Search Results for 'toldot'

  • Toldot (5774) – The Price of Silence

    In an earlier Covenant and Conversation I quoted the Netziv (Naftali Zvi Yehudah Berlin, 1816-1893, dean of the yeshiva in Volozhin), who made the sharp observation that Isaac and Rebecca seem not to have communicated closely. Rebecca’s “relationship with Isaac… read more
  • Toldot (5773) – Between Prophecy and Oracle

    Rebecca, hitherto infertile, became pregnant. Suffering acute pain, “she went to inquire of the Lord” [vatelekh lidrosh et Hashem] (Bereishit 25:22). The explanation she received was that she was carrying twins who were contending in her womb. They were destined… read more
  • Toldot (5771) – Why did Isaac love Esau?

    Even before they were born, Jacob and Esau struggled in the womb. They were destined, it seems, to be eternal adversaries. Not only were they were different in character and appearance. They also held different places in their parents’ affections:… read more
  • Toldot (5770) – Kinship and Difference

    Around the gaps, silences and seeming repetitions of the biblical text, Midrash weaves its interpretations, enriching the written word with oral elaboration, giving the text new resonances of meaning. Often, to the untutored ear, midrash sounds fanciful, far removed from… read more
  • Toldot (5769) – The other face of Esau

    Last year, in Covenant and Conversation, I pointed out the other side of the Esau story. There is a midrashic tradition that paints him in dark colours. But there is a counter-tradition that sets him in a more positive light.… read more
  • Toldot (5768) – Chosenness and its Discontents

    It is one of the most emotionally affecting scenes in the Torah. Jacob, dressed in Esau’s clothes, has taken Esau’s blessing. He leaves, and shortly thereafter, Esau enters. What is remarkable is not what happens next but how the Torah… read more
  • Toldot (5767) – Older and Younger

    Rachel, hitherto infertile, became pregnant. Suffering acute pain, “she went to inquire of the Lord” [vatelekh lidrosh et Hashem] (Bereishith 25:22). The explanation she received was that she was carrying twins who were contending in her womb. They were destined… read more