Shabbat Parashat Toldot Keep Up the Good Work

Shabbat Parashat Toldot

Keep Up the Good Work!
November 30, 2019 – 2 Kislev 5780
Dear Friends,

We live in an age that rewards innovation and creativity above almost everything else. We see innovation and creativity as an expression of some of the greatest qualities that human beings can display. Innovation and creativity are often associated with “vision.” And yet…

Parashat Toldot paints a picture of Isaac, our patriarch, Abraham and Sarah’s son, as a person who primarily re-dug the wells that his father had originally dug. Isaac is pictured as a person who does not innovate much. True, he gave the wells new names, but the wells were not his discoveries. The wells were not new in and of themselves. And, Isaac is not an innovator. Isaac is not a particularly creative person. Isaac is more of a person who lived in the moment and kept up the good work of his parents!

What is the message of Torah in relation to innovation and creativity?

Perhaps, having a patriarch who is less innovative and less creative than others reminds us that innovation and creativity are not the be all and end all of human spirit. Wonderful as they are, innovation and creativity are simply one form of human expression. Other forms of human expression may be equally important, valuable and worthy of emulation.

With Thanksgiving still in the air…Consider this a moment of “thank you” to those who “keep up the good work” of those who came before us. Consider this a moment of “thank you” to those who follow in the footsteps of our ancestors. Consider this a moment of “thank you”… to most of us!

Shabbat Shalom!

Rabbi Gilah Dror