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This article on the portion of the week was originally published in 2019.
This week we not only read and study the portion of Toldot in which great miracles occur, but we also enter into the month of Kislev (Sagittarius), which is the month of Chanukah, a month that is synonymous with miracle-making. Good news, right? This is a great indication of the energy that exists in this week, and even throughout the month. The Zohar explains that this is a time where the potential for miracles is greater than ever, which begs the question: How can we tap into that energy? What can we do now in the first week of Kislev, that can have a positive effect and keep us connected to that potential Light for the rest of the month?
"A miracle is a condition where nature behaves outside the laws of nature."
The portion of Toldot begins with Isaac praying for his wife Rivka. Isaac knew that he was destined to have children, but he wasn’t sure if it would be with Rivka, or another woman. Rivka was born with no womb, making it seemingly impossible for her to bear a child. Isaac knew Rivka was indeed his soul mate. He loved her so deeply that he prayed the merit would be hers. Of course, we know that Rivka did eventually bear his children. How is that Isaac’s prayers were answered? What did Isaac do to reveal such a huge miracle? It says in the Zohar that not only did Isaac pray for Rivka, but he got on his donkey, rode 10 miles to Mount Moriah, created a ceremony, and prayed there. In other words, Isaac went outside of his nature, and in doing so elevated himself to a higher dimension.
"If we want something truly miraculous to happen for us, we must do something miraculous that we have never done before."
This is such a powerful lesson. For this is the secret of Toldot, the key to the month of Kislev, and the formula for miracle making at this time of year, or any time of year. If we want something truly miraculous to happen for us, we must do something miraculous that we have never done before. In his letters to the Rav Berg, Rav Brandwein explains a miracle is a condition where nature behaves outside the laws of nature. Humanity is so powerful, he explains that we can cause nature to produce a miracle, by the stipulation that we behave outside the confines of our nature. This Tnai, or stipulation was woven into the fabric of the universe before the creation of the world.
This is a good week to not only think about the miracles we’d like to see in our lives, but more importantly we can ask ourselves what we are willing to do to reveal them. What changes do we want to make within ourselves that will create a shift towards the positive? Who are the people with whom we are harsh, and how can we take it upon ourselves in the coming seven days to be kinder, more gentle, and more understanding? Where is it difficult for us to give, or perhaps to forgive, and how might we make a stride in that direction now? For are these not the greatest miracles of all?
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