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Isaac Remembers When He Ended It with Abraham

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.

D'var Torah By: 
A Space for Presence and for Love: Be’er-Lachai-Roi
Davar Acher By: 
Rabbi Ilene Harkavy Haigh

In our Torah portion this week, Tol’dot, we learn that “Isaac had grown old and his eyesight had dimmed” (Gen. 27:1) compromising his ability to differentiate between his two sons. Does this explain how he, “inadvertently” blesses Jacob instead of Esa

Genuine Forgiveness Despite a Grave Wrong

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.

D'var Torah By: 
Two Sides of the Same Coin
Davar Acher By: 
Rabbi Judith L. Siegal

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.  

Family Discord and Distrust

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.

D'var Torah By: 
A Struggle from Birth and Throughout a Lifetime
Davar Acher By: 
Lisa Kingston

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.

What Would You Hold Onto – At Any Price?

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.

D'var Torah By: 
Our Sacred Preservation Project
Davar Acher By: 
Shoshanah Conover

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.

Recognizing Torah Voices

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.

D'var Torah By: 
The Truth about Good and Bad Twins
Davar Acher By: 
Lori B. Sagarin

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.

Hearing Is Believing

The Torah has a way of conveying great drama in concise language.

D'var Torah By: 
What We Want to Hear
Davar Acher By: 
Eric Polokoff

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!

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