TOLDOT (generations)

Genesis 25:19 And these are the generations of Isaac, Abraham’s son: Abraham gave birth to את־ Isaac: 20 Isaac was 40 years old when he took את־ Rebekah as a wife, the daughter of Bethuel, the Syrian of Padan-aram and the אחֹות sister to Laban the Syrian. 21 Isaac prayed to ליהוה for אשְׁתו his wife because she was barren: and יהוה listened to Isaac and Rebekah אשְׁתו his wife conceived. C-MATS

Question: Were all the matriarchs barren? The Matriarchs Sarah, Rebekah, and Rachel were barren. The emergence of Israel is a miracle, for each new generation was a gift of יהוה to a mother who could not have given birth naturally. Their experience is a demonstration of the command that יהוה desires the prayers of the righteous (Yevamos 64a), whose pleas for Heavenly mercy and attempts at self-improvement show how human beings can raise themselves to spiritual heights.

Question: How many years was Rebekah barren? Since Isaac was sixty when Rebekah gave birth (v. 26), Rebekah was barren for twenty years. Rebecca wanted children, but she had to wait a long time after she was married before she became a mother. Yet in the end, after years of hopeful prayers, she not only became a mother – but a foremother of the entire Israelite people! We can learn from this how sometimes the most worthwhile things don’t come quickly and we should not give up hope.

Spiritual Exercise: Have you been waiting for something to happen for a long time? Have you been waiting for 20 years? יהוה refined His people by giving them a promise and then making them wait on Him to bring it to pass. This develops trust, patience, faithfulness, and long suffering-the fruits of the spirit. What are you impatiently waiting for? יהוה will move in His perfect timing. Trust in Him to do what is best for you.

Question: What spiritual benefit do you think someone could gain by not getting what he wanted immediately? He would develop patience for one thing, which is an invaluable tool for a happy life. Also, he would begin to gain faith in יהוה, as he saw how time and time again, despite unpromising beginnings, things worked out in the end.

Question: What about those instances when we never get a particular thing that we want? How should we react? First of all, as long as there is life, there is hope. So you can never really know how things will work out in the end. However, assuming that they don’t, a person can try to realize that יהוה, who was fully aware of what the person wanted, knew that it ultimately was better for him not to have it. This attitude is not only true, but is a key to happiness.