Leah’s Blog Parashat Toldot 2021
Toldot – the Ultimate Oxymoron
The root was planted with Abraham, a strong foundation with deep yearning to dig in even deeper. Something in Abraham awakened the kernel there that began to grow and sprout. As with every building, this is the foundational base, strong and solid. He passed every test and never wavered when winds of conflict blew. As we climb up the family tree of Israel, the need for the strong base becomes the theme of the nation, the Torah and of Eretz Yisrael. The internal pulse morphs from the base stage now, evolving with every Patriarch in seemingly mundane long lives full of struggles and endeavors, yet fundamental issues are portrayed and shed light on current events happening right now. Two nations share the womb of our Matriarch. As with every yin and yang, there is a smidgeon of this in that and that in this. Yitzchak, who the Torah tells us is blind, hasn’t asked outright his sons what their dreams are, what their vision is. Rivka takes the show circumventing disaster. Our forefathers worked in pairs. That is how a family works, each parent with their internal ability. This is the family tree. There is no greater oxymoron than Esau and Yaakov sharing the same womb. Esau and Yaakov serve as core illustrations that represent the external and material vs. the deep and internal. All through history we have experienced the struggle of Esau vs. Yaakov as Israel is put ultimately out of harm’s way, sometimes immune to the outside forces of Esau who seek to destroy it. I’m not talking about Chamahs or Jihad, I am referring to the Hague Court, to the EU court command to fund the destruction of Israel’s heartland. The dominance of the outside forces that always existed in history have a keen appreciation for Israel yet are jealous of her being a chosen nation, chosen not because we’re better but because we have a task to bring the light unto the nations. U.S. Aid that beefs up the enemy of Israel yet does not allow for critical basic infrastructure for growing Jewish populations of the heartland of our forefathers is the epitome of yang vs. yin.
Today is Rosh Chodesh Kislev. Soon we will be celebrating the war of the light over the darkness, of the internal and spiritual over the pagan. The Greeks allowed for our Temple to stand in all its glory, however they desecrated its inner chambers. They lauded beauty and even asked to translate the Torah. But they didn’t understand or have the ability to grasp the meaning of the Hebrew language, of the spiritual significance of every word, of every letter. They were free loving, like today when we see the greatest crumbling of the family structure. They were into information, yet like today technology has left society with the greatest disease of loneliness and alienation. The cure? We light the candles. We become the light when all other lights go out. We light them and proclaim during this struggle with the Greeks, with Haman, with Hitler, with all the forces of the world that come against our candle that we always prevail. Miraculously. It is the warm home, the ideals, the vision that shields us as we delve into the real world. Israel is a superpower now. We’ve turned full circle. The struggle of admiration vs. resentment will be augmented now. Who will say, “Don’t urge me to leave you or turn back from you. Where you go I will go, where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your god my God.” (Ruth 1:16)
It is up to us to choose.
Shabbat Shalom, Chodesh TOV! Leah
Dedicated to my dear Mom, z”l whose yartzeit is today- rosh chodesh Kislev