Zohar Toldot Section 3 - Isaac Entreated

Zohar Sulam Commentary on the Parasha Toldot Section 3

It is recommended to read the Synopsis after studying the section


We are instructed in the prayer and spiritual actions practiced by Isaac in order for the child Jacob to be born. We see also how The Creator responded to Yitzchak's entreaties. This discussion enlightens us about the structure of prayer, and of how the prayers of the righteous allow the prayers of less good men to be heard. Next, the puzzling fact that Isaac loved Esau more than Ya'akov Ya'akov is explained in terms of its spiritual significance, the son of Abraham represents Left Column Energy, which expresses judgment. Esau, we're told, denotes this same negative force, which is an indication that Isaac has not yet learned to modify and balance the severity of his own judgment.


This powerful passage influences many areas of life, including the miracle of childbirth. Though our own prayers might not have wings to ascend to the highest worlds, we can still contact the Upper Realms through the updraft created by the prayers of the righteous. Finally, the text points out that our tendency is to welcome and embrace people into our lives whose nature is similar to our own. In contrast, we're quick to pass judgment and distance ourselves from those who differ from us. This negative predisposition is weakened and abated so that we can live according to the principle, "Love thy neighbor as thyself."

Zohar Section 3 Pasook 19 Sulam Commentary on Parasha Toldot

פְּתַח רִבִּי יְהוּדָה אֲבַתְרֵיהּ וַאֲמַר, וַיֶּעְתַּר יִצְחָק לַיי' לְנֹכַח אִשְׁתּוֹ. מַהוּ וַיֶּעְתַּר, דְּקָרֵיב לֵיהּ קָרְבָּנָא, וְצַלֵּי עֲלָהּ. וּמַה קָרְבָּנָא קָרֵיב. עוֹלָה קָרֵיב, דִּכְתִיב וַיֵּעָתֶר לוֹ יי', כְּתִיב הָכָא וַיֵּעָתֶר לוֹ יי', וּכְתִיב הָתָם וַיֵּעָתֶר אֱלֹהִים לָאָרֶץ וגו', מַה לְּהַלָּן קָרְבָּן, אַף כָּאן קָרְבָּן. כְּתִיב וַיֶּעְתַּר יִצְחָק, וּכְתִיב וַיֵּעָתֶר לוֹ, דְּנָפַק אֶשָׁא מִלְּעֵילָא, לְקִבְלָא אֶשָׁא דִלְתַתָּא.

Transliteration - If one utilizes this section please also scan the Hebrew letters above for the energy.

Petach ribbi yehudah avatreih va'amar, vaye'tar yitzchak la'adonai lenochach ishto. Mahu vaye'tar, dekareiv leih karebana, vetzallei alah. Umah karebana kareiv. Olah kareiv, dichtiv vaye'ater lo adonai', ketiv hacha vaye'ater lo adonai', uchetiv hatam vaye'ater elohim la'aretz vgv', mah lehallan korban, af kan korban. Ketiv vaye'tar yitzchak, uchetiv vaye'ater lo, denafak esha mille'eila, lekivla esha diltatta.

Rabbi Yehuda continued with the verse, "And Isaac entreated Hashem for his wife" (Beresheet 25:21). HE ASKS, What is the meaning of "entreated?" AND HE REPLIED that he offered a sacrifice and prayed for her. What offering did he sacrifice? A burnt offering. IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT "ENTREATED" INDICATES THAT HE SACRIFICED by studying the verses "and Hashem was entreated of him" (Ibid.), and "So Hashem was entreated for the land" (II Shmuel 24:25). There it means that a sacrifice has been offered, SO here too it means, a sacrifice has been offered. It is written, "And Isaac entreated," "and Hashem was entreated." IF "ENTREATED" INDICATE A SACRIFICE, WHAT IS THE MEANING OF, "AND HASHEM WAS ENTREATED"? HE REPLIED THAT THIS TOO REFERS TO AN OFFERING, a celestial fire that came to meet the lower fire. FOR TWO FIRES ARE NEEDED TO CONSUME THE OFFERING, THE FIRE OF A HOLY MAN AND THE FIRE OF A LAYMAN. THEREFORE "ISAAC ENTREATED," WHICH REFERS TO THE LOWER FIRE, AND "HASHEM WAS ENTREATED," WHICH CORRESPONDS TO THE UPPER FIRE.

chanoch's Commentary

Let us understand what is required of a lower person who makes a sacrifice. Some part of the animal traits of that lower person must be sacrificed meaning removed from their character traits. This applies to daily prayers as this action of prayer has replaced the sacrifices in the Temple. Each day one prayers requires some little aspect of removing a negative character or personality trait. If someone does not have this consciousness their prayer can not be effective, in my opinion.

Zohar Section 3 Pasook 20 Sulam Commentary on Parasha Toldot

דָּבָר אֲחֵר וַיֶּעְתַּר יִצְחָק, דְּצַלֵּי צְלוֹתֵיהּ, וְחָתַר חֲתִירָה לְעֵילָא, לְגַבֵּי מַזָּלָא עַל בְּנִין, דְּהָא בְּהַהוּא אֲתַר תַּלְיָין בְּנִין, דִּכְתִיב וַתִּתְפַּלֵּל עַל ה', וּכְדֵין וַיֵּעָתֶר לוֹ יי', אַל תִּקְרֵי וַיֵּעָתֶר לוֹ, אֶלָּא וַיֵּחָתֶר לוֹ, חֲתִירָה חָתַר לֵיהּ קוּדְשָׁא בְּרִיךְ הוּא, וְקַבֵּיל לֵיהּ, וּכְדֵין וַתַּהַר רִבְקָה אִשְׁתּוֹ.

Transliteration - If one utilizes this section please also scan the Hebrew letters above for the energy.

Davar acher vaye'tar yitzchak, detzallei tzeloteih, vechatar chatirah le'eila, legabbei mazzala al benin, deha behahu atar talyain benin, dichtiv vattitpallel al h', uchedein vaye'ater lo adonai', al tikrei vaye'ater lo, ella vayechater lo, chatirah chatar leih kudesha berich hu, vekabbeil leih, uchedein vattahar rivkah ishto.

Another explanation for, "And Isaac entreated," is that by his prayer he hollowed out a passage that reached above to Mazal that bestows children. It is upon that place IN MAZAL, WHICH IS THE DIKNA OF ARICH ANPIN that giving birth to children depends, as it is written, "and she prayed to (lit. 'above') Hashem" (I Shmuel 1:10), WHICH IS ZEIR ANPIN. "ABOVE HASHEM" REFERS TO DIKNA OF ARICH ANPIN, WHICH ENCIRCLES ZEIR ANPIN, CALLED 'MAZAL'. Then, "Hashem was entreated of him." Do not pronounce it "entreated" (Heb. vaye'ater), but "hollowed out" (Heb. vayechater). For the Holy One, blessed be He, cleared the way and accepted the prayer. Then, "Rivkah his wife conceived."

chanoch's Commentary

i am not sure what is this level called Dikna by Rabbi Ashlag. This verse also is giving us a hint that it is more important to live - hollow out - Torah rather than to speak the words of Torah and then live differently than the words you have spoken. All of our judgments are based on the words of judgment we have directed at others. This is an important learning not just a teaching.

Zohar Section 3 Pasook 21 Sulam Commentary on Parasha Toldot

תָּא חֲזֵי, עֶשְׂרִין שְׁנִין, אִשְׁתָּהֵי יִצְחָק עִם אִתְּתֵיהּ, וְלָא אוֹלִידַת, עַד דְּצַלֵּי צְלוֹתֵיהּ בְּגִין דְּקוּדְשָׁא בְּרִיךְ הוּא אִתְרְעֵי בִּצְלוֹתְהוֹן דְּצַדִּיקַיָא, בְּשַׁעְתָּא דְּבָעָאן קַמֵּיהּ צְלוֹתְהוֹן, עַל מַה דְּאִצְטְרִיכוּ, מַאי טַעְמָא, בְּגִין דְּיִתְרַבֵּי וְיִתּוֹסַף רְבוּת קוּדְשָׁא, לְכָל מַאן דְּאִצְטְרִיךְ בִּצְלוֹתְהוֹן דְּצַדִּיקַיָּיא.

Transliteration - If one utilizes this section please also scan the Hebrew letters above for the energy.

Ta chazei, esrin shenin, ishtahei yitzchak im itteteih, vela olidat, ad detzallei tzeloteih begin dekudesha berich hu itre'ei bitzlotehon detzaddikaya, besha'ta deva'an kammeih tzelotehon, al mah de'itzterichu, ma ta'ma, begin deyitrabbei veyittosaf revut kudesha, lechol man de'itzterich bitzlotehon detzaddikayai.

Come and behold, Isaac was with his wife for twenty years, but she did not give birth until he had said his prayer This is because the Holy One, blessed be He, desires the prayer of the righteous, when they ask Him in prayer for their needs. Why? Because the anointing oil will be increased by the prayer of the righteous for all those in need of it. FOR THE RIGHTEOUS IN THEIR PRAYER OPEN THE SUPERNAL CHANNEL, AND THEN EVEN THE PRAYERS OF THE UNWORTHY ARE ANSWERED.

chanoch's Commentary

The Righteous have learned the lesson to ask for others and not for themselves. They do this by creating a vessel of all of the people who need what they are asking for. Examples: All of the people who want healthy children. All of the people who need healing from a specific disease. All of the people who need less chaos in their life. Who or what do you entreat HaShem to do for...?

Zohar Section 3 Pasook 22 Sulam Commentary on Parasha Toldot

תָּא חֲזֵי, אַבְרָהָם לָא צַלֵּי קַמֵּי קוּדְשָׁא בְּרִיךְ הוּא, דְּיִתֵּן לֵיהּ בְּנִין, אַף עַל גָּב דְּשָׂרָה עֲקָרָה הֲוַת. וְאִי תֵימָא, הָא כְתִיב, הֵן לִי לֹא נָתַתָּ זָרַע, הַהוּא לָאו בְּגִין צְלוֹתָא הֲוָה אֶלָּא כְּמַאן דְּמִשְׁתָּעֵי קַמֵּי מָרֵיהּ. אֲבָל יִצְחָק, צַלֵּי עַל אִתְּתֵיהּ, בְּגִין דְּהָא אִיהוּ הֲוָה יָדַע, דְלָאו אִיהוּ עָקָר, אֶלָּא אִתְּתֵיהּ, דְּיִצְחָק הֲוָה יָדַע בְּרָזָא דְחָכְמְתָא, דְּיַעֲקֹב זַמִּין לְמֵיפַּק מִנֵּיהּ, בִּתְרֵיסַר שִׁבְטִין, אֲבָל לָא יָדַע, אִי בְּהַאי אִתְּתָא, אִי בְּאָחֳרָא, וְעַל דָּא לְנֹכַח אִשְׁתּוֹ, וְלָא לְנֹכַח רִבְקָה.

Transliteration - If one utilizes this section please also scan the Hebrew letters above for the energy.

Ta chazei, avraham la tzallei kammei kudesha berich hu, deyitten leih benin, af al gav desarah akarah havat. Ve'i teima, ha chetiv, hen li lo natata zara', hahu lav begin tzelota havah ella keman demishta'ei kammei mareih. Aval yitzchak, tzallei al itteteih, begin deha ihu havah yada', delav ihu akar, ella itteteih, deyitzchak havah yada beraza dechachemeta, deya'akov zammin lemeipak minneih, bitreisar shivtin, aval la yada', i beha itteta, i be'ochora, ve'al da lenochach ishto, vela lenochach rivkah.

Come and behold, Abraham did not pray before the Holy One, blessed be He, so that He would give him sons, even though Sarah was barren. And although it may be said that he prayed, saying, "Behold, to me You gave no seed," (Beresheet 15:3) it is not a prayer, but simply a statement to his Master. But Isaac prayed for his wife because he knew that his wife, and not he, was sterile. And although Isaac knew by the inner meaning of wisdom that Jacob was bound to come from him and produce the twelve tribes, he did not know whether this would be from this wife or from another. Therefore the scripture reads, "for his wife" (Beresheet 25:21), and not specifically "for Rivkah."

chanoch's Commentary

This pasuk is hinting to us to put too many specifics in our requests. The more specific the less likely it will be granted since the specific may not fit into the plan of creation. Also remember unrealized expectations cause disappointments and that can cause someone to move away from HaShem Chas V'Shalom.

Zohar Section 3 Pasook 23 Sulam Commentary on Parasha Toldot

אֲמַר הַהוּא רַבְיָא, בְּרֵיהּ דְּרִבִּי יְהוּדָה, אִי הָכֵי אַמַּאי לָא רָחִים לֵיהּ יִצְחָק לְיַעֲקֹב, כָּל כָּךְ כְּמוֹ לְעֵשָׂו, הוֹאִיל וַהֲוָה יָדַע דְּזַמִּין אִיהוּ לְקַיְימָא מִנֵּיהּ תְּרֵיסַר שִׁבְטִין. אָמַר לוֹ שַׁפִּיר קָאֲמַרְתְּ, אֶלָּא כָּל זִינָא רָחֵים לֵיהּ לְזִינֵיהּ, וְאִתְמְשֵׁיךְ וְאָזֵיל זִינָא בַּתר זִינֵיהּ.

Transliteration - If one utilizes this section please also scan the Hebrew letters above for the energy.

Amar hahu ravya, bereih deribbi yehudah, i hachei amma la rachim leih yitzchak leya'akov, kol kach kemo le'esav, ho'il vahavah yada dezammin ihu lekayma minneih tereisar shivtin. Amar lo shappir ka'amart, ella kol zina racheim leih lezineih, ve'itmesheich ve'azeil zina batr zineih.

Rabbi Yehuda's son asks, Why then did not Isaac love Jacob as he loved Esau, if he knew that he would sire the twelve tribes? He replied, Well said. HE LOVED ESAU BETTER BECAUSE everyone loves and is attracted to his own kind.

chanoch's Commentary

What is this saying? Isaac represents the left column which is desire to receive. Esau represents the left column. What is the difference? Isaac is the right column of the left column while Esau is the left column of the left column.

Zohar Section 3 Pasook 24 Sulam Commentary on Parasha Toldot

תָּא חֲזֵי, עֵשָׂו נְפַק סוּמָק, כְּמָה דִכְתִיב וַיֵּצֵא הָרִאשׁוֹן אַדְמוֹנִי כֻּלּוֹ וגו', וְאִיהוּ זִינָא דְיִצְחָק, דְּאִיהוּ דִינָא קַשְׁיָא דִלְעֵילָא, וּנְפַק מִנֵּיהּ עֵשָׂו, דִּינָא קַשְׁיָא לְתַתָּא, דְּדַמְיָא לְזִינֵיהּ, וְכָל זִינָא אָזֵיל לְזִינֵיהּ, וְעַל דָּא רָחֵים לֵיהּ לְעֵשָׂו יַתִּיר מִיַּעֲקֹב, כְּמָה דִכְתִיב וַיֶּאֱהַב יִצְחָק אֶת עֵשָׂו כִּי צַיִד בְּפִיו. כְּתִיב הָכָא כִּי צַיִד בְּפִיו, וּכְתִיב הָתָם עַל כֵּן יֵאָמַר כְּנִמְרֹד גִּבּוֹר צַיִד לִפְנֵי יי'.

Transliteration - If one utilizes this section please also scan the Hebrew letters above for the energy.

Ta chazei, esav nefak sumak, kemah dichtiv vayetzei harishon admoni kullo vgv', ve'ihu zina deyitzchak, de'ihu dina kashya dil'eila, unefak minneih esav, dina kashya letatta, dedamya lezineih, vechol zina azeil lezineih, ve'al da racheim leih le'esav yattir miya'akov, kemah dichtiv vaye'ehav yitzchak et esav ki tzayid befiv. Ketiv hacha ki tzayid befiv, uchetiv hatam al ken ye'amar kenimrod gibbor tzayid lifnei adonai.

Come and behold, Esau was born all red, as it is written, "And the first came out red all over" (Beresheet 25:25). Thus, he is the same as Isaac, who is of Harsh Judgment above, IN HOLINESS, and Esau, who issued from him, is the Harsh Judgment below. ESAU'S HEAD WAS IN THE HOLY SYSTEM, BUT HIS BODY WAS NOT. THEREFORE, he resembled Isaac. And because each is drawn to his own kind, Isaac loved Esau more than Jacob, as it is written, "And Isaac loved Esau, he relished his venison" (Ibid. 28), WHICH MEANS THAT HIS HEAD IS IN THE HOLY SYSTEM. Here it is written, "For he relished his venison," which is similar to, "wherefore it is said, 'like Nimrod the mighty hunter before Hashem'" (Beresheet 10:9). In both places, hunting refers to Harsh Judgment, and the scriptures tell us that he loved him because they were both of Severe Judgment.

chanoch's Commentary

The verse is clear as written.