What a word of wonder is the name of our potion this week; ‘Toldot!’ One might simply translate it as ‘The annals’ but that meaning is pale and thin compared to the wondrous, thick, multi-colored, multi-dimensional meaning of Toldot. For Toldot speaks of past and future. Inside that word we find child bearing and childhood. Inside that word we find the opportunity to peruse the pages of the diary of our people. But most of all Toldot calls us to stand at this point and become aware.
I turn back to my dim memories of geometry to energize my understanding of the word and the potion, Toldot. In geometry, there are terms with very specific meanings; ‘line’, ‘line segment’ and ‘ray,’ among others that have long since left my memory.
A line has no end or beginning and the only true line is G who always was, who is in the moment and who always will be. We, the creation of G, exist as line segments, for we have beginnings and endings. We are part of the greater line, we are part of G. We are a segment of the greater line that is G. And yet, when we are young, we see ourselves as a ray, that which has a beginning but no end in sight.
All three concepts share a sameness in that each one is made up of an infinite number of points. Though we are a finite line segment, our lives are filled with an infinite number of moments offering an infinite intimation of meaning. Each point in our lives is a turning point, if only we will see that point and seize that moment.
In our story, in our potion this week, a magic moment is made manifest. It is one point among many to which Torah points. “Look at me,” it cries out, “let this moment move you!” We can stand on this point and we can look back and look forward. We can mount this moment and learn lessons that will ferry us into our future. This moment can be for us a point of powerful proliferation. If we will seize this moment, this point on our line segment, our life segment, it can point the way, a compass along our pathway, with meaningful messages from the line of which we are but a segment.