> Weekly Torah Portion > Beginner > Kindness Hacks

Givers and Takers

Toldot (Genesis 25:19-28:9 )

by Shoshanna Dresner

"He who dies with the most toys wins"… or does he?

The famous scene where Yitzchak gives the blessings over to Yaakov, thinking that he was Eisav, begs a question: How is it that Yitzchak didn’t know that Eisav was a wicked person? Couldn’t he see past his tricks?

Although Yitzchak didn’t realize quite how bad Eisav was, he most certainly saw that Eisav was very much immersed in physicality. It was because of this that Yitzchak decided to give him the blessings. Yitzchak thought that if Eisav would have everything that he wants physically, this would help him to fight his desire for it, and he would then be free to focus on spiritual pursuits.

It was his wife Rivka however, who had a wicked Father and brother, who realized that someone who is lives with the attitude of "taking", trying to draw towards himself as much as possible, will never be satisfied with what he has. Giving him more would make no difference. "He who has one hundred wants two hundred; he who has two hundred wants four hundred" (Kohelet Raba 1:34).

Here lies an important message.

The difference between living life with an attitude of "What can I acquire?" versus a life of "What can I give?"

If one’s primary focus is on possessions, money or physicality one will go through life never feeling fully satisfied.

On the other hand, living life with an attitude of "what can I give and do for others?" leads to fulfilment and happiness in this world, and eternal reward in the next.

He who dies having made the most impact wins!

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