Erev Shabbos Parshas Toldos 5781

A gitten erev Shabbos! This week’s parsha is Parshas Toldos, in which Yitzchok and Rivkah give birth to Yaakov Avinu and Esav, along with Yaakov acquiring the brochos from Yitzhok instead of Esav, and the story of the B’eiros (Wells) as well as many fascinating inyonim.

It is well known that Yitzchok Avinu was forbidden by Hashem to leave Eretz Yisroel. The reasonable question is “Why?” To paraphrase a section from the Zohar HaKodosh on this parsha, it says there that since Yitzchok was the aspect of Yirah v’Fachad (Awe and Fear), he couldn’t leave Eretz Yisroel because the true Yiras Hashem is only there. Rebbe Nachman says in various Toros of his that Eretz Yisroel is the aspect of Emunah, meaning that Emunah is Eretz Yisroel mamesh. To explain, rather than interpreting every single reference to Eretz Yisroel in Rebbe Nachman’s Toros to mean the literal, physical place, we can understand this to refer to existing in the state of Emunah and truly living with it. Learning this way, we can say that the Zohar HaKodosh is saying that the aspect of Yiras Hashem cannot exist outside of Emunah, and that Emunah is the pre-requisite to this aspect of our avodah.

In regards to the B’eiros, it says in the parsha that Yitzchok went and re-dug the wells that Avrohom dug but were covered by the Pilishtim (Phillistines). In says in the Zohar Chodosh says that this is not entirely correct, that the loshon “B’eiros,” which is plural, should be used, since the name of the place is B’er Sheva, meaning “A single well of seven.” What this refers to is that the Pilishtim returned to Avodah Zarah, viewing the “One Well of Seven,” which would be a reference to the מאציל הכל (Emanator of All, Hashem) as seven separate wells, referring to the Shiva Midos (Seven Lower Sefiros, Chesed through Malchus) saying that they are separate deities each one, chas v’sholom. So Yitzchok went and caused them to return to the proper monotheism that Avrohom taught them. Following this thread, we can say that through Yitzchok returning the Pilishtim to the ways of his father, he removed the dirt that was hindering the flow of Hashem’s beneficence to this world through their expressions in the Shiva Midos. The same mechanism occurs for a Yid who becomes trapped in the metaphorical Avodah Zarah of our days, and through removing these things a Yid can merit once again to the various brochos that Hashem wants to shower upon us all and share these with the world.

In relation to Yaakov stealing the brochos from Esav, this entire episode is packed with secrets. The Zohar HaKodosh teaches us that when Yaakov came in to Yitzchok to receive the brochos, Yitzchok smelled the “Field that Hashem blessed,” is a reference to how Yaakov smelled beautiful and sweet like Gan Eden; and on the contrast when Esav came in after Yaakov left, Yitzchok smelled the rancidness of Gehennom on Esav, hence why he trembled and was afraid. The Rebbe Rashab zy’a teaches us in the Maamar Podoh V’Sholom Nafshi from תרס”ח that this is the ikar avodah of a Yid. When we eat and engage in physical activities, we have to deceive the Sitra Achra by taking these things and elevating them to Shomayim through utilizing them in our avodas Hashem. This can be accomplished in differing degrees by people in different levels in their avodah, hence what it says in the gemoro that it is assur for amei haaretz (unlettered Jews) to eat meat and drink wine, whereas it is encouraged to fill the throat of a talmid chochom with wine. This is because talmidei chachomim and Tzaddikim have a greater capacity to elevate the physical through their involvement with Torah and their dedication to avodas Hashem.

The Torah is from even before Gan Eden, so we can say that we only merit the full brochos Yitzchok gave Yaakov, meaning the hashpo’os (Divine influences and bounty) from B’er Sheva, the One who expresses His bounty through seven fountains, through learning Torah and devoting our entire lives to d’veikus and avodas Hashem. The way to learn how to do this is to cleave to the Tzaddik Amiti, to watch such a Tzaddik and learn his ways and implement the secrets conveyed there into your own practice, once you understand the reasons for these practices and can hold to them l’shem Shomayim. If there is a taaruves (mixture) of anything not l’shem Shomayim, it shouldn’t be done, like the Baal Shem is quoted as saying in Keser Shem Tov, that one should not attempt to behave like his friend holding on a higher level in avodas Hashem; and like the gemoro that says many tried to learn all day without working like Rebbe Shimon bar Yochai and failed. The p’shat there on that gemoro, considering the Rambam who writes that everyone who accepts upon oneself to learn and serve Hashem and not to be involved with worldly matters receives the brochos of the Levi’im, is that they didn’t do it l’shem Shomayim – rather they did it in order to seem cool and be like R’ Shimon, the holiest man in existence in the generation! We have to accept upon ourselves to serve Hashem for its own sake, without any expectation of reward or punishment, and work constantly to climb closer to the highest of levels, to be like the Baal Shem Tov.

A git Shabbos! Hashem should bentsh us all with simcha, menuchas hanefesh, yishuv hadaas, we should all merit to attain the same spiritual levels as the holy Baal Shem Tov, as well as to all the influences of the Shiva Midos, and we should merit to see the face of Moshiach swiftly in our days!LikeCommentShare

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