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2/3 December: Shabbat Toledot

rabbipaulsmlShabbat comes in 3.39 pm: goes out 4.47 pm


Isaac and Rebecca, fleeing famine, go to Gerar to live with the Philistines.  Isaac prospers in Gerar but the local population becomes jealous and blocks the wells he dug.  Asked to leave, Isaac moves to a valley area where he has more quarrels with the Philistines over wells.  Finally, he finds a peaceful place to settle and names it Rechovot.

 The Chafetz Chayim (Rabbi Israel Meir HaCohen Kagan, b. 1838 Poland) explains that the Torah elaborates on the wells that Isaac found to teach us that one should not give up one’s mission simply because obstacles stand in the way.  Isaac was never defeated by despair even though he experienced much opposition to the digging of wells.  The Chaftetz Chayim reminds us that we often fail in our goals not because we are incapable of achieving them but because we give up too soon.

Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Paul Arberman

 

December 1, 2016