Toldot: Chapter 1
"And these are the generations of Isaac"
Synopsis

Rabbi Chiya leads us to an understanding of the relationship between the Creator and the Torah. We learn how the world is maintained by Torah study, and why it is man's supreme duty to continue this study. Rabbi Yitzchak and Rabbi Yehuda explain the significance of the forms of blessing from Abraham to Isaac to Jacob, in whom all that has come before is manifested. We learn that true servants of the Creatorthe Creator are not only those from Yisrael, but anyone anywhere who studies the Torah.

Relevance

"The study of Torah" does not refer to a cerebral, academic approach to thousands of words on parchment. Through the eyes of the Kabbalists, the Torah is understood as the medium through which the energy of the Creator is expressed in our physical dimension of existence. The sinewy parchment, the coal black ink, and the primordial letters are all intricate components of a divine communication instrument serving one express purpose, to help willing students uproot all their character flaws, in order to attain similarity of nature and thus closeness to the Light of the Creator. That said, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob signify the Right, Left and Central Column forces - that is, the Desire to Share, the Desire to Receive, and the free will to choose between and balance the two.

Jacob also corresponds to the Sfirah of Yesod, the gateway through which all the Light of the supernal realms enters our world. Essentially, the purpose of this passage is to ignite the primordial Light of the Torah. As we meditate upon the words, the emitted Light refines our imperfections. The strength of the Patriarchs, and especially the Central Column Force of Jacob, enhances our ability to resist and triumph over our reactive, self-indulgent drives. Finally, the Light accumulated through our interaction with the Zohar shines universally, helping to awaken the world to the internal truths of the Torah and all that the Light of the Creator can offer us.