Parashat Toldot

toddler putting spoon in mouth

In this Parasha The Torah tells us that Rivka was pregnant. But instead of being happy like any mother, she was very distraught. Babies are known to feel stimuli such as music, food, etc. being in the mother’s womb. Rivka was not concerned about the physical integrity of her baby. It is that, every time she passed through a place where they practiced idolatry, the baby moved wildly, as if wanting to go out, but also when she passed through a synagogue she did so! What does this mean, he wondered? Could it be that I carry a creature so ambiguous in its faith in my womb? What do you think a righteous person does when he has no answers to a spiritual concern? Does he leave things as they are, letting that anguish take over his being? No way! In fact, immediately the Torah says that Rivka went to ask the Sages the meaning of what was happening to her. Here we learn a very valuable lesson: if something afflicts you in life, do not leave it embedded in your belly, as the pain will increase, and even more if it is a spiritual or existential concern. Well, what did the Sages tell him? You have Twins, (Eisav and Yakov), but they are not simply twins, but two opposing forces that perceive reality in a totally different way, that differ in the essence of the human being in his volatile passage through this world. And here we must ask ourselves 2 questions: Do we have a definite position in something as primordial as the vision of reality, or do we simply react to a whirlwind of sensations that are forming our existential cocoon? We well know that, if we want to start a business, it is essential to carry out a market study, that is, ask, investigate, study and ask. And since the most precious thing we have is time, all the more reason we have to investigate and try to define our purpose as an individual and as part of the people of Israel.

The second question we must ask ourselves is: Being educators, whether parents, friends or siblings, how do we react to what is different, to people who do not share our ideas, our philosophy? Do we have enough patience and intelligence to lead by example, and not “imposing culture”? Yes, Rivka and Yitzchak had it, even knowing that their son Eisav had a bad character; In fact, the Torah tells us that Yitzchak loved Eisav, because he believed that through a good education he could channel all that negative energy and turn it into goodness. I do not mean by this that we should not take precautions, since the Sages say “poor of the wicked and poor of their neighbor”, and if you think that something or someone can harm you, stay away! There will be time to influence, and Rivka had it very clear to the point of protecting Yaakov and telling him to escape from his brother Eisav, who wanted to kill him. And even so, while it is a less extreme case, we must be before anyone to to demonstrate by example that we are not better than others, we are not superior to others, nor more intelligent, nor more chosen than others, simply we are individuals trying to be sensitive to the instructions of the Torah, enlightening humanity with our wonderful legacy.