Toldot: Chapter 4
"And the children struggled together within her" (A)

Here we explore the relationship of Jacob to Esau. We are shown Esau's identification with the serpent, and the necessity of Jacob to deal with this evil in order transform Holy Yisrael into the chosen part and portion of the Creator. Jacob's battles with Esau are a metaphor denoting the establishment of a spiritual system that expresses the paradigm of good versus evil in human existence. We see more clearly how the naming of Jacob signifies his special role, and his difference from Abraham and Isaac. The importance of the struggle of Jacob with Esau for the future is also explained, along with the methods used in this ongoing battle with evil.


Jacob and Esau were born together in the womb of Rivkah. On a macrocosmic level, Jacob represents the forces of good, Esau, the forces of evil, and the womb of Rivkah symbolizes our physical world. On the micro-level, this dynamic represents the positive and negative aspects of our own nature. This portion of Zohar gives us power over our dark side, so that we can overcome our internal demons.