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This week's 10-Minute Torah (November 20, 2022): "Parashat Toldot" 5781

Updated: 3 days ago


Parashat Toldot


This week’s portion focuses on Yitzhak, Isaac, continuing the legacy of his father Abraham. Isaac has taken Rivka, Rebecca, as his wife. Rebecca is barren and prays to Hashem for children. Hashem tells her that she will have two sons who will contend with each other in her womb, which foreshadows their descendants’ conflicts as well.


There is a famine in the land and they start to travel to Egypt to get food. While stopping in Phillistia, Hashem tells Isaac not to go to Egypt because he is too holy, having almost been sacrificed, to live with that pagan culture. The Canaanites there are attracted to Rebecca and Isaac, like Abraham, tells them she is his sister to avoid being killed so they can take her. The king, known as “Abimelech”, sees that the two are being romantic with each other, understands that they are in fact married and tells his people not to touch Rebecca.

Esau is the first born of the fraternal twins. He is red-haired and ruddy complexion. He is strong and powerful and likes to hunt game. As the first born, he is entitled to Isaac’s legacy.

Jacob is slighter of build. He is born right after Esau holding onto his heel. His name “Yaakob” come from the Hebrew word “ekev”, heel. He is more intellectual and likes to study Torah.

When they grow up, Esau comes in from hunting. Jacob is cooking a red lentil stew (some say it is the meal of consolation for Abraham who has just died). He complains to Jacob that he is starving and wants to eat before he dies (he is being overly dramatic). Jacob makes him promise to give him his birthright in exchange for the food and Esau agrees, complaining what good is the birthright if he is dead. The Torah states that thus did Esau spurn his birthright.

Years later, Isaac is old and believes that he is going to die soon. He tells Esau to go catch game and prepare a meal for him and he will give him his blessing, the blessing due him as the first born. Rebecca has been listening. She feels that Jacob is more suited to carry on the legacy and conspires with him to get the first-born blessing, not Esau, because Esau has married pagans and wouldn’t appreciate the concept of one, true G-d.

When Esau departs, she goes to Jacob and tells him to get two of their own calves which she will prepare for a meal for Isaac. Since Isaac is almost blind, so she wants to make him think that Jacob is Esau so Jacob will receive those blessings. She then puts some of the skins on Jacob so he will feel hairy to Isaac.

Isaac believes that Jacob is Esau and gives him the blessings to carry on the legacy of Abraham and him. Esau finally returns and Isaac realizes that he gave the blessing to Jacob, which he can not retract. Isaac then gives Esau a blessing that he will serve his younger brother, but he will vanquish his enemies.

Esau says that he will kill Jacob after Isaac dies because he stole his birthright. Rebecca tells Jacob to leave to save himself and go to her brother Laban.

Espanol:


La porción de esta semana se enfoca en Itzjak, Isaac, continuando el legado de su padre Abraham. Isaac ha tomado a Rivka, Rebecca, como su esposa. Rebecca es estéril y reza a Hashem por los niños. Hashem le dice que tendrá dos hijos que competirán entre sí en su útero, lo que también presagia los conflictos de sus descendientes.


Hay hambre en la tierra y empiezan a viajar a Egipto para conseguir comida. Mientras se detiene en Phillistia, Hashem le dice a Isaac que no vaya a Egipto porque es demasiado santo, casi siendo sacrificado, para vivir con esa cultura pagana. Los cananeos allí se sienten atraídos por Rebeca, e Isaac, como Abraham, les dice que ella es su hermana para evitar que la maten y poder llevársela. El rey, conocido como “Abimelec”, ve que los dos están siendo románticos entre ellos, entiende que de hecho están casados y le dice a su gente que no toque a Rebeca.


Esaú es el primogénito de los gemelos fraternos. Es pelirrojo y de tez rubicunda. Es fuerte y poderoso y le gusta la caza. Como primogénito, tiene derecho al legado de Isaac.


Jacob es de complexión más delgada. Nace justo después de que Esaú se aferrara a su talón. Su nombre "Yaakob" proviene de la palabra hebrea "ekev", talón. Es más intelectual y le gusta estudiar Torá.


Cuando crecen, Esaú viene de cazar. Jacob está cocinando un guiso de lentejas rojas (algunos dicen que es la comida de consuelo para Abraham, que acaba de morir). Se queja a Jacob de que se muere de hambre y quiere comer antes de morir (está siendo demasiado dramático). Jacob le hace prometer que le dará su primogenitura a cambio de la comida y Esaú accede, quejándose de lo bueno que es la primogenitura si está muerto. La Torá declara que así Esaú despreció su primogenitura.


Años más tarde, Isaac es viejo y cree que morirá pronto. Le dice a Esaú que vaya a cazar y le prepare una comida y le dará su bendición, la bendición que le corresponde como primogénito. Rebecca ha estado escuchando. Ella siente que Jacob es más adecuado para continuar con el legado y conspira con él para obtener la bendición del primogénito, no Esaú, porque Esaú se ha casado con paganos y no apreciaría el concepto de un Dios verdadero.


Cuando Esaú se va, ella va a Jacob y le dice que consiga dos de sus propios terneros que preparará para una comida para Isaac. Ya que Isaac es casi ciego, ella quiere hacerle pensar que Jacob es Esaú para que Jacob reciba esas bendiciones. Luego le pone algunas de las pieles a Jacob para que Isaac se sienta peludo.


Isaac cree que Jacob es Esaú y le da las bendiciones para continuar el legado de Abraham y él. Esaú finalmente regresa e Isaac se da cuenta de que le dio la bendición a Jacob, de la que no puede retractarse. Isaac luego le da a Esaú una bendición de que servirá a su hermano menor, pero vencerá a sus enemigos.

Esaú dice que matará a Jacob después de que Isaac muera porque robó su primogenitura. Rebecca le dice a Jacob que se vaya para salvarse y que vaya con su hermano Labán.



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