Wednesday, January 18, 2012

302 - Toldos

Chazal tell us that during Rivka's pregnancy she felt conflicting movements from inside her womb. When she passed a Beis Medrash, the baby would kick implying an interest in leaving the womb in order to study Torah. However, when she passed a house of idol worship, she once again felt the kicking implying an interest in living a diametrically opposite way of life. This uncertainty with regard to the future of her child compelled her to ask the prophet Sheim to unravel the mystery. His answer is recorded in the Torah. "Two nations are in your womb, and two regimes from your stomach will be separated; the might will pass from one regime to the other, and the elder will serve the younger" (Bereishis 25, 23).

Rashi explains that the two nations will not attain greatness simultaneously. When one nation rises the other will fall. Rav Wolbe (Shiurei Chumash) explains that this pasuk encapsulates the last few thousand years of world history. The many wars fought and the numerous conflicts between countries all revolve around the Jewish Nation. Even when two gentile nations fight among themselves, it ultimately results in the Jewish people being affected on some level. As Chazal (Yevomos 63a) stated unequivocally, "All calamity that befalls the world is because of Yisroel."

This idea is apparent even in our day and age. The Arab countries are in constant conflict with all Western culture, but it is Israel that is the reason for this hostility. Zionism wished to solve "The Jewish Problem" by founding a Jewish State. We are witness to the fact that "The Jewish Problem" has followed right after it into the State of Israel.

Rav Wolbe was involved in arranging the curriculum of courses to be studied in the Chinuch Atzmai schools in Eretz Yisroel. He related that with most subjects, such as biology, chemistry, physics, and botany, they were able to find appropriate textbooks. However, regarding history this was not the case. Each historian had his own interpretation of world events, and none of them were in line with the Torah outlook described above.

It is in our hands to determine the outcome of this continuous discord. "When the voice is the voice of Yaakov, the hands no longer belong to Eisav." When Bnei Yisroel study Torah, the entire nation rises. The automatic result is that in turn our enemies fall!

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