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Dvar Toldot

Check out Etan G, The Jewish Rapper on "No Opportunity Wasted" (on the Discovery Channel) Thursday eve at 8pm and again at 11pm

Dearest Reader,

Will the short, practical Lelamed Weekly Dvar ever stop? Nahhh......

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In this week's Parsha, Toldot, the theme revolves around families. There are many things one can learn about raising children and dealing with one's family, just by reading this Parsha. But there's one very interesting Passuk (verse), which tells us that although Esav was a murderer, Yitzchok loved Esav because Esav hunted for him, while Rivka loved Yaakov. The obvious question is...how can Yitzchok love Esav if he was really evil? Didn't he realize? Well, the Torah knew we'd ask, so it tells us that it was because Esav gave Yitzchok food, and respected him. The Lekach Tov explains that Yitzchak knew that Esav was evil, but the fact that Esav showed him respect proved that there was still hope for him, which is why Yitzchok loved him. That insight into a person is something few people have mastered, but if you look closer into the exact wording of the Passuk, you'll even an even deeper insight into our nature as humans:

When the Passuk says that Yitzchok loved Esav, it uses past tense, yet when describing Rivka's love it does so in present tense. It's no coincidence that Yitzchok's love was based on something tangible and was short-lived - this is proven when Yitzchok gives Yaakov the Brachot (blessings) although according to most commentaries he knew that it was Yaakov - while Rivka's love is pure and ever-lasting! The Torah is teaching us a very important lesson about love: When we love someone, it MUST be unconditional, or it won't last. We love our families for that reason. We need to look at people for who they are, and not for what they have to offer us, or what they've done or haven't done for us lately because basing our love on any one aspect will only spoil it. The same applies for loving G-d. We can't love G-d just when things are good, but must constantly work on loving G-d for what He is, and what He stands for, for He will stand when all else fails or falls!

Quotation of the week (thanks to Ariel):
"If you won't be better tomorrow than you were today, then what need do you have for tomorrow?" -- Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav


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Last Updated: Friday, November 12, 2004