Parshat Toldot

The Shorashim Torah Study and Overview Guide.

Parshat Toldot (Genesis 25:19–28:9) — After the meeting and marriage we read of twenty painful and hurting years wherein Isaac and Rebbecca wait for a child., And Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebbecca the daughter of Bethuel the Aramean of Padan Aram, the sister of Laban the Aramean, to himself for a wife. ( Genesis 25:20)

Why do we need all this information” the daughter of Bethuel the Aramean of Padan Aram, the sister of Laban the Aramean,”?

And Isaac prayed to the Lord opposite his wife because she was barren, and the Lord accepted his prayer, and Rebbecca his wife conceived.

Why must we understand about ” the Lord accepted his prayer” especially as we know that the woman’s prayer is much more powerful?

Rebbecca experiences a very difficult pregnancy as we read 22. And the children struggled within her, and she said, “If [it be] so, why am I [like] this?” And she went to inquire of the Lord.

What can be understood by the verse “And the children struggled within her (25:22)?

Esau emerges first and his twin brother Jacob is born clutching Esau’s heel which is the source of Jacob’s name

G-d has told Rebbecca that “And the Lord said to her, “Two nations are in your womb, and two kingdoms will separate from your innards, and one kingdom will become mightier than the other kingdom, and the elder will serve the younger”.

What can we learn from the fact that Jacob is born clutching Esau’s heel and that this is the source of his name?

Esau grows up to be “a cunning hunter, a man of the field”

Who else was known as a man of the field?

Jacob is a dweller in the tents.  Those tents are understood to be the tents of the shepherd and the tents of torah spirituality.

Esau returns from a day of hunting and killing and he is exhausted and hungry and he sells his birthright to Jacob for a pot of red lentil stew.The Torah says that Esau despised his birthright.

Why would that be so?

In Gerar, the land that would be Gush Katif Isaac lays down the spiritual backdrop that would be played out again between the Philistines/ Palestinians and Isaac’s descendants.

How so?

Esau marries two Hittite women to the consternation of his parents. Yet Isaac desires to bless Esau before he dies.

Why would that be and how does that relate to the secret of “Blessings”?

While Esau goes off to hunt Rebbecca dresses Jacob in Esau’s clothes and prepares a similar dish, Jacob receives his father’s blessings which are a mixture of physical abundance blessings.

What does that mean about the blessings he had set aside for Isaac?

When Esau comes back and finds out that Jacob has taken ” his” blessings he is told that when Jacob falters, the younger brother will be ruled by the elder brother.

Rebbecca prophetically understands Esau’s vengeful plans and sends Jacob away. So begins the first exile. At the same time Esau marries h, the daughter of Ishmael.

What does that last fact teach us about the final exile?

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