"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart."
As we find ourselves amid the ongoing turmoil, with rocket sirens and red alerts becoming all too familiar, the importance of standing with Israel and its people has never been more apparent. Our efforts are directly contributing to the emergency aid needed for the victims affected by this devastating conflict.
This Shabbat, as we reflect on this and prepare our hearts to gather and give thanks, we're reminded of the powerful narrative of Parashat Toldot in the book of Genesis (Gen. 25:19-28:9), a tale of family, heritage, and the immense weight of blessings. In the story of Isaac, Rebecca, and their sons, Jacob and Esau, we see two distinct individuals destined to shape the future of their family and, indeed, the world.
Rebecca, burdened with a turbulent pregnancy, hears from God that the twins she carries will become "two nations," with diverging destinies. Esau, the hunter, lives for the immediate pleasures of the world. Jacob, on the other hand, embodies a deeper sense of purpose. This dichotomy not only defines their lives but also underscores the eternal struggle between transient satisfaction and lasting legacy.
It’s believed that Esau was the forefather of Edom (today’s Jordan), the sworn enemy of Israel in biblical times. In today’s world, it is believed that part of the Arab and Muslim world originated from Edom. It's a struggle we witness today, as our brothers and sisters in Israel face attacks and the loss of loved ones, choosing the path of resilience and enduring hope over despair.
In a defining moment, Esau relinquishes his birthright for a bowl of lentil stew, opting for immediate gratification over eternal blessing. Jacob, guided by his mother Rebecca, gains Isaac's blessing, securing a prosperous destiny for generations to come — the People of Israel.
By partnering with Vision for Israel, you become a part of our continued legacy of providing vital emergency aid to victims affected by ongoing conflicts, especially those affected by the recent war with Hamas. Your support isn't just a gift—it's a promise, a commitment, a blessing that reverberates through the lives of countless individuals.
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To deepen your understanding of these spiritual lessons, we invite you to watch Batya’s teaching video on Parashat Toldot.
"The generous will themselves be blessed, for they share their food with the poor."
May your choices today be blessings for tomorrow.
With heartfelt thanks,
Barry & Batya Segal