Sibling rivalry and parents showing favoritism are key themes in this week’s Torah portion Tol’dot, proving that difficult relationships are often part of our family dynamics. Rebekah and Jacob perpetrate a deception against Isaac and Esau, tricking Isaac into giving the younger son the blessing that rightfully belongs to his older brother. The rift that forms between the brothers never truly heals, yet they do come together, albeit for a short time, at their father’s death.
Still today, family relationships aren’t always easy, but the more opportunities we have to come together to celebrate a simcha (a celebratory life cycle event), the better the chances that we can put the past behind us and move forward. This Thursday many of us will gather with family to feast and celebrate Thanksgiving. It is a Jewish value to offer gratitude to God for blessings in our lives. The blessing of family relationships isn’t always an easy one to navigate, but it is a blessing nonetheless.
For those traveling this week, may God watch over us that we may reach our destinations and return home in safety and peace. And may we all enjoy a Thanksgiving filled with love and blessing.