Weekly Portion

Weekly Portion: Toldot (Genesis 25:19 – 28:9)

 

Rivka (Rebecca) gives birth to Esav (Esau) and Ya’akov (Jacob). Esav sells the birthright to Ya’akov for a bowl of lentil soup. Yitzchak (Isaac) sojourns in Gerar with Avimelech (Avimelech), king of the Philistines. Esav marries two Hittite women bringing great pain to his parents (because they weren’t of the fold).

Ya’akov impersonates Esav on the counsel of his mother in order to receive the blessing for the oldest son by his blind father, Yitzchak. Esav, angry because of his brother’s deception which caused him to lose the firstborn blessings, plans to kill Ya’akov, so Ya’akov flees to his uncle Lavan (Laban) in Padan Aram — on the advice of his parents. They also advise him to marry Lavan’s daughter.

Esav understands that his Canaanite wives are displeasing to his parents, so he marries a third wife, Machlath, the daughter of Ishmael.

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Dvar Torah
based on Growth Through Torah by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin

After Avraham died, Jacob cooked lentil soup as a sign of mourning. Esau came from the field, saw the soup and said:

“… please, pour for me from this red thing” (Genesis 25:30).

Later in the Torah portion (27:22) the commentator, Rashi, mentions that Jacob always spoke politely and used the word “please.” Esau, however, always spoke in a rough manner to his father. What can we learn from the fact that he was polite in this conversation?

Even though Esau excelled in honoring his father by taking care of his physical needs, he still spoke to him in an insolent and arrogant manner. We see here that when Esau had a desire for food, he spoke in a respectful manner and used the term na, “please”. This is the manner of people with faulty traits. Even though they constantly talk with chutzpah, when it comes to manipulating someone to fulfill their desire, they speak softly and humbly.

There are people who speak politely to their preferred customers in business, but fail to speak respectfully to their family and other people. Be aware of how politely and respectfully you speak to someone when you are trying to influence him to help you obtain things you want. Then try to make that manner of speaking habitual!