Toldot: Chapter 6
The combining of the attribute of Mercy with Judgment

The discussion continues to explore the uniting of Jacob and Rivkah. It evolves toward a more complete understanding, explaining the more subtle meanings that arise from this combination of Malchut (an aspect of judgment) and Binah (an aspect of mercy). The Rabbis also discuss the role of the Evil Inclination, explaining how this, too, derives from the Creator. They describe how evil is placed in the human heart, discuss its formidably enduring nature, and explain its role in reproduction. The creation of the Evil Inclination actually denotes the Creation of the Desire to Receive.

This Desire to Receive is a vital and necessary component in man, for without it, the Creator cannot share His infinite beneficence. There must be a willing recipient in order for sharing to take place. The angel Satan, however, manipulates this vital Desire to Receive into a Desire to Receive for the Self alone. This additional aspect of receiving in a selfish manner is the "root of all evil." Man's spiritual work is to negate the Satan's influence and to express our Desire to Receive through sharing.


A story is told of an arrogant tycoon who tosses a few gold coins to a poverty-stricken man in the streets. The poor man is of high principles and refuses the condescending handout. The tycoon is taken aback and insists that the pauper accept his gift. The poor man refuses. Initially, the tycoon was indifferent to the plight of the poor man. His charity was more an act of haughty self-regard, but now the tycoon is overcome with guilt and embarrassment. He pleads with the poor man to accept the gift. Seeing how much distress and anxiety his refusal is causing the wealthy man, the poor man decides to accept the gold coins so that his benefactor will feel better about himself. Kabbalistically, the poor man's receiving has taken the form of sharing.

A reading of this section helps us transform our selfish desires into actions that embody the principle of receiving for the sake of sharing.