When it comes to understanding what has gone so HIDEOUSLY wrong wrong in the world today, and especially what was once arguably “one nation under God,” to a place where “two nations struggle” — and may in fact be about ready for open civil war —
Mark will suggest that parsha Toldot this week (Genesis/Bereshiet 25:19-28:9) may be just about as illustrative as it gets.
The Erev Shabbat overview of the portion begins with ‘generations of Yitzak,’ but only just barely, which plot really seems to thicken with Rivkah/Rebecca’s vision that “two nations” were struggling within her.
And the story of how Yakov was moved to lie to his father, and impersonate Esau is, perhaps to put it mildly, “problematic,” and arguably ambiguous:
In the Sabbath Day teaching, Mark turns directly to those ‘problem aspects,’ and the question of whether these stories are ambiguous, or not, among others.
What does it mean to “despise” our birthright? (And are we seeing that all over again?) And how about deception? Was Jacob/Yakov – the man who is generally identified as the epitome of “emet,” or Truth – really right to lie so blatantly to his blind father?
Oh, and just who are those “two nations” that struggled then, and seem to have continued ever since?
“Toldot: Ambiguity or Ambivalence – Two Nations struggle”
The combined two-part podcast is here, via Hebrew Nation Radio.