Toldos – Rishon

October 26, 2013, by

This parsha chronicles the life of Yitzchak, Avraham’s son. Yitzchak married Rivka when he was 40 years old. They didn’t have any children so he prayed for her and G-d answered. Rivka became pregnant, but she had a very tough time of things. She inquired of G-d (through Noah’s son Shem, who was a prophet) […]

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Toldos – Sheini

October 26, 2013, by

Yitzchak settled in Gerar, but he copied his father’s old trick and told the locals that Rivka was his sister. Unlike Sarah, Rivka did not end up getting abducted, but Avimelech, king of Gerar, saw Yitzchak treating Rivka in a most un-sibling-like fashion, so he knew that he had been deceived. (This was probably not […]

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Toldos – Shlishi

October 26, 2013, by

Yitzchak remained in Gerar, where he farmed for a living. He was especially prosperous, because G-d had blessed him. Yitzchak became wealthy and acquired many flocks, herds and servants. The local Philistines resented Yitzchak’s success, so they filled in the wells that Avraham had dug. Avimelech suggested that Yitzchak relocate since it was an embarrassment […]

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Toldos – R’vi’i

October 26, 2013, by

Yitzchak traveled from the Gerar valley to Be’er-Sheva. G-d appeared to Yitzchak and told him that He would bless him and multiply his descendants because of his father Avraham. Yitzchak built an altar there and gave thanks to G-d. Avimelech, his general Fichol, and a party from Gerar came to see Yitzchak. Yitzchak was surprised […]

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Toldos – Chamishi

October 26, 2013, by

Being the peace-loving type, Yitzchak had no objections to burying the hatchet with Avimelech and the people of Gerar. He prepared a feast and everybody ate and drank. The next morning, they swore a pact and parted peacefully. That very day, Yitzchak’s servants informed him that they had struck water in a well they had […]

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Toldos – Shishi

October 26, 2013, by

Yitzchak blessed Yaakov with all the good things that Heaven and Earth have to offer. Nations would subjugate themselves to him and he would rule over his brother’s descendants. Those who curse him will be cursed, but those who bless him will be blessed. Yaakov received his blessing and left. Eisav returned from hunting and […]

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Toldos – Sh’vi’i

October 26, 2013, by

Yitzchak sent Yaakov on his way. Eisav realized how displeased his parents were with his Canaanite wives, so he decided to at least partially rectify things by marrying a member of Avraham’s family. He married Machalas, a daughter of his uncle Yishmael. It wasn’t a perfect fix, however, as this was in addition to his […]

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Toldos – Haftarah

October 26, 2013, by

As is becoming our pattern, the obvious reason to connect this week’s haftarah to the Torah reading does not pass cursory examination. We presumably read this section of Malachi because it refers to God’s choosing Jacob over Esau, as in the Torah reading. A problem to mention, but which would take us too far afield, […]

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The Roles of the Matriarchs

October 25, 2013, by

And these are the generations of Yitzchak, Avraham’s son: Avraham begot Yitzchak. And Yitzchak was forty years old when he took Rivkah, the daughter of Betuel the Aramean, of Paddan-aram, the sister of Lavan the Aramean, to be his wife. And Yitzchak entreated Hashem for his wife, because she was barren. And Hashem responded to […]

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