Monday, November 12, 2012

Parasha Toldot and Sibling Rivalry

This week's Torah portion is called Toldot, "Generations," and it is the only portion in the Torah that makes Isaac the center of attention. It also traces the legacy that he and his wife Rebecca created through the birth of their twin sons Jacob and Esau. It is quite a story. It is a dramatic, unsettling saga of family turmoil and sibling rivalry that results in Esau selling his birthright to Jacob who then turns around and steals the blessing that his blind father thought he was bestowing upon Esau on his
deathbed. And then, Jacob has to run for his life, fearing that his brother will kill him in revenge.
This is the epitome of sibling rivalry and parental favoritism.
 When kids hear this story they seem to marvel at the way that Rebecca figured out a conniving plan to trick her dying husband. But, I can’t help thinking about the real loss this family had. The blessing of the birthright became more important than the family itself. Isn’t it time that we recognize the blessings that we do have? Who knows….maybe if Isaac and Rebecca, Jacob and Esau had done that, our history would have been different. It’s never too late to start.

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