12 Nov Rabbi Hillel Skolnik’s Torah Spark for Tol’dot 5776
This Shabbat we read from Parashat Tol’dot which opens with our foremother Rivka struggling to conceive. When she eventually is able to carry children, her pregnancy is a tremendously hard one, so difficult in fact that she inquires of God the reasoning behind it. God’s answer to her is that two nations are contained within her womb. God also implies that the relationship between the two children will not always be kind and gentle so as to explain the struggling the twins during the pregnancy. The children turn out to be Yaakov and Eisav who have a tremendously difficult and complicated relationship in a continuation of the struggles they had within their mother. But even as they continued on in their lives, we should not forget the experience Rivka went through, first to become pregnant and then to have her children. The birth of a newborn is fraught with danger, even more so in those times. As we are grateful for our children, we should also be equally grateful for the women who were, and continue to be, willing to subject themselves to the pain and risk so that we might all be able to see our children live prosperously in this world.
Rabbi Hillel Skolnik