Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Parshas Toldos

No Contradiction

By Rabbi Raymond Beyda

When Ribkah Imenu became pregnant it should have been cause or joy and celebration. After all, she and her husband our Patriarch Yitzhak had prayed fervently for years for a child and now one was soon to be born. Instead her joy quickly turned to despair. Whenever she passed a house of idol worship the baby kicked in an attempt to leave its mother’s womb. Similarly, whenever she passed a holy place of worship the pains of a fetus pushing to exit its mother’s womb stuck her like a knife. “If this is so why should I live?” she said in despair.

She sought the advice of the wise men of the generation in the Yeshivah of Shem and Ever. “Don’t worry”, they responded, “there are two nations in your womb.” She was comforted by this reply and with new resolve accepted her condition and persisted until the twins were born.

Knowing that 2 infants were inside of her did not make the pain any less severe nor did it change the pressure when she passed one type of house of worship or the other. Why was she comforted?

Our sages explain that Ribkah thought that only one child was in her womb and that fetus was a split personality. It had, she believed, a very wicked side and very good side also. Such a child, she felt, could not be a building block of the Jewish people. The commitment needed to become loyal servants of the Supreme Being would always be lacking in such an individual.

The wicked King Ahab and his vicious Queen Izebel pursued Elyahu Hanavi for years attempting to kill him and eliminate along with him any remnants of true prophecy. They preferred that the Jewish people serve idols and follow the false teachings of the prophets of the Baal. Elyahu Hanavi suggested a decisive test at Har HaCarmel. A bull would be put on an alter and the one whose prayers would be answered by a heavenly fire would be declared the true prophet. After thousands had gathered around the contest area Elyahu proposed, “ How long will you all sway back and forth philosophically. If Hashem is the true G-d – serve Him and if the Baal is the true Creator worship him!”

In the end Hashem was proven to be the real G-d and the people cried out “Hashem is the King – Hashem is the God.”

The question is: How could Elyahu Hanavi, the true prophet of G-d even suggest that everyone abandon Hashem if the Baal would win the contest. Could he possibly truly mean to serve the idol?

The answer is Elyahu was teaching the people that G-d expects us to loyally commit to His service. Swinging back and forth may be o k for politics but it certainly not allowed when it comes to religion. A person may justify in one’s own mind many contradictory verses. But – implied Elyahu – commitment – total dedication to one power – is the true way to succeed in the world of the spirit. Similarly, when Ribkah thought she had a schizophrenic child in her womb she felt that life was not worth living. When she was told that she was to have twins - one child all good and one child all bad - she was able to accept her fate.

Today – more than ever – one must declare for himself or herself about schools, shuls and other organizations as to how loyal one is to G-d and how the future can bring, Being two faced in a time when unity is at risk is much worse than clearly choosing the side of bad. One must not be fence sitter – one instead must choose one’s side and declare one’s positions. Loyalty to g-d will be paid and disloyalty will be punished. Arise from your slumber and declare for Hashem – totally – purely.

Shabbat Shalom

www.raymondbeyda.com


Text Copyright © 2005 by Rabbi Raymond Beyda and Torah.org.


 

ARTICLES ON KI SAVO AND ELUL / ROSH HASHANAH:

View Complete List

So It Is Written
Rabbi Label Lam - 5765

Paying Attention to the Voice of the Almighty
- 5767

Leave it Up to the King
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5764

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Past, Present, and Future
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5763

Bounty and Bitterness
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5764

The Ever-Present
Rabbi Label Lam - 5774

> Say It With Chumros
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5774

Returning Home to Our Land
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5773

The Passion of Today!
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5759

ArtScroll

Say It with Chumros
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5771

In the Footsteps of G-d
Shlomo Katz - 5758

The First of Our Fruits
Rabbi Label Lam - 5766

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

The Judgment
Shlomo Katz - 5759

Thoughts for Pre-Rosh Hashanah
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5755

You Cannot Hide
Rabbi Raymond Beyda - 5764

Ideas for Inspiration
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5760



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information