Drash Cards for Toldot (5763)
by Marc Mangel
• What does it mean to be a liberal Jew in the post-Shoah era?
• My first point comes from Rashi on Ch 28, v 5 “Mother of Jacob and Esau”. Rashi says “I do not know what this teaches us” (he says that 75 other times)
• That is answers still wait to be found — our exegesis is still incomplete
• Second point: The Netziv taught that Yitzchak thought each boy could get a blessing — Esau getting a blessing for physical prowess, Jacob for spiritual prowess.
• Rivka sees that Yakov needs both blessings– to combine spiritual strength with mastery of the physical world — in order to create the Jewish people. Rashi has also told us that Sarah was a greater prophet than Abraham and this shows that Rivka was greater than Isaac.
• We must give women their rightful due.
• For the third point we begin with Ch 25 v 29: Jacob both tricks Esau and Isaac and even taunts Esau by renaming him Edom. He gets away with everything, it seems
• But does he? Pay attention to how Jacob is repaid. He never resolves the internal conflict of Jacob/Israel; Laban deceives him; and his sons deceive him. We do not know if this is “God paying him back for the main deceit”. But we do know that it is people who are deceiving him.
• Abraham Joshua Heschel said that the question about the Shoah is not ‘where was God’ but ‘where was man’.