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Dvar for Toldot (Genesis 25:19-28:9)

Parshat Toldot tells the story of Rivka bearing twins, Esav and Yakov, and how Esav was drawn to brothels when she walked them, and Yakov was drawn to study halls when she walked by those (25:22). Considering the Midrash that babies learn the entire Torah inside the womb (and forget it once born), Rav Chaim Shmulevitz asks why Yakov would want to leave his situation to enter a study hall.

Rav Chaim Shmulevitz explains that while in utero Yakov was able to learn Torah, he was still missing the effort and challenges associated with gaining that knowledge. It is natural for us to appreciate challenges once we overcome them, but adopting this attitude will help us embrace life’s hurdles and enjoy the process of overcoming them.