Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Parshat Toldot- "For Heavens Sake?!?"

            During the event where Yitzchak intended to give Eisav the blessing instead of Yaakov. "It was when Yotzchak became old and his eyes weakened, he called Eisav his older son and he said to him, 'My son..go out to the field and hunt for me game. And prepare for me delicacies like I love and bring them to me and I will eat so that my soul shall bless you before I die." Rivkah Emeynu was listening in on this conversation and she immediatlly rushed to tell her son Yaakov. She told him to dress up like Eisav and she prepared delicacies for him to bring to his father Yitzchak. Yaakov enters his fathers tent saying "Here I am, please bless me."
          This blessing was the ice breaker as to which son will be the father of the chosen nation. How could the righteous Yitzchak be so adamant about choosing Eisav over Yaakov? Why did Rivkah resort to such a blatant deception in order to secure the blessings for Yaakov? And how could Yaakov Avinu agree to lie to his father? Rivka Emeynu, Yitzchak Avinu and Yaakov Avinu were out of character. The only person who was doing what he was told to do was Eisav. Eisav at the end of the story didn't win but he did what he was told to do while Yitzchak, Rivka and Yaakov, on the other hand, whose behaviors seem at best questionable and deffinantely out of character, benefit at the end of the day. Why are these three successful in achieving their goals when their tactics seem problematic?
           The way we will understand the above circumstance is to understand an essential foundation in Judaism which is to succeed in life, we must grow beyond our nature. This is best accomplished when we are tested. Eisav wasn't being tested however, the other three were all put to a test fundamental to developing a high level of service-avodat Hashem, Yitzchak, Rivka and Yaakov were pushed beyond their nature. Hashem administers this kind of test to see if a persons actions are the result of his will or God's will. Sometimes, in life we are so used to acting in a positive way filled with emunah-faith in Hashem until we are put to a test to see if we really have faith or not. However, if we do what God wants from us even when it requires us to step out of our comfort zones, to do something out of character then it becomes 100% clear that we have real self control and that our service, of our avodat Hashem is true service.
        Each individual needs to sit down and think why s/he is doing this for the sake of Hashem or for the sake to please someone. One must be completely honest with himself in order for him to be able to spiritually grow higher. Take this oppurtunity to evaluate yourself, see how far you have reached spiritually. Examine your good deeds and bad deeds. Try to prefect yourself and really understand if what you are doing is for the sake of heaven or for the sake of convenience.
By: Esther Shamayev

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