The Fighter – Parashat Toldot

November 25, 2019 at 1:17 AM , , ,
“….. And the children struggled within her….” – Bereishit 25:22

״… ויתרוצצו הבנים בקרבה…״ – בראשית כה, כב

When she would pass the entranceways to the Torah study of Shem and Ever, Yaakov would run and struggle to come out; passing the entranceways to idolatry, Eisav would run and struggle to come out. —Rashi

Yitzchak's child
Our patriarchs and matriarchs were perfectly righteous people. In the words of the Tanya (Chapter 23), “throughout their lives they sanctified their every limb to serve exclusively as a ‘chariot’ for the implementation of G-d’s will.” From where then could Eisav, the child of the saintly Yitzchak and pure Rivka, have developed an attraction to idol-worship when he was but a fetus in his mother’s womb, causing him to stir each time she passed a house of idolatry?

Evidently, a natural inclination to sin and evil is also a path to G-d; to overcome temptation through struggle is also part of the legacy of Yitzchak and Rivka. Our forefathers’ unassailable commitment to G-d endows their descendants, every Jew, with the inner strength of devotion to G-d with which we can overcome any challenge to our Jewishness and G-dliness – be it adversity from the outside, or our personal struggles from within. Therefore, Yitzchak and Rivka bore not only Yaakov, whose passions were all holy and pure, but also Eisav, who was born with an allure to the sinful – and the strength to overcome it.

We thus find that the Zohar states that Eisav, like Yaakov, was raised under the tutelage of his grandfather Avraham, “whose merit assisted and caused them to thrive, trainingthem in the observance of mitzvos (Toldos 138b)”.  As an adult, Eisav made the wrong choices. But as a child, and even earlier as a fetus, Eisav’s draw to idolatry was part of being Yitzchak’s child and Avraham’s disciple. Until he went off on his own path, Eisav exemplified the Jew who is born to struggle, who is naturally endowed with the strength it takes to win.

—Likutei Sichos vol. 20, pp. 109-113


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