PARSHAS TOLDOS 5778
Divrei Torah from Shaya Gross z'l
[Editor’s note: As a memory of my beloved brother Shaya, I would like to continue sending
out his pearls of wisdom that he has shared with all of you in the past. For some of you
this may ring a bell and for others it may appear to be totally new. May the learning of
Shaya’s Divrei Torah inspire us to change our ways and thereby give an Aliya to the
neshama of our dear beloved Shaya whom we miss so much.] The views and opinions
expressed in this article are those solely of its author(s).
When Rivka passed a place where idols were worshiped, she felt the fetus inside of her
pushing to get out. Rivka was very perturbed and exclaimed, ‘if so, why is this I’ [or ‘why is
this my I’]. What does this mean?
I suggest the following: Rivka had defined herself as a woman trying to bring children into
the world to serve Hashem. That was her zich, her ‘I’, and hence she was very distraught
and exclaimed, 'what is the point of my ‘self’ if this child is going to be wicked?'
In life when we set out to achieve a goal, all too often we want that goal to define us.
Whether it is in the business world of wanting to be a successful doctor and the like, or in
the spiritual realm of wanting to be a certain personality and figure, or trying to overcome a
bad midah, we want that to be our crown jewel and accomplishment.
The problem with that is… if we aren’t successful. We then feel very depressed and
A key to living a meaningful and successful life is not to put all the eggs in one basket.
We shouldn’t have one specific area that defines us. We should try to shine in many
different areas. That way if we aren’t successful in one of them, we can find meaning and
happiness in others.
This, I suggest, is what was going on with Rivka. She defined a large part of her ‘self’ by
having good kids and was thus very saddened when she passed the idol worship house.
The rest of the Pasuk was her way of coping with it. It states she went ‘Lidrosh Es
Hashem’. Doreish means to seek out, so perhaps it means she went to find other ways to
seek out, connect to, and emulate Hashem, so that those accomplishments would give
her meaning even if her child wouldn’t!
May we all take this lesson to heart, to have many talents, goals, and aspirations to help
define ourselves. This way when some don’t materialize, we will find solace and meaning
in the rest of our achievements.
Editor: Baruch Leib Gross
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