The sixth portion of the book of B’resheet/Genesis is Toledot, which means “Generations”
Torah Portion: Genesis 25:19-28:9
Haftorah: 1 Samuel 20:18-42
Apostolic Writings: Romans 9:6-16
You can read or listen to the portions below:
1 Samuel 20:18-42
Y’honatan said to him, “Tomorrow is Rosh-Hodesh, and you will be missed, because your seat will be empty. The third day, hide yourself well in the same place as you did before; stay by the Departure Stone. I will shoot three arrows to one side, as if I were shooting at a target. Then I will send my boy to recover them. If I tell the boy, ‘They’re here on this side of you, take them,’ then come — it means that everything is peaceful for you; as The LORD lives, there’s nothing wrong. But if I tell the boy, ‘The arrows are out there, beyond you,’ then get going, because The LORD is sending you away. As for the matter we discussed earlier, The LORD is between you and me forever.”
So David hid himself in the countryside. When Rosh-Hodesh came, the king sat down to eat his meal. The king sat at his usual place by the wall. Y’honatan stood up, and Avner sat next to Sha’ul, but David’s place was empty. However, Sha’ul didn’t say anything that day; because he thought, “Something has happened to him, he is unclean. Yes, that’s it, he isn’t clean.” The day after Rosh-Hodesh, the second day, David’s place was empty; and Sha’ul said to Y’honatan his son, “Why hasn’t Yishai’s son come to the meal either yesterday or today?” Y’honatan answered Sha’ul, “David begged me to let him go to Beit-Lechem. He said, ‘Please let me go, because our family has a sacrifice in the city, and my brother demanded that I come. So now, if you look on me favorably, please let me get away and see my brothers.’ That’s why he hasn’t come to the king’s table.” At that Sha’ul flew into a rage at Y’honatan and said, “You crooked rebel! Don’t I know that you’ve made this son of Yishai your best friend? You don’t care that you’re shaming yourself and dishonoring your mother, do you? Because as long as the son of Yishai lives on this earth, neither you nor your kingdom will be secure. Now send and bring him here to me — he deserves to die.” Y’honatan answered Sha’ul his father, “Why should he be put to death? What has he done?” But Sha’ul threw his spear at him, aiming to kill; Y’honatan could no longer doubt that his father was determined to put David to death. Y’honatan got up from the table in a fury, and he ate no food the second day of the month, both because he was upset over David and because his father had put him to shame.
The next morning Y’honatan went out into the country at the time he had arranged with David, taking with him a young boy. He told the boy, “Now run and find the arrows I’m about to shoot.” As the boy ran, he shot an arrow beyond him. When the boy reached the place where the arrow was that Y’honatan had shot, Y’honatan shouted at the boy, “Isn’t the arrow beyond you?” Y’honatan continued shouting after the boy, “Quick! Hurry! Don’t just stand there!” Y’honatan’s boy gathered the arrows and returned to his master, but the boy didn’t understand anything about the matter — only Y’honatan and David understood. Y’honatan gave his weapons to his boy and said to him, “Go, carry them to the city.”
As soon as the boy had gone, David got up from a place south of the stone, fell face down on the ground and prostrated himself three times; and they kissed one another and wept each with the other until it became too much for David. Y’honatan said to David, “Go in peace; because we have sworn, both of us, in the name of The LORD, that The LORD will be between me and you, and between my descendants and yours, forever.”
But the present condition of Isra’el does not mean that the Word of G-d has failed.
For not everyone from Isra’el is truly part of Isra’el; indeed, not all the descendants are seed of Avraham; rather, “What is to be called your ‘seed’ will be in Yitz’chak.” In other words, it is not the physical children who are children of G-d, but the children the promise refers to who are considered seed. For this is what the promise said: “At the time set, I will come; and Sarah will have a son.” And even more to the point is the case of Rivkah; for both her children were conceived in a single act with Yitz’chak, our father; and before they were born, before they had done anything at all, either good or bad (so that G-d’s plan might remain a matter of his sovereign choice, not dependent on what they did, but on G-d, who does the calling), it was said to her, “The older will serve the younger.” This accords with where it is written, “Ya‘akov I loved, but Esav I hated.”
So are we to say, “It is unjust for G-d to do this”? Heaven forbid! For to Moshe he says, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will pity whom I pity.” Thus it doesn’t depend on human desires or efforts, but on G-d, who has mercy.