Torah Portion: Tol’dot (History) B’Resheet (Gen.) 25:19-28:9
HafTorah: Malachi 1:1-2:7
Today as Israel stands on the brink of a ground war in Gaza, the head Rabbi blessed the troops with part of this verse Zech 12:10, “I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication…”. We surely pray with him for G-d’s grace and supplications for each one of Israel’s soldiers as well as each citizen. I would like us to read the entire verse and pray the last half of the verse also. I would pray that they will look on the One they have rejected and will mourn for Him as one mourns for His only son. We must stand in the gap now for G-d’s people and pray for an opening of their eyes that their hearts would melt and this will draw them to G-d through Yeshua. Please intercede everyday for them that during this war G-d will be merciful toward them and bring them to Him.
This week the Torah section is Toldot. It is usually translated as generations or descendents. Here we see one of many listed in Torah.
Genesis 2:6 – of Heaven and Earth
Genesis 5:1 of Adam
Genesis 6:9 – Noah
Genesis 10:1 -Shem, Ham and Jaheth
Genesis 11:10 – Shem
Genesis 11:27 Terah
Genesis 25:12 Ishmael
Genesis 25:19 – Isaac
So we can see the importance of descendents. But it is more than just a list of names for this Toldot tells us about the people, their place in the family or tribe. It gave people a heightened sense of who they were and where they fit in and what their responsibility was to the family. Many of us don’t know much about our Toldot past our grandparents and I expect we are the poorer for it. But we do know about our spiritual Toldot. We can trace that all the way back as adopted sons and daughters and it should help us find our way in this world. We all carry the spiritual DNA of Yeshua and through him we are connected to each word of Torah. So when we read a portion like today we can see ourselves and learn from the life of Isaac, Jacob and Abraham. It is more than just history because it speaks to our heart and our spirit.
In this section of scripture there is much we can talk about. First we read about the selling of a birthright for a bowl of soup. What was Esau thinking? He was only concerned about the moment and not concerned with the effect of that moment on his life. Sounds like the daily news right? General Petraeus was a man who spent his life climbing to the top of his profession. But he threw it away because he got caught up in the passion of a moment. Each of us have probably had moments when we made decisions that we wish we could retract. We wish we had thought it through. Sometimes we have to live with the result of that moment but spiritually all is not lost. David was forgiven by G-d and so are we when we ask. Our daily struggle is to win the battle of each moment that it will bring us closer to the Father not push us further away.
Maybe the answer partly lies in our ability to dig lasting wells. What does a well give us? Water – or in Hebrew – living water. Our task is to dig wells that last. The wells we dig will nourish us through our life or they will dry up and leave us thirsty depending on where we dig them. Isaac dug wells, wells that lasted. I asked you about the three that he dug. The first one was named Esek – it signifies the physical strife between his herdsmen and the local people. Is it easy to dig a well? Do we meet obstacles? Of course we do. But he and we must go on, finish our well. We can’t be caught up in the physical struggle and give up. It is hard to dig our spiritual well. There are many things that we may encounter as we dig… old habits, old friends, family… but we cannot stop.
The name of the second well is Sitna or hatred. As we press on through the physical struggle that comes with well digging we reach a point where sometimes our emotions become involved. This is a step above the physical work. But here our emotions come into play. This is harder work. Emotions are not bad but often we allow them to cloud our vision and distract us from the work at hand. G-d is our help in channeling our emotions to finish the well and not give up.
Finally as we allow the Spirit to guide us and strengthen us we come to the last well, Rechovot, or that broad place where the Spirit is unhindered in our lives and our well nourished not only us but everyone around us.