Thursday, November 15, 2012

Toldos--I thought G-d liked BT's

Well, here we are in Parshas Toldos.  This is where we meet our third "father," Yaakov (who, despite our tradition that his greatest trait was "emes" seemed to spend the better part of his life trying to pull something on someone.)  But, we'll get to him another time.  I'd like to talk about Rivka.  In this week's parsha, we see Rivka and Yitzhak praying for children.  The question is, why did Yitzhak pray for his wife to have a child?  It's not precedented.  Avraham impregnated the help, and Yaakov got mad when Rachel brought it up.  Yitzhak was the only one to pray.   A loving act by a loving husband.  After all, Yitzhak was the only one of our avos not to take multiple wives.
But was love the only motive?
According to one midrash, Yitzhak had to do the praying.  As we've established, Rivka's family was EEEEVIIIILLLL.  Therefore, Hashem would not listen to her tefillos.
Glad they missed this midrash when they handed me my kosher Kool-Aid.
Seriously, Hashem ignored her tefillos because of--her family?  Because we have so much control over our families?  Talk about a mean Midrash!  The G-d of this story gives a righteous girl to an EEEEVIIIILLLL family, then holds her family against her?  That's just wrong!


  1. Read the Midrash again. That's not what it said.
    What it said was that the prayer of a righteous person who is the descendant of a righteous person is more effective than that of a righteous person who is the descenant of a wicked person. We are not simply individuals but the product of our families. As righteous as Rivkah Imeinu was her ability to rise spiritually at that point in her life was not as great as that of Yitzchak Avinu.
    But there's more to the story. The other point is that this shows how Yitchak Avinu was able to spiritually grow beyond the level of his father. After all, Avraham Avinu prayed for a son but never mentioned Sarah. Yitzchak wants a son too but only from the love of his life and mentions her too.

  2. Point is, why would Hashem judge us on the merits of our parents when it's in His control and not ours? That Midrash is rather cruel.


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