Parshat Toldot: Parshah Resources
Our souls have infinite depths, waiting to be uplifted and manifest at the surface. The Divine service of our Patriarch, Isaac, was to dig wells and to both literally and figuratively release the subterranean waters from their straits below, allowing them to swell to the surface and broaden. In this audio meditation, Rabbi Ginsburgh describes the levels of the soul as they correspond to the wells that Isaac dug. When we can identify these levels in ourselves, we can achieve the infinite breadth of the highest level of our souls, penetrating all barriers and achieving true fruitfulness and fulfillment in our lives.Click here to read the full article.
How could Abraham, who was water, give birth to Isaac who was fire? The answer is that in most cases, the natural process of birth reveals the hidden, but present traits that the parent possesses; traits that the parent usually only ever so slightly experiences in the depth of the psyche because they are hidden, but are nonetheless present. Having children is thus a revelatory and exploratory experience for the parents who see something of themselves, which they may have thought was lost, or would never be expressed in their own lives, suddenly taking on a life of its own in the form of their child’s character. Click here to read the full article.
I too feel regret about past actions; feeling that I missed certain opportunities. Nonetheless, I must believe—and actually experience, as much as God allows me to experience this—that everything is by Divine Providence…. Such faith transforms the potential hidden within past opportunities into a natural power that has already been given birth to unconsciously. This belief-oriented stage. But, of course, the final goal must be finding the right time to achieve one’s Divinely ordained mission in life. Click here to read the full article.
Since Esau was a product of Isaac’s natural or innate ability to give birth, Isaac loved him naturally, even involuntarily (just as every father finds that he has a natural love for his children, which is independent of his conscious will)… Esau’s offspring are the nation of Edom, whose name in Hebrew (אֶדוֹם ) stems from the same root as imagination (דִמְיוֹן ). The natural world, in its wild state is likened to our inbred but unruly imagination. Before it is tamed by the wisdom of the Torah, our imagination is regarded as the instrument of the evil inclination. But, as explained by the Arizal, the good and evil inclinations are actually, at their outset, two holy angels; two different forces in the psyche. Click here to read the full article.
The master of the field is a metaphor for the master of the world of Formation. In Kabbalah it is explained that the four worlds (from top to bottom) correspond to a house, a courtyard, a field, and a desert. These are obviously to be understood conceptually. And so, as the master of the conceptual field, Esau is revealed as the father of modern science, which uses the concept of a field to study nature, which is the literal intimation of being “the master of the field,” i.e., “the master of nature.”7 The discovery of the mathematical concept of a field and its application to all four of the known forces of nature—gravity, electromagnetism, and the strong and weak nuclear forces—is one of the most important driving forces of modern science. Click here to read the full article.
At first Rabbi Akiva put all of his learning into one vessel. He did not compartmentalize his mind to separate the Torah into different subjects. Everything contained in one vessel is the essential characteristic of the World of Akudim, the first World emanated by Adam Kadmon. In the World of Akudim all the lights of all the sefirot were contained in one, single vessel; that is one reason why it is called Akudim, because this word means “bound together” in Hebrew. Though this is a chaotic state, it is stable chaos. Jacob’s (and hence Rabbi Akiva’s) source is in the World of Akudim, which transcends the World of Chaos, Esau’s source. This is alluded to in the midrash that states that though Esau was born before Jacob, Jacob was conceived first. Click here to read the full article.