These radical upheavals, these tumultuous changes, which have a direct impact on the majority of the world’s population, are taking place in silence and tranquility, something that has no precedent in the entire history of mankind
Entries in Toldos (9)
This Shabbos is Parshas Toldos. The word “Toldos” means children. There is nothing more important to parents than the health, growth and success of their children. Having Yiddishe and Chassidishe nachas is the biggest bracha a parent wishes for. Chazal tell us, “A person is envious of everyone with the exception of his child or student (a spiritual child).” Why we are we not jealous of our children and students even though they might be cleverer or more talented than we are?
Esau comes home from the field, weary and on the verge of death and asks Jacob to feed him some lentils. Jacob asks him to sell his birthright in return. Esau is happy to oblige him, as the Torah recounts.
On Shabbos Mikeitz 5751, the Rebbe made the following statement: “When one is totally immersed in a certain subject and then encounters another topic, it is human nature to immediately search for and find the connection with that subject in which he is immersed, even though this other topic has its own issues and critical features.”
After being sent away by King Avimelech, Yitzchak became very successful1. He cultivated the soil and enjoyed the results of supernatural success. Rashi2 brings two explanations for what happened. One explanation is that the miracle was based on the estimation before anything grew, i.e., the output of the crop was much higher than originally anticipated.
The lesson from this applies to one who encounters a Jew and sees in him something lowly and unbecoming, G-d forbid, seeing him as an outcast, not worthy to be among the encampment of the Jewish people, G-d forbid. In that situation, the Torah states that prior to rendering this ruling upon another Jew, even a great sage must first make a proper self-assessment of where is he holding in kindness and love of a fellow Jew.
These radical upheavals, these tumultuous changes, which have a direct impact on the majority of the world’s population, are taking place in silence and tranquility, something that has no precedent in the entire history of mankind!
For the unsophisticated and unlettered amongst us, the cynics come along and mock our sincere faith in the imminent coming of Moshiach. The Philistine cynicism and scorn has no substance and it can invade. (The word Philistine actually means “invaders”—the minds and heart of those who are not able to respond logically to their taunts.) To counter these efforts, we need a healthy dose of holy chutzpah.