Toldot

Generations

תולדת

Toldot – Genesis 25:19 – 28:9

Summary: This portion we find a switch in the head of the house, as last week’s portion informed us of not only the death of Sarah but also Abraham.  We now pick up with the building of the house of Isaac, the Promised Son, and his chosen Bride Rebekah.  It is titled Toldot/Generations because it begins listing a very short genealogy, really a reminder that Isaac is the son of Abraham, and then a short list concerning Rebekah’s line.  For 20 years these two have been married, but Rebekah just like Sarah before her is barren!  Yet we find that Yahweh remembers her just as he remembered Sarah and she gives birth to the famous twins Jacob and Esau.  Yet while still in the womb the prophecy is given that  these twins would be rival nations and it would be the younger (Jacob) that would carry on the promise.  The twins grow and Esau is described as a man of the field, a hunter, while Jacob a man of the tents.  This portion also covers the details of how Jacob, the younger son, actually is able to gain access to the blessing and the birthright both through Esau’s despising of it and Rebekah’s assistance.  The parshah ends with Jacob being sent to Rebekah’s family, and her brother Laban, and Esau attempting to regain his parents approval by taking another wife.

Torah Tidbits:

*20 years Rebekah is barren – 20 = כ represents authority, ownership, possession; also the number associated with expectancy

*Isaac is 60 years old when the twins are born, 60 = connection to the 6th day or 6,000th year where we find the nation being born again as well!  The Jacob nation/Hebrews are being regathered and realizing who they are in the 6th day, but the Esau nation as well is being gathered to battle against the Jacob nation again.  – This is the 6th Torah Portion of the year once again putting the focus on this number 6!

*Jacob is often seen as the weaker twin, a “momma’s boy” and Esau the “manly man”, yet this comes from our misunderstanding of the Hebrew language.  When we’re told that Jacob dwelt in tents it was a reference that he spent time in the tent – where the Torah was taught.  By tracing the overlapping of the years of the generations, it is most likely (and also supported by the sages) that Jacob learned the Torah from Shem!  Esau on the other hand is described as a man of the field and a hunter, which is a direct connection to the way Nimrod was described!  Understanding these Hebrew phrases goes a long way in understanding the characteristics of these two as well as their nations and why one is given the Covenant promise over the other.

We hope that this information becomes tools in your hands to help you study to show yourself approved this week!  Stay tuned and join us this Shabbat to hear what we’ve dug out of this portion, shalom aleichem!