11/15/2012

Shabbat Toldot

Candles Friday 4:18pm 
Havdalah Saturday 5:15pm

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This week’s reading deals with misunderstanding and miscommunication. Sometimes it is accidental and sometimes it is intentional. Esav and Yaakov are very different in character and values. They had little in common and there was no love lost between them. On the other hand there was just such a gap between Ishmael and Yischak. But Yischak being more reflective a person made an effort and in the end they got on together and both came to bury their father.

But it is more surprising that Isaac and Rivkah were so far apart. Especially if one considers that at first they were very close and really loved each other. But as time passed and their children grew up, they disagreed about how to bring up their children. They favored different sons and Yischak was too indulgent and spoilt his firstborn, as indeed many fathers do today. His wife, on the other hand, knew that the second son was a gentler better human being. Why didn’t they talk about the issues and try to reconcile their differences? Perhaps they did but failed. Either way, you can see how the best of marriages can fail if the partners do not communicate, explain themselves, and try to resolve their differences.

Some disagreements simply cannot and should not be reconciled. But most can, with a combination of love and honesty.