This week's Torah portion is from Genesis 25:19-28:9 and it opens with the very basis of the war that rages in Israel today. The word, toldot means offspring and deals with the offspring of Isaac the son of Abraham. You may remember that Isaac had two wives because of the deception of Laban, his father-in-law. But the love of his life, Rebecca, was barren. Isaac entreated HaShem and He heard his plea and so Rebecca conceived. Not one child, but twins!
In verses 22 and 23 of chapter 25, we read, "But the children struggled together within her; and she said, 'If it is so, why then am I this way? ' So she went to inquire of the L-rd. The L-rd said to her, " Two nations are in your womb; and two peoples will be separated from your body; and one people shall be stronger than the other; and the older shall serve the younger."
The Haftorah portion (from the prophets) follows this same story a bit further. It is from Malachi 1:1 through 2:7. It opens with "The oracle of the word of the L-rd to Israel through Malachi. I have loved you," says the L-rd. But you say, 'How have You loved us?' "Was not Esau Jacob's brother?" declares the L-rd. "Yet I have loved Jacob; but I have hated Esau, and I have made his mountains a desolation and appointed his inheritance for the jackals of the wilderness." Though Edom says, "We have been beaten down, but we will return and build up the ruins"; thus says the L-rd of hosts, "They may build, but I will tear down; and men will call them the wicked territory, and the people toward whom the L-rd is indignant forever." Your eyes will see this and you will say, " The L-rd be magnified beyond the border of Israel!"
This Torah and Haftorah lessons are possibly the most important things for you to learn about the Middle East conflict and about familial problems that may have separated your own family. Brothers often do much to deceive and each other and rarely repent as Isaac does, with retribution.