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Questions tagged [parashat-toldot]

The weekly Torah portion of Toldot (Genesis 25:19-28:9)

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Meaning of ישב אהלים and grammar

We read last Shabbat parshat Toldot in which we find the famous statement in Bereshit 25:27 וְיַעֲקֹב֙ אִ֣ישׁ תָּ֔ם יֹשֵׁ֖ב אֹהָלִֽים The mefarshim deals with the meaning of ישב אהלים, some like ...
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Could Yaakov/Esau Berachot crisis be resolved in a peaceful manner?

The stories of our forefathers describe a world where conflicts can be generally resolved either by violence, deceit, accident or some heavenly intervention but not through a civilized negotiation and ...
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Why does Rivka have ruach hakodesh at the end of parsha Toldot, but not at the beginning?

It says in the beginning of Toldos (Beireshit 25:22-23) that Rivka had stomach-aches, so she went to "ask Hashem" about her pregnancy. Rashi says that since she didn't have ruach hakodesh, it was ...
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Was Esav originally destined to be the fourth of the Avos?

I think I heard that Esav and Yaakov were supposed to be like Yissachar and Zevulun; partnering together in Avodas HaShem. So then would both have become our Avos? I'm interested in the earliest ...
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Yitzchak as an Olah Temima - Yes to Egypt - No to Shifcha?

Yitzchak and Rivka waited many years to have kids, until they davened. The Medrash is quoted saying that Yitzchak didn’t take a Shifcha - maidservant- like Avrahm did (Hagar) because he knew that ...
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Eisov not wearing his best clothes for Yitzhak's blessing?

Eisov wore his best suit (the "royal robe" he took from Nimrod, who took it from Adam etc) whenever he served his father Itzhok (Bereishis Rabboh 65, 16). He kept it by his mother Rivkah's: "...
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According to the Ramban, Did all the descendants of all the Sh'vatim observe the Torah before it was given?

From the Ramban in Beraishis 26:5 it seems that not only Avraham Avinu kept the Torah, but also his descendants, including Yaakov, Yosef, Amram, Moshe etc. He derives this from the passuk "that he [...
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Yaakov and Esav identical twins?

Were Yaakov and Esav monozygotic ("identical") twins, or dizygotic ("fraternal") twins? (Inspired by Sabbahillel's answer to Why is the birth of twins a Chidush for Rivka?)
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Esav took his wives from among the girls of Cana'an? (Breishit 36:2)

There appears to be a Torah contradiction regarding the statement that Esav took his wives from among the women in the land of Cana'an as stated in Breishit 36:2. verse 2 lists Adah, whom Rash"i says ...
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Esav's complaint in Breishit 27:36

In Breishit 27:36, Esav complains that Ya'akov outsmarted him twice. He took his birthright and his blessing. I can somewhat validate Esav's complaint about Ya'akov outsmarting him regarding taking ...
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Where does the word תורתי and different aplliable roots learn us?

(From the pealim.com website) The word להורות comes from ירה and gives הורה (past tense, 3rd person, masculine singular; "he/it taught", or as a imperative 2nd person, masculine, singular: "[to a ...
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Gen 25:22 running fight over two worlds

Looking at Bereshit/Genesis 25:22 Some commentators [based on the Midrash of Genesis Rabbah 63:6] offer a explanation [of “Vayitrotzatzu: and they struggled”] as having the meaning of “ratz/rutz: ...
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Marriage: get out of jail free card?

The Yerushalmi (Bikkurim 3:3/11b) says that a chassan has his sins atoned for. This is derived from Esav, who married a woman, the daughter of Yishmael and sister of Navos, named Machalas (Bereishis ...
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What is so significant about the wells in the Torah? Why are they discussed?

Genesis 26:15-18 (15) And the Philistines stopped up all the wells which his father’s servants had dug in the days of his father Abraham, filling them with earth. (16) And Abimelech ...
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Why did Yacov suddenly ask for the first-born rights?

I was amazed when suddenly Yacov Avinu asked his brother for the right of being first born son when Eisav asked for food to eat. Why did he choose that moment?
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Why did Yaakov buy the Bechora from Esav?

This question came up recently, and the immediate answer that I got from people around me is that Yaakov was securing the brachos which are due to the bechor. However, the problem with this answer is ...
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Hinei - Bereishit 25:24 [duplicate]

When Rivka feels something amiss inside her, she goes to ask. In Bereishit 25:22-23 she is told that there are 2 nations in her belly and the elder will serve the younger. Then, in verse 24, when the ...
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Why wasn't Esav willing to wait until his father's mourning was complete?

Follow up (somewhat) to this Mi Yodeya question: My recollection is that a number of commentaries explain that Esav was extremely respectful and loyal to his father. I would think that part of ...
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Why not delay Esav a little longer?

Why didn't Hashem want to give Yaakov more time to leave Yitzchak comfortably? The Medrash Tanchuma (11) describes how Yakov left Yitzchak the very same moment Esav was entering. (Especially since ...
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וְיִשְׁתַּחֲווּ vs וישתחו

What is the explanation and reason for the kri-ksiv וְיִשְׁתַּחֲווּ vs וישתחו in בראשית פרק כ''ז פסוק כ''ט? Please explain how both the kri and the ksiv fit in the pasuk.
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Commands/Laws followed by Avraham

Genesis 26:5 states: Because that Avraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws. What were these laws and command that Avraham was observing? A Christian ...
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Why didn't Esav try to kill Ya'akov while Ya'akov was in Lavan's home?

I'm trying to reconcile a verse with the actual event timeline. Genesis 27:41: וַיִּשְׂטֹ֤ם עֵשָׂו֙ אֶֽת־יַעֲקֹ֔ב עַל־הַ֨בְּרָכָ֔ה אֲשֶׁ֥ר בֵּרֲכ֖וֹ אָבִ֑יו וַיֹּ֨אמֶר עֵשָׂ֜ו בְּלִבּ֗וֹ ...
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How did Yitzhak get blind?

I once heard that Yitzhak got blind (Genesis 27:1) because G-d showed him the whole world, the future, etc. (basically G-d's view). But I've also heard one opinion that says that he got blind because ...
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Why two lambs to make a meal for Isaac?

In parshat Toldot Rivka asks Yaakov to get 2 kids for her to cook for Isaac. What can we learn from using two kids? Was it in the time of year when kids are first born and they were tiny? Was a ...
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Why does the Torah say ואלה תולדת יצחק?

Parashat Toldot starts with the words ואלה תולדת יצחק בן אברהם; אברהם הוליד את יצחק These are the generations of Yitzhak the son of Avraham; Avraham gave birth to Yitzhak. Normally when the ...
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Why didn't Yitzhak bless Eisav the same way he blessed Yahakov?

Why couldn't Yitzhak make the same blessing twice?
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Why doesn't Yitzchak chastise Avimelech about the wells the way his father did?

In parshat Toldot, we see a number of situations that occur to Yitzhak that are (almost) identical to those that occurred to his father, Avraham. Examples: There is a famine. Yitzchak seeks to go to ...
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Is Rivkah implying any responsibility to Ya'akov for having “stolen” Esav's blessing?

Genesis 27:45: עַד־שׁ֨וּב אַף־אָחִ֜יךָ מִמְּךָ֗ וְשָׁכַח֙ אֵ֣ת אֲשֶׁר־עָשִׂ֣יתָ לּ֔וֹ וְשָׁלַחְתִּ֖י וּלְקַחְתִּ֣יךָ מִשָּׁ֑ם לָמָ֥ה אֶשְׁכַּ֛ל גַּם־שְׁנֵיכֶ֖ם י֥וֹם אֶחָֽד׃ My Modified ...
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Why does Rashi describe Mahalath as “Another unsuitable wife”?

At the end of Parshat Toldot, Eisav marries the daughter of Yishmael, as he "perceives" that the daughters of Heth have upset his parents. Whilst obviously Eisav had many flaws, this appears to be a ...
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Why is the birth of twins a Chidush for Rivka?

Background: In Parshat Toldot, Rivka conceives and is troubled by the discomfort. She goes to ask Hashem and it is explained to her that 2 nations are struggling within her, so she already knows that ...
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Who were Esav's wives?

Bereishit (Genesis) chapter 26 and Genesis 36 state different names for the wives of Esav (Esau). What are the different explanations to this problem? (Biblical Criticism explains this as two ...
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What was red in the stew that Jacob made for Esau?

Genesis 25:29–30 (JPS): And Jacob sod pottage; and Esau came in from the field, and he was faint. And Esau said to Jacob: 'Let me swallow, I pray thee, some of this red, red pottage; for I am ...
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צידה vs צָיִד? kri ksiv

What is the reason for the kri ksiv in 'בראשית פרק כ''ז פסוק ג, in which the ksiv is צידה but the kri צָיִד? See http://www.mechon-mamre.org/i/t/t0127.htm I would like to know the reason for how the ...
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Why didn't Rivka summon Yaakov?

Rivka told Yaakov to remain at the home of Lavan until she summoned him (Bereishis 27:45). However, we never find that Rivka sent for him, and Yaakov ended up leaving at Hashem's instruction (...
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Where did Yitzchok pull out the blessing for Eisav from?

My paraphrased summary of Bereishit 27:30-39: Eisav comes in to get his blessing. Yitzchok tells him that he already gave the blessing away. Eisav says "bless me too!" Yitzchok says "Sorry, I'm ...
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Is Ber. 26 in the proper chronological place?

In Bereishit 25 twins are born and they grow up. Though I don't know how old they are by the end of the perek, they are at least 13. Then in perek 26, there is a famine and Yitzchak must go to Gerar. ...
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Why does Rashi offer completely different explanation of אחות נביות and אחות נחשון?

In Bereishit 28:9, Rashi uses the words "אחות נביות" ("the sister of Nevayot") to calculate how old Yishmael, Eisav, and Yaakov were at the time, and a bunch of other dates. However, in Shemot 6:23, ...
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What would have happened if Esav hadn't sold the bechora?

If Esav hadn't sold the bechora to Yaakov what, if anything, would have been different? In other words, what consequence was there to the sale? What did it change, how did it make anything different?
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Since Yitzchok appears to have a doubt about the identity of the person whom he wished to bless, why didn’t he wait and make sure?

From what Yitzchok says in Bereishis 27:22 “the voice is the voice of Ya’akov, and the hands are the hands of Eisav” it seems that he had a doubt as to the identity of the person who had come to ...
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Why was Yitzhak “laughing” with his wife openly?

Rashi on Bereshis 26:8 indicates that Avimelech saw Yitzhak sleeping with his wife. A) Why were they having relations during the daytime? B) Why were they having relations in a way that others could ...
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Who did the Avos give maaser to?

Rashi in parshas Toldos (25:27) tells us about Esav: יודע ציד: לצוד ולרמות את אביו בפיו, ושואלו אבא היאך מעשרין את המלח ואת התבן, כסבור אביו שהוא מדקדק במצות׃ who understood hunting: [He knew ...
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Chazal and Medrash Tanchumah

I was reading A Time to Laugh; A Time to Listen by Rabbi Yehoshua Kurland. On page 116 he brings down a Chazal (Medrash Tanchumah, Toldos 18) which says, "You make a small opening like one made by the ...
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What right did Rivka have to use Eisav's coat against him? [duplicate]

The midrashim bring that Rivka dressed up Yaakov in Eisav's special coat (originally given to Adam) that he used to serve his father. [See Rashi on 27:15 for partial source.] Since Rivka was ...
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When did Yitzchak pray for Rivka to become fertile?

Bereishit 25:21 tells us that Yitzchak prayed for Rivka because she was barren and God accepted his prayer. They were married for 20 years before she had the twins. I am assuming that they didn't ...
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What was the reasoning of the 'scorners of the generation'?

Bereshit 25:19 reads: וְאֵלֶּה תּוֹלְדֹת יִצְחָק בֶּן אַבְרָהָם אַבְרָהָם הוֹלִיד אֶת יִצְחָק: And these are the generations of Isaac the son of Abraham; Abraham begot Isaac. Rashi: (bold ...
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Did Jacob and Esau have other brothers? [duplicate]

In Bereishit 27:29, Isaac's Blessing of Jacob contains: "You shall be a master over your brothers, and your mother's sons shall bow down to you." Are there any explanations in the literature ...
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Why is Edom considered to be “Western culture” and not southern Jordan? [duplicate]

I have a vague notion of hearing in various places that America or Western culture in general is Edom and that this final exile is called Galus Edom. Also as in reference to the blessings in Genesis ...
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Why is Jacob idolized and not villainised?

I've just read the story of Jacob and Esau (Bereishis ch. 25 and 27), and I fail to understand why Jacob is consistently portrayed and idolized as a protagonist and a hero - based on what I've read, I ...
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Why was Yaakov punished for not honoring his parents?

Bereshit 37:34 (translation by machon-mamre): וַיִּקְרַע יַעֲקֹב שִׂמְלֹתָיו, וַיָּשֶׂם שַׂק בְּמָתְנָיו; וַיִּתְאַבֵּל עַל-בְּנוֹ, יָמִים רַבִּים And Jacob rent his garments, and put ...
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Why would anyone name their daughter Yehudis? The first one vexed Isaac and Rebecca

The first Yehudis is mentioned in this week’s sedrah 26 (34–35). “And Esau was forty years old, and he married Judith, the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Basemath, the daughter of Elon ...