A Monday Morning reflection on this week's Torah Portion. This week’s Torah portion Toldot is challenging one. There are a lot of things that happened in this week’s Torah portion. First off, Isaac and Rebecca have difficulty conceiving a child. Miraculously Rebecca’s prayers are answered when she finds out she’s pregnant. Then she has a very difficult pregnancy
As she struggles with her pregnancy God tells her that “there are two nations in your womb,” and that the younger will prevail over the elder.”
The two children in her womb struggle up until Rebecca gives birth. Esau emerges first with Jacob clutching at his heel. The two boys could not grow up any differently Esau grows up to be “a hunter, a man of the outdoors,” he I think he smells bad and he’s Isaacs’ favorite. Jacob is described as the wholesome, mild man who stayed home and loved to learn and he’s Rebecca's favorite.
One day, I because Jacob stayed home and learned how to cook, he’s making some soup. Esau walks in and is like, "give me that food, I’m hungry, I’m so hungry I’m gonna die and I don’t know how to cook!" Jacob turns to him and says, "yes I’ll give you the soup but first you must sell me your birthright. Esau is like, "whatever. What good is it going to do me, I’m going to die if you don’t feed me." Esau sells his birthright (his rights as the firstborn) to Jacob for a pot of red lentil stew. The end of this story is this: Rebecca and Jacob deceive Isaac and Jacob gets the birthright.
This is a really hard text and it’s hard for me. I understand sibling rivalry and like Jacob and Esau I think my brother is my mother’s favorite and I am my dad’s favorite and that’s ok, it wasn’t ok when I was younger but it’s ok now.
I close this reflection with a quote from Jonathan Sacks “Never seek your brother’s blessing. Be content with your own.