Parsha Nugget Toldos – Genesis 25:19-28:9
Is there anything more gratifying than when your child comes to you for help making sense of her life? I get to enjoy this for a few more years until my daughter, being a teen, becomes smarter than me. While it is the case now, even more so then I will need wisdom to guide me. Parshas Toldos explains what I should do:
“And Isaac entreated to G-d opposite his wife, because she was barren.” (Bereshis/Genesis 25:21).
At the beginning of the parsha Jacob and Esau are born. Esau sells his birthright to Jacob for a pot of lentil stew. Then a famine forces Isaac to move to Gerar where he disputes with the Philistines and makes a treaty with Abimelech. Esau marries two Hittite women. Next as Isaac lay dying, Rebecca conspires to get the blessing of the first born for Jacob, precipitating Esau’s hatred for his brother. Isaac admonishes Jacob not to marry a Canaanite, after which he flees to Bethuel’s house. Esau marries a third wife. Who needs Dynasty?
Like Sarah before her, Rebecca is barren. It seems counter intuitive that two of the greatest women who ever lived, who G-d chose to be Matriarchs, should be unable to have children.
In the passage above you see the solution.
Isaac prayed to G-d on behalf of his wife.
For all of the numerous challenges you face in your life G-d wants you to pray and ask for help. As parents we want our children to come to us for help when they are struggling or have difficulties to overcome. We may feel hurt if they do not. So too G-d wants our prayers and our entreaties so that He can comfort us and be generous with us.
Sometimes the Almighty leaves your problem unresolved. Likewise at times you need to withhold your assistance to give your child the chance to help himself. But just like the process of talking the issue through with you helps your child find a solution, a quiet, focused dialogue with G-d will bring you clarity.
Question – How do you engage with your children to help them learn to overcome challenges?
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Every year beginning on Simchas Torah, the cycle of reading the Torah, the first five books of the Bible, ends and begins again. Each Sabbath a portion known as a sedra or parsha is read. Its name comes from the first significant word or two with which this weekly reading begins.
Do you have a question about the Old Testament? Ask it here and I will answer it in a future Parsha Nugget!