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Parashat Toldot – Our Big Advantage

וְיַעֲקֹב אִישׁ תָּם יֹשֵׁב אֹהָלִים

Yaakov was a pure man, who sat in tents.

The Mishna in Pirkei Avot tells us that there are three “pillars” on which the world stands, Torah, avodah (sacrifices/prayer), and kind deeds. The merit of these three things are what keep the world in existenceOur three Avot exemplified these. Avraham was always looking to do chesed. Yitzchak was almost a sacrifice himself, and was unblemished as a sacrifice ought to be. Yaakov “sat in tents”, he could always be found studying Torah in a Bet Midrash.

Esav merited two of these traits as well. Non-Jews have a mitzvah to give charity and to do chesed, and they were allowed to bring sacrifices in the Bet HaMikdash. However they have no connection to Torah. The Torah says “The Torah that Moshe commanded us is an inheritance for the congregation of Yaakov.” It is only for Yaakov’s descendants (and those who join them,) not for others.

The only thing we have that Esav has no claim to or part in is the Torah. Esav and his followers are constantly plotting against us, our only advantage that keeps us more meritorious than them is the Torah we study, and that’s what protects us. When we falter, our shield goes down.

We should be careful to be part of those shielding our nation and not from those breaching the shield to allow in damage.

Shabbat Shalom

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