Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
  LifeLine
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Toldos

by Rabbi Yaakov Menken

Gen. 25:22-23, "And the two children were pushing inside her, and she said if so, why do I exist? And she went to ask H'. And H' said to her, there are two nations in your womb..."

This passage is difficult to understand. What is so unusual if children are kicking in the womb? As Rashi explains, nothing is wrong with that - so it's obvious that this verse means something extraordinary. So the Medrash tells us that the word for pushing or crushing, "Retzitza", in this case is being used for "Ritza", running. When Rivka would walk by the Yeshiva of Shem and Aver, Yaakov would "run", pushing to get out. And when Rivka would walk by a house of idols, Esav his brother would push.

So Rivka is upset, she asks what's going on, and she's told: "not to worry, you're having twins." Excuse me, but - why is this helpful? So now instead of having one child who is interested in all sorts of gods, both real and imaginary, she has one who is interested in the One H', and one interested in idols. Why is she comforted?

I suppose in simple terms, she already knew that the line of Avraham had continued with Yitzhak, rather than with Yishmael or any other brother - and so she understood that even with a son dedicated to idols, she only needed to find one pure son to carry the line forward. Therefore twins - one good and one wicked - were better than a single confused child.

On a deeper level, I heard the following from a leader in today's Mussar movement (Mussar - moral exhortation): that a son moving in the wrong direction can be turned around, but it is much more difficult to "straighten out" someone who is moving every which way. The same Greek root that produced "epicurian" is also the source for "apikorus", a heritic.

Avraham, by rejecting polytheism, would have been branded an intolerant bigot in today's politically correct society. If Rome went to war with Venice, and Venice lost, then the citizens would offer sacrifices to the Roman gods. This was not because of a "rejection" of Venician gods, but rather simple pragmatism: obviously, the Roman gods were stronger! So all the cultures of the world accepted the essential validity of everyone else's gods. Abraham - the father of Judaism - rejected this concept.

At a certain point, we must choose a direction!


Text Copyright © 1994 Rabbi Yaakov Menken and Project Genesis, Inc.

The author is the Director of Project Genesis.


 






ARTICLES ON REEH:

View Complete List

Re’eh 5768
Rabbi Label Lam - 5768

A Tale Of Two Mountains - Part I
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5763

Not a Mitzvah More, Not a Mitzvah Less
Rabbi Osher Chaim Levene - 5767

> A Godly Minority
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5770

Non Prophet Organization
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5761

Fortifying One's Belief in G'd
Rabbi Yosef Kalatzky - 5771

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Don't Give It Personally
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5774

Joy of Shlepping
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5758

Championship Team
Rabbi Raymond Beyda - 5763

ArtScroll

Brothers and Teachers
Shlomo Katz - 5771

Set Your Sites
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5766

Olympic Success... or Failure?
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5756

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Look Out!
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5757

Signs From Heaven
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5769

Curse of Freedom
Shlomo Katz - 5758

From Hand to Heart
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5760



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information