Spiritual or Material? What’s More Important? Nati Shohat/Flash90
Jewish World

Spiritual or Material? What’s More Important?

There is no need to compromise and be either wholly spiritual or wholly material


This past week’s synagogue Torah reading (Parasha) was Toldot, Genesis 25:19: “And these are the generations (toldot) of Isaac the son of Abraham….” And the question comes to mind, which is more important in life? The material or the spiritual? And what happens when these two, material and spirit, are not in balance?

In this Parasha, we have the story of Isaac and Rebecca, and we also become acquainted with their twin sons, Esau and Jacob, who were born after the couple’s being infertile for 20 years. We learn that already in the womb the two are struggling with one another. (Genesis 25:22-23)

There already exists between them a struggle that will last throughout their lives. It is a struggle for preeminence, to be the firstborn, in order to receive the father’s blessing, a struggle for survival.

This Parasha presents, moreover, the ongoing struggle between the flesh, on the one hand, and the spirit on the other, and what can happen when these two, the flesh and the spirit, are not in balance...


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