Parasha Toldot


Parasha Toldot

In this week’s parsha, Toldot, we meet the sons of Yitzchak and Rebekah: Jacob and Esau, the famous pair of twins who were so different from each other, which led to the development of a fierce rivalry between them.

From the moment they were born, they were different from each other.

But not only the difference in appearance and character created the rivalry, but mainly the following verse: “And Isaac loved Esau because he hunted with his mouth, and Rebekah loved Jacob.”  This is a story about a pair of twins that the father loved one, the mother loved the other.

Abraham and Sarah, the grandparents of Jacob and Esau, were promised that a nation would emerge from them.  This people, Abraham and Sarah knew, and Isaac and Rebekah also knew, would be the people who would be tasked with carrying the banner of “God to do righteousness and justice” that Abraham, the father of the nation, waved.

When the twins Jacob and Esau were born, it was clear to everyone that one of them would be the successor, the moral heir of God’s path, the one who would carry the flag, the one from whom a people would emerge.  And the question was: which of them?  Who is more suitable and who is more deserving?

And in this there was no agreement between Isaac and Rebekah.  Yitzchak understood that in order to create a nation, one needs strength, the ability to act, create, conquer and establish.  Rivka understood that to create a nation, one needs spirit, depth, the ability to observe, dream, believe and hope.

The difficulty was that none of the twins had all these qualities.  Isaac saw Esau as having the ability to create a people; Rebecca saw Jacob as someone whose spirit had the ability to give meaning and spiritual content to the people.

Finally, after a questionable maneuver, Yitzchak gave up and blessed Jacob again, this time of his own accord:  “May God bless you… and give you Abraham’s blessing.”  (Genesis 8:3-4)

The message was clear: the spirit prevailed over the force.  God does not want a strong and successful nation that is devoid of values, but a nation that has values ​​and believes even if it is at a certain time devoid of power.  It is possible that the road will be more difficult, that the route will be more winding, but the goal will be achieved: Jacob will leave with faith as his backbone, and on its basis, he will build a way of life and inner strength.

For thousands of years the Jewish people will besiege the values ​​of Abraham, the blessings of Isaac and the spirit of Jacob.


Shabbat Shalom,
Rabbi Refael

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