Toldot

Time Period 5779 (2018).

Week of 28 Cheshvan (November 4)- Shabbat 2 Kislev (November 10)

Bereishit (Genesis) 25:19 – 28:9

Haftarat – Malachi 1:1-2:17

The work of the patriarchs, Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov was to establish in this world an eternal bond between man and G-d. Toldot chronicles the struggle for supremacy between two radically different approaches toward leadership: the way of Yaakov, and the way of Esav. Esav excelled in so many ways he seemed a natural for the part. And after all, he was the first-born. There was but one thing missing from Esav’s understanding of life: the fear and the acknowledgment of G-d. Forever stymied by his own egotistical take on life, Esav languished, while Yaakov assumed the mantle of leadership.

The classic tale of deception and intrigue. But who is deceiving who? and who is really being fooled? Ya’akov dons precious garments and goat skins, but by doing so is he deceiving his father Yitzchak, or is he opening Yitzchak’s eyes for the first time to a lifetime of deception he has suffered at the hands of Esau, the real master of the bluff?

The struggle between Yaakov and Esav, which began whilst still in the womb, is an eternal struggle between two nations, between goodness and evil, between light and darkness, between a nation that is open to G-d’s truth and lives by and teaches that truth, and a nation willing to stoop to whatever subterranean level necessary to deny that truth and prevent its recognition in this world. The festival of Chanukah, which occurs later in this new month of Kislev, celebrates an essential victory of good over evil in this generational struggle. Even within our own selves this battle is fought, and material temptations constantly arise, attempting to deter us from assuming our responsibility as the children of G-d.

Weekly Torah Portion: Toldot w/Rabbi Chaim Richman

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