In Parashat Tol’dot, Isaac is described as having “weak eyes,” which is considered a metaphor for his inability to see what his twin sons Jacob and Esau needed from him (Gen. 27:1). Why was he so poorly prepared to father his boys? In this midrashic monologue, Isaac gives us a clue as he reflects upon his relationship with his own father.
In Tol’dot we learn that Jacob, the homespun man, is wilier than his brother Esau, the skilled hunter. While Jewish commentators ascribed many negative traits and behaviors to Esau, a later portion reveals his positive ability to forgive.
Jacob and Esau had different traits even in the womb. Jacob is the brother who gains the favor of the Rabbis ultimately, but in Tol’dot, he is conniving and conspiring. Esau is viewed by the biblical author as “impetuous and brash” and by later commentators as a “wild beast.” The words in Tol’dot imply that their character was inescapable.
Friendships among siblings can be close and long-lasting. Many times, however, they are difficult to achieve or sustain. This week's parashah provides insight into the latter.
In Parashat Tol'dot, Jacob certainly appears as if he is born with a silver spoon in his mouth. Being born into the prophecy that Dr.
The show, Pawn Stars, is a runaway hit on the History Channel. It tells the story of three generations of the Harrison family and their Las Vegas pawnshop.
Not long ago, I heard Robert Krulwich of the podcast Radiolab1 reflect on his experiences at two different ancient temples—one in Kyoto and one in Athens.
Among the most exquisite stories in all of Tanach is Genesis 27, Isaac's blessing of Jacob. In this essay I wish to highlight the artistry of this author.
Dr. Aaron masterfully and elegantly outlines the literary and artistic setup of Parashat Tol'dot, arguably one of the most gripping tales in the Torah.
The Torah has a way of conveying great drama in concise language.
Two girls from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania were nervously riding a New York City subway. They relaxed when seeing a familiar sight. Upon spotting a Chasid one whispered to the other, "'Look!
"The children pressed against each other [vayitrotz'tzu] inside her" (Genesis 25:22).
Of all the things a child receives at birth, the purity of a newborn soul is without question the most important.