This week’s Torah portion, Parashas Toldos, tells us the story of the birth of Yaakov Avinu and Eisav HaRasha to Yitzchok Avinu and Rivkah Imeinu, as well as the twins’ maturing into adults. We learn about Avraham Avinu’s passing and Eisav selling the firstborn birthright to Yaakov Avinu. Finally, Yaakov Avinu and Rivkah Imeinu plot and carry out a plan for Yaakov Avinu to take the blessings that Yitzchok Avinu planned to give to Eisav.
The Parasha starts off “Eileh Toldos Yitzchok” – “these are the toldos of Yitzchok”. What does the word toldos mean? There are a variety of translations: generations, actions, legacies…
I don’t know about you, but to me that sounds like quite the mix of meanings for one word. How could toldos be all those things?
Yitzchok Avinu was one of the three pillars, literally the founding fathers, of our nation, in between Avraham Avinu and Yaakov Avinu. We’ve spoken in the past about each of the Avos’ special mitzvah that characterized their lives. Avraham loved Chesed, lovingkindness; Yitzchok taught us about Tefillah, prayer; Yaakov had an insatiable thirst for emes, truth, so he constantly learned Torah.
What is so important about these three things that our Avos taught us? These are the building blocks of our people! These traits, the attachment to these mitzvos, are passed down through the generations from our great-grandparents the Avos, straight to us.
So how can it be that the word toldos means generations, actions, and legacies? The actions that Yitzchok Avinu did became the legacies that he left for his generations!
Every action, every desire, every pursuit of our Avos was ingrained in our spiritual DNA forever.
You might have asked, why is it so important what I do? Who cares how I dress? Why does the music that I listen to matter? I know it’s hard to process this when we’re so young ourselves, but you are shaping your children’s spiritual DNA! With every decision, action that you do, with every word that comes out of your mouth, you are shaping eternity!
Quite a responsibility that Hashem entrusted us with, no?
So besides for the person that you want to be… what legacies do you want to leave for the generations after you?
(Inspired by a Shmuz on Parashas Toldos by Rabbi Benzion Shafier on www.theshmuz.com)
Listening to Hayom by Yeshiva Boys Choir on YBC Acapella “Amein”!