Parshas Toldos-Summary of the Parsha

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Parshas Toldos

Pesukim: 106 [Siman:עלו ]

Haftorah: Malachi 1 1:1-2:7

Number of Mitzvos:

There are no Positive or Negative commands mentioned in Parshas Toldos.


  1. The birth of Yaakov and Eisav:
  • Avraham fathered Yitzchak. Yitzchak was 40 years old when he married Rivka.
  • Rivka’s pregnancy: Rivka was barren and Yitzchak prayed for her to have a child, and Rivka conceived. The fetuses were kicking inside of her womb and she went to search for G-d to find an answer to this phenomenon. G-d told her that she is carrying the heads of two nations, and the older one will serve the younger one.
  • The birth: Rivka gave birth to twins. The first child came out a red head, full of hair, and he was named Eisav. The next child came out grasping the heal of the first son, and he was named Yaakov. Yitzchak was 60 years old at the time.
  • The kids grow up: The lads grew older, and Eisav was a man of the field, a hunter, while Yaakov was a simple man who sat in the tent of study. Yitzchak loved Eisav, his hunter, while Rivka loved Yaakov.
  1. Eisav sells his birthright:
  • Eisav came back from the field exhausted and encountered his brother Yaakov who had cooked a pot of lentils. Eisav asked to be fed the pot of lentils, as he is very exhausted. Yaakov agreed on condition that Eisav sell him the birthright.
  • Eisav agreed to the deal, claiming the firstborn obligations can be deadly, and it is thus a worthwhile exchange. Eisav swore to Yaakov and in exchange Yaakov fed him bread and the lentils. Eisav despised the right of the firstborn.


  1. The famine:
    • There was a famine in the land, and Yitzchak moved to the area of Avimelech.
    • Hashem told Yitzchak not to descend to Egypt and to remain in the land that he is in.
    • Hashem blesses Yitzchak with the blessings he gave Avraham, in merit of the fact that Avraham kept all of his Mitzvos.



  1. Yitzchak moves to the city of Avimelech:
    • Yitzchak remained in Gerar, the land of Avimelech.
    • Rivka’s identity is disguised and then discovered: Upon being questioned by the city residents, Yitzchak replied that his wife Rivka is really his sister, as she was very beautiful. After some time, Avimelech the king saw Yitzchak being intimate with his wife Rivka. Avimelech confronted Yitzchak with his discovery, and complained that he was lied to about her being Yitzchak’s sister and not his wife. This could have caused the king to sin. Yitzchak replied that he felt no choice but to lie, as he feared for his life. Avimelech warned the public that anyone who lays hand on Yitzchak or his wife will be put to death.
    • The blessing in the crop: Yitzchak plowed and planted the fields, and that year it produced one hundred-fold of produce.


  • Yitzchak became very prosperous. He had flocks of cattle and sheep, which drew the jealousy of the Plishtim.
  • The sabotaging of the wells: All the wells that were dug by the servants of Avraham were filled with earth by the Plishtim.
  • Yitzchak is expelled: Avimelech asks Yitzchak to leave his land, as he has become too prosperous. Yitzchak proceeded to move to Nachal Gerar.


  1. The wells:
    • Re-digging the old wells: Yitzchak re-dug the wells that were dug by his father, and closed up by the Plishtim, and he named them the same names that his father had named.
    • The controversy on the new wells: They also dug a new well, and fresh water was found, which resulted in a dispute between the shepherds of Yitzchak and that of Gerar, each one claiming the water is his. Due to this dispute, the well was named Esek, which means to fight. Yitzchak dug another well, which also resulted in a fight, and it was thus named Sitnah, or harassment.
    • The well of peace: They moved from there and dug a third well, which did not result in a quarrel, and it was thus named Rechovos, being that G-d made space for them and provided them with plenty on the land.



  1. Yitzchak moves:
  • From there, Yitzchak moved to Beer Sheva. Hashem appeared to Yitzchak and blessed him.
  • Building an altar and another well: Yitzchak built an altar there, and encamped there, digging another well.


  1. The pact with Avimelech:
    • Avimelech, and his general Fichol, came from Geror to greet Yitzchak and make a peace treaty with him, being that they saw G-d was with him.



  • Yitzchak made a feast for them, and the next day they swore into the pact. Avimelech then departed back home.
  • The wells of Beer Sheva: The servants of Yitzchak informed him that the new wells which were dug are flowing with water. The wells were named Shivah, and thus from there the city received the name Beer Sheva, until this very day.
  1. The wives of Eisav:
  • At 40 years old Eisav married Yehudis the daughter of a Chitite and Basmas the daughter of a Chitite. These wives caused suffering to Yitzchak and Rivka.
  1. The blessings-Yitzchak blesses Yaakov who impersonates Eisav:
    • Yitzchak instructs Eisav to prepare to be blessed: When Yitzchak became old, and his eyes had weakened, and he feared his days were coming, he asked for Eisav to come before him, desiring to give him the blessings. Yitzchak asked Eisav to first hunt for him a meal and make it into a delicacy and serve him the food. He will then bless him prior to his death.
    • Rivka instructs Yaakov to impersonate Eisav: Rivka, who was positioned nearby, heard what Yitzchak asked of Eisav, and Eisav proceeded to do as he was asked. Rivka informed Yaakov about what Yitzchak had instructed Eisav, and asked him to do as he instructs him. Rivka asked Yaakov to take for her two goats and she will prepare them into a delicacy, as his father enjoys. “You will then take the delicacy to your father, and he will eat, and bless you prior to his death.” Yaakov argued that Eisav is hairy, while he is hairless, and his father will discover his impersonation of his brother, and he may get cursed and not blessed. Rivka however was persistent and asked Yaakov to do as instructed, and she will accept upon herself any curse that may result.
    • Rivka prepares Yaakov for the meeting: Yaakov brought his mother the goats, and she prepared the delicacy as Yitzchak enjoys. Rivka dressed Yaakov in the clothing of Eisav, and placed the skins of goats on his arms and neck. She then sent Yaakov with the bread and delicacies that she prepared.
    • Yitzchak suspects foul play and is reassured: Yaakov entered the room of Yitzchak and called for his father. Upon being asked, Yaakov said “I am Eisav your first-born son. Please stand and eat the food I prepared for you, as you requested in order to receive your blessing.” Yitzchak was doubtful as to his identity and asked for him to come close, so he can feel him. He felt his arms and proclaimed “The voice is the voice of Yaakov, while the hands are the hands of Eisav.
    • Yaakov is blessed: Yitzchak then blessed Yaakov, asked again for his identity, and ate the food and drink. He then blessed him. Yitzchak asked for Yaakov to kiss him, and upon being kissed he smelled the scent of a G-dly blessed orchard, and he blessed him.


  1. The content of the blessings
  • The content of the blessings were as follows: Hashem should bless you with:
    • Dew of heaven.
    • The fat of the land.
    • Much grain.
    • Much wine.
    • The nations will serve you.
    • You will be a master to your brother.
    • Those who curse you will be cursed, and those who bless you will be blessed.


  1. Eisav returns and discovers the deception:
    • Eisav returns with food: As Yitzchak concluded the blessings, and Yaakov exited the room, in walked Eisav after completing his hunt. He also made delicacies and asked his father to get up and eat so he can be blessed.
    • Yitzchak realizes he was deceived by Yaakov: Yitzchak asked as to his identity, and he replied that he is Eisav, your first-born son. Yitzchak became stricken with fright, and inquired who the imposter was who fed him earlier and received the blessings. Nonetheless, Yitzchak agreed for the blessings of the first person to remain steadfast.
    • Eisav cries, and pleads to be blessed: When Eisav heard this he let out a great cry and begged his father to also bless him. Yitzchak replied, that his brother connivingly took his blessing. Eisav replied that his brother’s name is Yaakov, because he connivingly swindled him twice, first the right of the first born and now the blessings. Eisav pleaded that his father leave him a blessing. Yitzchak replied that no blessings remain, as he has given everything over to Yaakov, including that his brothers will serve him. Eisav continued to plead for a blessing and raised his voice and cried.
    • Yitzchak blesses Eisav: Yitzchak blessed Eisav that he will dwell in the fattest of the lands, and he will receive the dew of the heavens. “You will live by your sword, and serve your brother, although when he goes down, you will be able to remove his yoke from your neck.”
  1. Yaakov is sent to Padan Aram:
    • Eisav wants to kill Yaakov: Eisav despised Yaakov for what he did and conspired to kill him after Yitzchak’s death.
    • Rivka devises a plan to save Yaakov: Rivka, who discovered Eisav’s scheme, informed Yaakov of his brother’s plans to murder him. She asked Yaakov to run away to her brother Lavan in Charan, and remain there until his brother’s wrath subsides. Rivka spoke to Yitzchak saying that she does not want Yaakov to marry the daughters of the Chitites [and he should thus be sent to Charan].
    • Yitzchak instructs Yaakov to go to Padan-Aram to find a wife: Yitzchak summoned Yaakov, and blessed him, and instructed him not to take a daughter from the Canaanite nations. “Go to Padan-Aram, and take for yourself a wife from the daughters of Lavan, your mother’s brother. G-d will bless you, and you will multiply and become a nation. You will receive the blessings of Avraham”



  • Yitzchak sent Yaakov to Padan-Aram and Yaakov obeyed the instructions of his father and mother and left.


  1. Eisav marries a third wife:
    • Eisav heard the instructions his father Yitzchak gave Yaakov, and how he despised the daughters of Canaan. He thus married another wife, named Machlas, the daughter of Yishmael, from the family of Avraham.

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