In Parshat Toldot, Rebecca is pregnant with the twins Esau and Jacob and we read:

וַיִּתְרֹֽצֲצ֤וּ הַבָּנִים֙ בְּקִרְבָּ֔הּ -- And the children struggled together within her. [Genesis 25:22].

There are many interpretations of this line, but I don't understand this one from the Zohar:

Why did they struggle? Because the Evil Inclination was abolished from the heart. [Zohar 1:140b]

What does it mean?

  • 2
    This is in the middle of an extended metaphor. The question "why did they struggle?" is about the struggle of the liver and the heart, which are metaphorically read into the struggle of Jacob and Esau. The answer only makes sense when you take into account its context (though admittedly even in its context the answer isn't immediately clear) – b a Nov 12 '20 at 21:42
  • I know, and that's why I asked. – Maurice Mizrahi Nov 12 '20 at 21:49
  • 3
    It might be useful to situate the question in the context of the metaphor rather than in the context of Jacob and Esau for those readers (such as me) who didn't know that the Zohar's answer isn't referring to the literal children – b a Nov 12 '20 at 21:57
  • The heart had no self identity (like Moshe) and therefore could be anything. Hence the struggle. – The GRAPKE Nov 12 '20 at 22:39
  • @MauriceMizrahi "And the children struggled together within her." These are the two foundations of the body: the brain and the heart. I think it ought to be brain and liver. I dont think the translation is 'abolished'. I dont think he means either that the liver and heart 'struggled' with each other. But the zohar previously says that hashem 'breaks' the heart. – interested Nov 13 '20 at 9:11

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