is going to end up piled high with items that weren’t on your shopping list.

Impulse purchases aren’t the only bad decision hunger can cause you. Esau made a big mistake when he came home starving after a long day’s hunt. “Jacob!” he yelled. “What’s that amazing smell?”

“Lentil stew.”

“Gimme some. Now!”

“Well, I-”

“I’m starving! Just pour it down my throat!”

“Hmm… I had plans for this stew. Now I’ll have to make a whole other one. What’s it worth to you?”

“What do you want?”

“The responsibilities and privileges of being the firstborn.”

“That? What do I care about that if I’m going to die of hunger? It’s a deal!”

“You swear?”

“I swear.”

Esau got his tasty and nourishing lentil stew, along with some bread, and sighed in relief. He finished his meal and walked off, muttering, “What do I need all those responsibilities for, anyway?”

Except, of course, some years down the line, he decided he cared. And he was furious to the point of murderous rage when Jacob got the blessing of the firstborn, even though he knew he had sold it to Jacob for a bunch of lentils.

Esau had made an impulse purchase. In the heat of the moment, he felt he needed the lentil stew so badly, that the price didn’t matter. Later, when things calmed down, he realized he had acted rashly and had made a foolish decision.

Don’t act in the moment. Give yourself some time to think about what you’re choosing to do. Have you thought out all the consequences and are willing to accept them? Or is this an impulse decision that you’re going to regret later? Take your time. Think before you act.