The power of kindness, compassion, and love sometimes find our hearts in the darkest nights. While hard to accept in the throes of challenge, the truth is: Without challenge, there is no growth. Without darkness, there is no Light.
Take, for example, the portion of Toldot, in which Rivka, the wife of Isaac, finds herself miraculously pregnant with twin boys, Jacob and Esau. Even in the womb, she can feel their contrasting energies as harsh pregnancy pains, so she inquires of God as to what is happening within her. God says, “In your womb you have two nations.” As it turned out Jacob became a man of study and spirit, and Esau being completely the opposite – the epitome of the Desire to Receive for the Self Alone – selfishness and ego.
We may ask, as Rashi did, how these two very elevated souls like Isaac and Rebecca could bring a soul like Esau into the world. The answer is clear when we consider the idea that Light doesn’t come from light. Light comes from darkness. The whole Universe operates through polarity. Esau was wholly negative and therefore had the potential to make the greatest transformation. The kabbalists reveal that Esau represents the Desire to Receive for the Self Alone that exists in all of us, and reminds us of the tremendous power instilled within us to convert that energy for good.