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Home » Free Choice, Toldot

Toldot: Inner Conflict

Submitted by on December 4, 2005 – 2:46 amNo Comment | 2,748 views

The Warring Nations

“There two nations are in your womb and two regimes from your innards will separate”.  The ethos of these words, told to our Matriarch Rivkah with regards to the twins she was carrying in her womb, echo across generations with the clarity of prophetic vision. Every Jew struggles with the balance of this strange duality, Esau versus Jacob, good versus evil, selfishness versus selflessness.

Let us examine what happened to Rivkah more the thirty-four hundred years ago. She was pregnant with twins and would not accept her intense pain as routine pangs of labor. She consulted with a spiritual healer and was told that she was the carrier of two separate yet viable destinies. That residing within her womb were two warring nations. That they would forever hurl themselves into pitched battle that would pit all that is right against all that is wrong.

Within our Soul

Knowing that she was a mother from whom the nation of Israel was destined to emerge she accepted her role and, silently yet heroically, endured her pain. Ever since, we, the Jewish people, have struggled with the enormity of our mother’s burden. Every day we are confronted by this inner conflict. There are two forces within us, one represented by Jacob the other by Esau, each vying for supremacy and control. One desires G-dly inspiration the other self-gratification, one desires spiritual delight the other material gain, one desires transcendence of the soul the other craves decadent profligacy.

The choice has been left to us. We can overcome this challenge. We alone are responsible for our decisions and will one day account for them before G-d. Every day is another opportunity every day is another battle. Let us take on this battle with confidence; with the knowledge that we can and indeed will prevail. Let us realize that the antidote to every weakness is the Torah; that the protection from every pitfall is provided by G-d.

The secret formula for spiritual strength lies in our commitment to study Torah and in incremental increases in our observance of its commands.

May we succeed in this noble endeavor.