How should siblings treat each other? In this week’s parsha, Esau demands a portion of soup from his brother Jacob while the family is mourning the death of their grandfather, Abraham. By requiring this instant gratification, Esau put himself before his family, disrupting the solemn mood and eventually forsaking his status as the first-born son. […]
The Torah tells us that Yaakov Avinu was a pure person who sat and learned Torah (see Targum and Rashi) and that Eisav was a man of the field and a hunter. The Torah tells us that Yitzchok loved Eisav because he hunted animals for him to eat, and that Rivka loved Yaakov. Since the […]
Veteran readers of this column are familiar with my paternal grandfather, Chaim Yitzchak Weinreb. He was an old-school Jew, with roots in the region of eastern Poland known as Galicia. He had studied under renowned Talmudists back in the old country, and his fervent wish was to see his grandchildren grow up to be dedicated […]
The choreography of Yaakov’s “theft” of Esav’s blessing is well-known. Favored by Rivkah , he conspires with her to take advantage of his father’s failing eyesight to win Yitzchak’s blessing, leaving Esav, favored by his father, to go without the honor of the first-born. This reading of parshat Toldot makes central the animosity between the […]
“These are the generations of Yitzchak the son of Avraham, Avraham fathered Yitzchak.” (Bereishit 25:19) Readers of this first verse cannot help but notice the redundancy between the first and second clause of the same sentence. If Yitzchak was the son of Avraham, then indeed Avraham fathered Yitzchak. Rashi, ever sensitive to the subtleties of […]
In this parsha shiur Shira Smiles discusses the narrative of the story of Yitzchak’s blessings to his sons Yaakov and Esav. Yitzchak’s main strength was that of Gevurah (inner strength), and therefore he is tested specifically in this area.
Numbers in [square brackets] are the Mitzva-Count from Sefer HaChinuch. Kohen – First Aliya – 21 p’sukim – 25:19-26:5 This is the history of Yitzchak b. Avraham; Avraham fathered Yitzchak. [SDT] Rashi quotes the Gemara that tells that when Yitzchak was born, scoffers said that Avraham and Sara, who were childless for so long, had […]
Numbers in [brackets] are the mitzva-count according to the Sefer HaChinuch. Other counts vary. Kohen First Aliya – First Aliya – 21 p’sukim – 25:19-26:5 This is the history of Yitzchak b. Avraham; Avraham fathered Yitzchak. [SDT] Rashi quotes the Gemara that tells that when Yitzchak was born, scoffers said that Avraham and Sara, who […]