In Toldot, Jacob deceives his father Isaac by pretending to be his brother and attains the birthright blessing. Jacob covers his arms with fur, tricking Isaac due to Isaac’s old age, poor health, and weak eyes. Isaac says, “The voice is the voice of Jacob, but the hands are the hands of Esau.”
Commentators posit that if Jacob was able to disguise his arms, couldn’t he disguise his voice? Whether it was lowering or raising his voice, whispering or pretending he was hoarse from the hunt, certainly Jacob could take a few more steps to completely convince his father.
But here is where the human spirit falters. In response to their question, the rabbis of the Mussar movement suggest that Jacob did not mimic Esau because Jacob’s soul wouldn’t let him. There is only so much straying from being who you really are. Even Jacob’s voice wouldn’t let him wander too far away. Whether or not Isaac was truly deceived isn’t the point. The lesson is—we must stop wasting time pretending to be someone else.
The core of who we are wants to speak; why should we smother who we are meant to be?
In attempting to live someone else’s life, we are merely wasting our own.
Who are we fooling anyway?