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Torah Talk for Parashat Toldot

November 29, 2016 by Sharon Freundel (Community)

In this parasha, Rivka gives birth to twins, Esav and Yaakov, who struggle with each other, engaging in bargaining and deception to obtain the birthright and Yitzchak’s blessing.

Some modern psychologists think that they have homed in on the relatively new phenomenon of sibling rivalry, introduced as a concept by David Levy in 1941. But in fact it is literally the oldest psychological phenomenon in the world. It begins in Parashat Bereshit with Kayin [Cain] and Hevel’s [Abel’s] competition in their sacrifices to God, ending with Kayin’s act of fratricide, and it continues with Yitzchak and Yishmael, though not as much with the brothers themselves as with their respective mothers. Then we come to this week’s parasha. Read more >