Parash 6 Tol’dot (History) B’resheet / Genesis 25:19-28:9

This Torah portion we will go over the true owners of what property belongs to who in the Middle East. In this portion we will see why we have such problems in that area of the world even unto today.

Synopsis Yitz’chak marries Rivkah. After twenty childless years their prayers are answered and Rivkah conceives. She experiences a difficult pregnancy as the "children struggle inside her"; Yehovah tells her that "there are two nations in your womb," and that the younger will prevail over the elder. Esav emerges first; Ya’akov is born clutching Esav's heel. Esau grows up to be "a cunning hunter, a man of the field"; Ya’akov is "a wholesome man," a dweller in the tents of learning running the family business. Yitz’chak favors Esau; Rivkah loves Ya’akov. Returning exhausted and hungry from the hunt one day, Esav sells his birthright (his rights as the firstborn) to Ya’akov for a pot of red lentil stew. Thus fulfilling the prophecy told to Rivkah by Adonai when she was pregnant.

In Gerar, in the land of the Philistines, Yitz’chak presents Rivkah as his sister, out of fear that he will be killed by someone coveting her beauty. He farms the land, reopens the wells dug by his father Avraham, and bores a series of his own wells: over the first two there is strife with the Philistines, but the waters of the third well are enjoyed in tranquility. Esav marries two Hittite women. Yitz’chak grows old and blind, and expresses his desire to bless Esav before he dies. While Esav goes off to hunt for his father's favorite food, Rivkah dresses Ya’akov in Esav's clothes, covers his arms and neck with goatskins to simulate the feel of his hairier brother, prepares a similar dish, and sends Ya’akov to his father. Ya’akov receives his fathers' blessings for "the dew of the heaven and the fat of the land" and mastery over his brother. When Esav returns and the deception is revealed, all Yitz’chak can do for his weeping son is to predict that he will live by his sword, and that when Ya’akov falters, the younger brother will forfeit his supremacy over the elder. Ya’akov leaves home for Charan to flee Esav's wrath and to find a wife in the family of his mother's brother, Laban. Esav marries a third wife --Machlat, the daughter of Ishmael.


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