Life Skills from the Word of YHWH

Toldot (Generations)
(Sefer Bereishit) Genesis 25:19-28:9


25:19- “And these are the generations of Yitzchak, Avraham's son: Avraham begot Yitzchak:
21- And Yitzchak entreated YHVH for his wife, because she was barren: and YHVH was entreated of
him, and Rivkah his wife conceived.
22- And the children struggled within her; and she said, If so, why am I thus? And she went to seek YHVH.
23- And YHVH said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two peoples from thy bowels are divided;
and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger.
27- And the boys grew: and Esav became a skillful hunter, a man of the field; and Yaakov was a
wholesome man, dwelling in tents.
31- And Yaakov said, Sell me this day thy birthright.
32- And Esav said, Behold, I am going to die: and to what profit is this birthright do to me?
33- And Yaakov said, Swear to me this day, and he swore to him: and he sold his birthright unto Yaakov.
34- Then Yaakov gave Esav bread and pottage of lentiles; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and
went his way: thus Esav despised his birthright.
26:1- And there was a famine in the land, beside the first famine that was in the days of Avraham. And
Yitzchak went unto Avimelech king of the Philistines unto Gerar.
2- And YHVH appeared to him and said, Don’t descend to Egypt; dwell in the land which I will tell thee of.
3- Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I
will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I swore unto Avraham thy father;
12- Then Yitzchak sowed in that land and attained in that year a hundredfold: and YHVH blessed him.
15- For all the wells which his father's servants had dug in the days of Avraham his father, the
Philistines had stopped them, and filled them with earth.
18- And Yitzchak returned and dug the wells of water, which they dug in the days of Avraham his
father; and the Philistines had stopped them after the death of Avraham: and he called their names
after the names by which his father had called them.
19- And Yitzchak's servants dug in the valley, and found there a well of springing water.
21- And they dug another well, and strove for that also: and he called the name of it Sitnah (Hostility).
22- And he moved from there and dug another well; and they strove not over it: and he called the name
of it Rechovot; and he said, For now YHVH has enlarged us, and we shall be fruitful in the land.
24- And YHVH appeared to him that night and said, I am the Elohim of Avraham thy father: fear not,
for I am with thee, and will bless thee, and multiply thy seed for My servant Avraham's sake.
25- And he built an altar there, and called upon the name of YHVH, and pitched his tent there: and there
Yitzchak's servants dug a well.
32- And it came to pass the same day, that Yitzchak's servants came, and told him concerning the well
which they had dug, and said unto him, We have found water.
33- And he called it Shevah: therefore the name of the city is Beersheva unto this day.”

 

“How goodly are thy tents, O Yaakov, and thy tabernacles, O Yisrael.”
(Numbers 24:5)


“He that dwells in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.”
(Psalms 91:1)


“Behold, the days come, says Adonai YHVH, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread
nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of YHVH.”
(Amos 8:11)


“When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue fails for thirst, I YHVH will
hear them, I the Elohim of Yisrael will not forsake them. I will open rivers in high places and fountains in the midst of the valleys: I will make the wilderness a pool of water and the dry land springs of water.”
(Isaiah 41:17-18)


“Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek YHVH, till He come and rain righteousness upon you.”
(Hosea 10:12)


“They shall not be ashamed in the evil time: and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied.”
(Psalms 37:19)


Toldot Summary:
1. Choose You This Day: The Tent or the Field:

The destiny that HaShem declares for His chosen people is that the elder shall serve the younger;
the earthly shall be subject to the spiritual. To subsequent generations, the lives of Yaakov and Esav illustrate this struggle that begins at birth. Even as the Eternal informed Rivkah of His choice, similarly, it takes His spoken word to identify the path of blessed inheritance. As demonstrated at their birth, it was Esav, the man of the field, who initially manifested from the womb with Yaakov, a tent-dweller, grasping to obtain the coveted birthright. Physical Esav, appeared potent in posture to possess all things, and yet, wholesome Yaakov, understanding the urgency to prevail, found opportunity amid his rival’s weakened state. Even as Esav cherished his appetite above the Everlasting Covenant, Proverbs 16:32 describes the vulnerability of a carnal man, who will find no victory against the seed of promise, as it is written:
“He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that rules his spirit than he that takes a city.”
Likewise, the wisdom of Shlomo pronounces the fate of man’s insatiable flesh. Ecclesiastes 6:7 avers:
“All the labor of man is for his mouth, and yet the appetite is not filled.”
In contrast to the path of bodily accommodation is the way of the Forefathers, the highway of faith, which leads to the courts of the King. Yaakov would not be denied. However, this determination did not come to him in a moment; it was cultivated. His life was chronicled as one, dwelling in tents, namely, he sought the sanctuary of the Most High. It was this spiritual communion with HaShem, which equipped him with the wisdom to both esteem the importance of Avraham’s promised inheritance and outwit his undiscerning brother. For those desirous of obtaining the birthright and the overflow of these covenantal benedictions, it is incumbent that we emulate the early days of Yaakov. We must reject our empty preoccupation with worldly hopes and pursuits, leave our cunning knack for the hunt of more physical trophies, and come back to the tents of our mother, the Ruach, that she may instruct us concerning Derech HaShem. Isaiah 58:14 conveys the heart of Elohim that we partake of Yaakov’s portion:
“Then shall thou delight thyself in YHVH; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the
earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Yaakov thy father: for the mouth of YHVH has spoken it.”
 

2. Unearthing the Wells in a Dry and Weary Land:
From the early days of Yaakov’s wrestling to prevail and become a possessor of HaShem’s word was a father, who labored over living waters. Parasha Toldot relates time and again, the record of Yitzchak’s diligence in digging wells. Without water, one will surely die; what then can be said about the need for spiritual refreshment. Analogous to the intensity that the son of Avraham had for locating water is the call to us today to passionately pursue the Kingdom within. The question we must ask is: How desperate are we for intimacy with HaShem? In Psalms 63:1-2, David exemplifies a man after Elohim’s heart:
“O Elohim, Thou are my Elohim; early will I seek Thee: my soul thirsts for Thee, my flesh longs
for Thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is; To see Thy power and Thy glory, so as
I have seen Thee in the sanctuary.”
In parallel fashion, the method to this Divine discovery is declared in Jeremiah 29:13, namely:
“And ye shall seek Me, and find Me, when ye shall search for Me with all your heart.”
Psalms 24:6 declares to us the hope today that if we are to embody the fountains of Yitzchak and be
reckoned among the offspring of Yaakov, we will steady our hearts to confide in this supernal search:
“This is the generation of them that seek Him, that seek thy face, O Yaakov. Selah. Lift up your
heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.”

 

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