Parshat Toldot: Sowing in the unity of love

In previous commentaries on this portion of the Torah we referred to the endeavor of integrating all aspects of consciousness in a harmonized and functioning unity. This is the underlying and resounding message of Toldot from beginning to end.

“And Isaac prayed to the Lord opposite his wife because she was barren, and the Lord accepted his prayer, and Rebecca his wife conceived.” (Genesis 25:21)

This is another dimension of the unity we discussed earlier. Isaac and Rebecca prayed together and united in order to relate and communicate with their Creator, from whom all comes. We also mentioned that prayer is the means to connect and unite with God. Through prayer we allow Him to nurture all dimensions of consciousness and guide them into His service, which is to manifest His presence as the blessing of His love in the material world.

We also said that Isaac and Rebecca represent two aspects of Israel’s identity. Isaac is the spiritual expression as the bond with God, and Rebecca is the material expression of this bond. They both are a harmonized and functioning unity that God hears and accepts as part of our bond with Him.

In this unified awareness we reveal light out of darkness as Isaac did by digging deep into the darkness of the material world to find the living waters that nurture us to manifest the goodness of God’s blessings.

“And Isaac again dug the wells of water which they had dug in the days of his father Abraham, and the Philistines had stopped them up after Abraham’s death; and he gave them names like the names that his father had given them. And Isaac’s servants dug in the valley, and they found there a well of living waters.” (26:18-19)

In this process the darkness of ego’s desires, fantasies and illusions look forward to feed themselves with the Source of all life.

“And the shepherds of Gerar quarreled with Isaac’s shepherds, saying, ‘The water is ours’; so he named the well Esek, because they had contended with him. And they dug another well, and they quarreled about it also; so he named it Sitnah.” (26:20-21)

The Torah tells us that there were “contending” and “quarreling” as confrontation of opposed principles. However, these two quarrels ended with a third well dug by Isaac.

“And he moved away from there, and he dug another well, and they did not quarrel over it; so he named it Rehobot, and he said, ‘For now the Lord has made room for us, and we will be fruitful in the land’.” (26:22)

Our sages explain that the first two wells represent the destruction of the first and second temples of Jerusalem, and the third well represents the construction of third and final Temple.

This construction takes place “away from there” where dispute, quarrel and harassment dwell. We often quote our sages on this issue, saying that the first temple was destroyed due to idolatry, incest and murder; the second temple destroyed by uncalled for hatred; and the third temple will be built on uncalled for love.

We equate this to what king David and our sages say regarding the world: “the world is built on loving kindness” (Psalms 89:2) and “The world stands on three things: Torah, the service of God, and deeds of loving kindness” (Pirkei Avot 1:2), because the Torah instructs us to serve God with loving kindness.

Love is the room that God made for us, and in its ways and attributes we become fruitful and multiply. Love is the land where we expand the positive aspects of our consciousness. This is the eternal dimension of the third temple of Jerusalem that we all build by truly loving each other as the Torah commands us.

Sooner or later our discernment and common sense lead us to the truth of love’s ways and attributes. It may take us ages and countless lifetimes, but we eventually will get there because love endures and transcends ego’s materialistic desires and fantasies.

At one point we come to realize that ego’s sense of lack is the worst of all illusions derived from the biggest of all: the false belief that we are separated from God’s love.

“And Isaac said to them, ‘Why have you come to me, since you hate me, and you sent me away from you’? And they said, ‘We have seen that the Lord was with you; so we said: Let there now be an oath between us, between ourselves and you, and let us form a covenant with you’.” (26:27-28)

In this awareness we reconcile all aspects of consciousness and put and end to the quarrels and disputes, because we let love be the natural guide and conductor of our life. One of our father Isaac’s legacy for us is to dig wells, to penetrate deep in every level of consciousness and bring up the waters that sustain life, love as our essence and true identity.

Yes, there is only one light, and only one love, which is God’s love, and we have to reveal it whenever and wherever is concealed in the darkness of that which denies His ways and attributes.

Let’s be aware that both Jacob and Esau were conceived together in the womb of one mother who also represents Israel, the bearer of the material manifestation of God’s love.

Let’s recall this through our prophets.

“And redeemers shall come up on mount Zion to judge the mount of Esau; and the kingdom shall be the Lord’s.” (Obadiah 1:21)

“The Lord will be king over the whole earth. On that day the Lord will be one, and His name one.” (Zachariah 14:9)

“For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.” (Habakkuk 2:14)

The glory of God is His love.

We have to rectify and reorient the lower and negative aspects of consciousness represented by Esau, the “nations”, “peoples”, “kings”, “rulers” and “princes” that keep us in the darkness of ego’s fantasies and illusions. These are beliefs, ideas, addictions, habits, and behavior patterns that don’t allow us to be free to embrace love’s ways, means and attributes.

Our individual and collective redemption begins when our discernment and common sense lead us to enthrone Love as the true ruler of all aspects of life. Love is the fire that transforms and transmutes the negative into positive, false into true, wrong into right, bad into good, wickedness into righteousness. Through its ways and means, love purifies and unifies the revealed and non revealed light from which God created us.

The Torah tells us that God was with our patriarchs, and the peoples of their time also gave testimony of this. Goodness was with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the land that God gave them as an eternal heritage, the land where Isaac sowed.

“And Isaac sowed in that land, and he found in that year a hundred fold, and the Lord blessed him. And the man became great, and he grew constantly greater until he had grown very great.” (Genesis 26:12-13)

Our land is love as the material manifestation of God’s love, where He bestows His blessings on us when we are and do His ways and emulate His attributes. Love is what makes us great, and makes us grow constantly greater to keep expanding its ways over the entire world.

Thus we discover and reveal that “the whole earth is full of His glory” (Isaiah 6:3).

About the Author
Ariel Ben Avraham was born in Colombia (1958) from a family with Sephardic ancestry. He studied Cultural Anthropology in Bogota, and lived twenty years in Chicago working as a radio and television producer and writer. He emigrated to Israel in 2004, and for the last fourteen years has been studying the Chassidic mystic tradition, about which he writes and teaches. Based on his studies, he wrote his first book "God's Love" in 2009. He currently lives in Kochav Yaakov.
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