Dvar Torah Parshat Toldot 5773 2012

The motive of people’s actions is often difficult to comprehend. It is not rare to misunderstand what someone does and we frequently read into the act a misleading explanation.

Rivka plots to have Yaakov receive the blessing that Yitzchak intends to give to his oldest son Esav. It is understandable why she prefers Yaakov to get that blessing but where does she get the justification for her intention to mislead her husband Yitzchak?

When we look back to the time Rivka was expecting to give birth and she found childbearing very difficult she went to the prophet of her day to seek an explanation of her trouble. She was told she will give birth to twins:
וְרַב יַעֲבֹד צָעִיר, “…and the elder shall serve the younger.” (Gen. 25,23)

For some unexplainable reason Rivka never told Yitzchak of this prophecy. Perhaps, she had some grounds to feel this knowledge would perturb him. We cannot understand her motive in not telling him but this fact may explain her intention in deceiving her husband.

Rivka saw that her oldest son was about to get the blessing that really belonged to the youngest, based on the prophecy she received before they were born. Thus she felt justified in devising a scheme that would right the wrong that was about to happen.

This incident should make us stop and think before we start criticizing when we see someone acting in a manner which we consider improper.

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