Toldot - Competing Powers Within

And the children struggled within her, and she said, "If [it be] so, why am I [like] this?" And she went to inquire of Hashem. And Hashem said to her, "Two nations are in your womb, and two kingdoms will separate from your innards, and one kingdom will become mightier than the other kingdom, and the elder will serve the younger.
       וַיִּתְרֹצֲצוּ הַבָּנִים בְּקִרְבָּהּ וַתֹּאמֶר אִם כֵּן לָמָּה זֶּה אָנֹכִי וַתֵּלֶךְ לִדְרשׁ אֶת ה' וַיֹּאמֶר ה' לָהּ שְׁנֵי גוֹיִם בְּבִטְנֵךְ וּשְׁנֵי לְאֻמִּים מִמֵּעַיִךְ יִפָּרֵדוּ וּלְאֹם מִלְאֹם יֶאֱמָץ וְרַב יַעֲבֹד צָעִיר
Breisheit 25:22-23

What was bothering Rivka? Rashi says that her concern was spurred from  "that the pain of pregnancy is so great." So how did Hashem's response that "two natation are in your womb" appease her and address her concerns?

The Slonimer Rebbe raises a question from the Or HaChaim HaKadosh, asking how can a great righteous woman like Rivka be complaining about the pain of pregnancy? How can that be the focus of her concerns?

Answers the Rebbe, we need to look at what is happening in this verse to arouse Rivka's concerns. For "the children struggled within her" Rashi explains that this means that "When she passed by the entrances of [the] Torah [academies] of Shem and Eber, Jacob would run and struggle to come out; when she passed the entrance of [a temple of] idolatry, Esau would run and struggle to come out."

However, Rivka herself didn't even realize that she was carrying twins. For all she knew this was one child that was aroused by both the power of Torah and the evil power of idolatry. The patriarchs were meant to be iconic pillars of goodness, bringing a positive influence into the world. It had already been seen with Yishmael how the offspring of one of patriarchs could be blemished, pulling him down a dark path. So Rivka was concerned that this single child she felt she was carrying was possibly blemished, and not a pillar of goodness, but attracted to both good and bad.

So when Hashem informed her that in fact "Two nations are in your womb, and two kingdoms will separate from your innards, and one kingdom will become mightier than the other kingdom", Rivka's concerns were put at rest. She no longer feared that her child was blemished and pulled in two different directions. Rather she understood that these were two entirely different offspring each attracted to a different power - one for good and the other for evil. She could feel at ease that at least one would continue the tradition of the patriarchs and be a pillar of goodness and provide a positive influence on the world.

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