Parshas Toldos

Rabbi Gidon Goldberg's picture

Dear Parents,

Next week, the school faces a most important challenge. On November 14-15th the PHDS will be featuring a Pledje campaign which will b’ezras Hashem raise $450,000 in 33 hours. Proceeds of this fundraiser will allow us to remedy fire code violations the school has been cited with. We are turning to our family, alumni, and friends and asking them to please sign up to volunteer in the campaign room, make a family gift, and share the campaign link with family and friends asking them to support your child’s school. We appreciate your efforts in helping to ensure that we have a successful campaign.

Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetsky describes an important life lesson that I wanted to share.
"I am going to die!" That is what Esav wailed as he returned home on the afternoon of Avraham Avinu's funeral after a rage-filled rampage of murder and promiscuity. Our Sages explain that these acts were a rebellious reaction to the death of his saintly grandfather. The Torah tells us that he returned home "hungry and exhausted." His brother, Yaakov, understood Esav well and seized the moment, offering him a steaming bowl of immediate tangible satisfaction, cloaked as hot red lentil soup, in exchange for an intangible piece of spirituality, his birthright. Esav rationalizes. "Behold," he exclaims, "I am going to die so what do I need a birthright for?" (Beraishis 25:32) Obviously, Esav had no regard for the birthright or the spiritual ramification it carried; i.e., blessings, priesthood, and most important, the privilege to be the guiding force behind the traditions of his parental lineage. He agreed to trade it all for a bowl of lentil soup. Amazingly enough, when Yaakov claims his allotment and receives the blessings from Yitzchak, Esav goes into a frenzy. He wants to kill Yaakov over something for which he claimed to have no use. Where are the roots of this transformation? The birthright and all its spiritual values held no meaning for him until his brother reaped the reward. At that moment Esav declared that "the days of my father's mourning shall come soon and I shall kill my brother Yaakov." The Torah sums up his frustration. "And Esav hated Yaakov for the blessings that he (Yaakov) received from his father." Esav was not bothered about the blessings that he lost. Esav was bothered about the blessings that Yaakov won. Esav was willing to sell the blessings, but when the sale bore the fruit of its ramification, Esav went on a rampage. He was willing to abandon his entire spiritual future for a bowl of soup, as long as no one else would profit. When they did profit, things turned very sour. We should look at the personal and inherent ramifications of our own losses and gains, and not judge ourselves by how someone else fares. We'd all be much happier!

As we approach this campaign I want to compliment the Yeshiva and the Kollel and their leadership for their extraordinary support. They offer us ongoing advice and tips based on their past experiences. The same is true of the many parents and lay leaders that have invested much time and effort in planning this event. Ashreichem Yisroel that we inherited the middos of Yaakov Avinu!

Please feel free to contact me with any questions and concerns by email, phone or in person. I thank you in advance for your participation in this important campaign.

Good Shabbos
Rabbi Peretz Scheinerman