The Ultimate Parent by Rabbi Darren Blackstein


At the beginning of our Parsha we are told that, with the help of much prayer, Rivka becomes pregnant.  However, this pregnancy is not without incident.  Perek 25 Pasuk 22 tells us that the children somehow “struggled” inside the womb.  Rivka then proceeds to ask, “Lama Zeh Anochi?” “Why am I?” and to beseech Hashem.  There are many ways to see this “struggle.”  Rashi, quoting Chazal, tells us that one interpretation has Yaakov and Esav shaking as they pass their respective callings, houses of learning and houses of idol worship, respectively.  The other Maamar Chazal quoted by Rashi explains that Yaakov and Esav represent the struggle between the two basic forces of the world that are at odds even until this very day.

Rivka, sensing this battle, questions her existence.  Rashi comments that she was referring to the immense pain of pregnancy.  What purpose can there be in a person suffering to such a degree while she is trying to complete such a noble and holy process?  She then proceeds to pray to Hashem and actually receives an answer.  Hashem tells her of the two nations inside of her and adds that the elder will serve the younger.

The Or HaChaim asks two questions on Rashi’s explanation.  First, it seems odd that a Tzadeket such as Rivka would question her existence or her pregnancy based on pain.  Second, the answer provided by Hashem does not seem to answer her question: Why the pain?  Hence, the Or HaChaim explains that Rivka thought that the pain meant that the children would not survive.  She thought the pregnancy would not go to term.  This being the case, she then asks, “Why?”  This is not the “why” of existence, but the “why” relating to the purpose of her pregnancy.  This pregnancy was a miracle!  How could Hashem perform a miracle and then nullify it?  Now Rivka’s prayer is all that much more powerful.  She is pleading with Hashem to establish this pregnancy and not let this miracle be lost.  How selfless one can be!

Most of us, if placed in her position, would be praying for our own lives and our children’s.  However, Rivka also prayed for the survival of Hashem’s miracle, a type of Kiddush Hashem.  We all know of her tremendous dedication as a parent from this and the rest of the Parsha.  May we all be Zoche to keep Rivka before us as a role model, and to begin to travel on the road to Kiddush Hashem that she has paved.

Rivka, the True Mother by Shlomo Tanenbaum

Divine Guidiance by Ben Krinsky