Genesis 25:19 - 28:9

Malachi 1:1 - 2:7

Rebecca and Isaac have twins, the smooth-skinned Jacob, whom Rebecca favors, and the hairy Esau, who Isaac favors. After returning from a hunting trip, Esau asks his brother for some lentil soup, but Jacob tells him he must trade him his birthright. Years later, when Isaac is old and blind, Jacob tricks their father into giving him the firstborn blessing. Jacob leaves home, fearing his brother will retaliate, and finds a wife at his uncle Laban’s house.


Parashat Toldot: Opening the Conversation

This portion records the first instance in the Torah of someone initiating a dialogue with God.

More on this Torah Portion

Rebecca and Isaac’s Guide to Raising Twins (Not)

What can we learn from one of the Torah’s most dysfunctional families?

Did Esau Have ADD/ADHD?

It is important to see the value in Esau as well as Jacob.

(Un)Conditional Love

Isaac and Rebecca provide us with two models of parenting--love dependent on a specific interaction and love that is unconditional.

Isaac Loved Esau, But Rebecca Loved Jacob

Isaac and Rebecca's approaches to their sons teach us valuable lessons about education and relating to people with different natural inclinations.

Rebecca’s Spiritual Crisis

Like Rebecca, we should turn toward God, not away, in our moments of spiritual crisis.

One Jew, Two Opinions

Did Rebecca have to do wrong in order to do right?

Manipulating Food Supply to Gain Power

What we can learn from Jacob's food politics.

Change is Possible

The younger son and the enslaved people need not stay downtrodden forever.

Digging Wells, Conserving Water

Now is the time for the Jewish people to respond to regional and global concerns about water scarcity.

John Wayne Meets Jacob

Jacob inspires us to overcome our Esau-like desires for instant gratification and physical power.

Isaac and Rebecca’s Dysfunctional Family

In their relationships with each other, Isaac, Rebecca, Jacob, and Esau, struggle between models of unity and connection and separation and deceit.

Why Rebecca Pushed Jacob to Get Esau’s Blessing

Rather than dividing the spiritual and physical blessings between Jacob and Esau, Rebecca saw the need for Jacob to receive both.

Sharing The Blessing

Isaac's decision to bless both of his sons gives us hope for achieving a peaceful solution to the conflict between Jews and Palestinians.

How Jacob Defied Destiny

Jacob and Rebecca teach us that we can alter our fates and achieve greatness.

All Over Again

In this portion, children fall into the unfortunate trap of repeating their parents' mistakes.

Parashat Toldot: Digging Deeply Into Life

The story of Isaac reminds us that we can flow again into the stream of life.

Breaking the Cycle of Deceit

Before the deceit follows us with serious consequences, we must figure out how to call a truce.

Waiting for the Cookie to Cool

There are many experiences in life that are well worth waiting for.

When Siblings Fight

Toldot: A resource for families.

Toldot and Alternative Families

Rebecca's question continues to bedevil Jewish adults who hope to parent.

The Work Was Unfinished

Isaac experiences frustration when he discovers many of his father's accomplishments were not fully realized.

Challah for Parashat Toldot

Jacob and Esau in the womb.

Haftarah for Toldot

God's expectations for the Israelites and the priests.

Parashat Toldot Quiz

My Jewish Learning:Toldot: Pardes 5769

Parashat Toldot: Summary

With video commentary from BimBam.