Torah Readers Reflections

Summary of Parashat Toldot

Jacob deceives Isaac and steals Esau's birthright
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This week's Parasha focuses on the story of Isaac even though most of the Parasha is taken up with the stories of Isaac and Rebecca's children Esau and Jacob. The central story in this week's parsha is the sale of the Esau's birthright to Jacob.

In a nutshell the following points cover this week's Parasha:

  1. Isaac and Rebecca are childless for 20 years until their prayers are answered and Rebecca becomes pregnant with twins.
  2. Rebecca's pregnancy is hard as the twins struggle within her belly. God tells her that there are two nations in her womb and that the younger will prevail over the older.
  3. Esau emerges first, Jacob is born clutching Esau's heel.
  4. Esau sells his birthright to Jacob for a mutten stew
  5. Isaaac moves to Gerar, in the land of the Philistines where he presents Rebecca as his sister and reopens the wells dug by his father Abraham as well as digging his own wells.
  6. Esau marries two Hittite women.
  7. Issac grows blind and expresses his will to bless Esau with his birthright
  8. Rebecca dresses Jacob in Esaus clothes and encourages him to take Esau's blessing
  9. Jacob receives Isaac's first born blessing meant for Esau
  10. Esau is mad at Jacob and wishes to kill him
  11. Jacob runs for his life to Haran and Rebeccaa's brother Laban
  12. Esau marries his third wife, Ishmael's daughter in an effort to find favor with his father and show him that he is marrying within the family instead of taking another Hittite wife.


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