So many people have difficulty relating to Jacob, our father, yet he is called the “Chosen” of the Fathers. This difficulty stems from the bare reading of the Biblical recounting of the selling of the birthright, and the taking of Isaac’s blessings. it appears that Jacob is acting deceitfully— certainly, not as a holy man should act.
This question was asked of the great Sage Rabbi Shimon Bar Yohai by his companions. He rebuked them saying:
The real truth is, Jacob never deceived anyone. He was incapable of deceiving anyone. The Scripture testifies that he was Ish Tam a man of innocence, and thus we say in Micah 7, “Give us the truth of Jacob.” Zohar Toledot
The Zohar goes on to explain what the natures and potentials of Jacob and Esau were. It transpires that in many ways they complemented each other, and if things had turned out differently, they could have worked together and made a whole. But Esau rebelled against the teaching of Abraham and Isaac, and in the end Jacob had to shoulder, not only his role but Esau’s also.
From the Zohar we discover the inner intentions of Jacob’s acts and discover how he saved the Jewish people and changed the course of mankind for the better.
We, also, have elements of both Jacob and Esau within us. This archetypal story of the blessings of Isaac is also a story of ourselves and gives us a clue of how to deal with conflicting aspects of our own characters.
From the Zohar Toledot and Rabbi Ashlag’s commentary the Sulam on the Zohar