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Parshas Toldos

“Chave’er Tov - Good Friends”

The Torah tells us that Rivka was pregnant with twins and the children struggled within her womb, “Vayissrotz’tzu habanim b’kirbah.”

Rashi explains that whenever Rivka passed a house of idolatry, Esuv fought to emerge, and when she passed a house of Torah study, Yaakov struggled to be born. We can understand why Esuv was anxious to be born, but why would Yaakov wish to leave his mother’s womb early? Do we not have a tradition that an angel teaches the entire Torah to the fetus while in the womb? Could Yaakov have found a better Torah teacher than Hashem’s angel? 

From this we learn that a negative environment or a bad friend can overcome even the best teacher. Yaakov had to escape from Esuv so that his negative influences would not train Yaakov’s character or his soul. If this holds true for Yaakov, how much more must we be vigilant regarding our friends and environment.