This week we read from the Bible the story of "generations" or Toldot. There is a bunch of stuff going on this week from the birth of Esau and Jacob to Esau selling his birthright for a bowl of soup to Issac taking a trip, to Esau marrying a couple of Hittite women (much to his fathers dismay). Then Jacob fools his father because his mother Rebecca encourages it, Esau gets angry and vows to kill his brother, Jacob leaves town and heads to his Uncle Laban and that sets up another marriage.
Yikes! Never a dull moment.
There are many lessons here for our own time. We learn about obedience and wisdom, kindness and hate, family and conflict.
If we pour ourselves into just one of the messages we learn here about how to rebuke a person we love.
In Genesis 28:1 we read, "And Issac called Jacob and blessed him saying, 'You shall not take a wife from the daughters of Canaan'".
What is the connection between a blessing and a warning?
The Chofetz Chaim, Rabbi Yisroel Meir Kagan, a great rabbi of the last generation, commented that we learn from here the most effective manner in which to reproach someone. Show that you truly care about his welfare; he will more readily listen to your reprimand.
Often people who mean well give reproach in a harsh manner or by yelling -- particularly if the recipient of the reprimand is one's own child. Every person wants to do the right thing. If we can focus on our love for the other person, our desire to genuinely help and our knowledge that the other person wants to be good, then we can speak softly and give admonition which will be heard.
In other words you don't have to carry a big stick...
Services are Friday 17 November at 7:15pm and our Torah Study, where we dig into this Parsha is on Saturday (Shabbat) starting at 10:00am. Everyone is welcome.
See you in Shul!