Home Subscribe Services Support Us
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Parshas Toldos

From the contrasting descriptions of Yaakov and Eisav at the beginning of the Parsha we can discern the appropriate characteristics we seek to develop in ourselves as Jews, the Bnei Yaakov. These characteristics include (i) striving to always improve ourselves, and (ii) emphasizing our inner selves (the neshomo) over the outer, physical trappings.

1. Eisav was born having mature physical characteristics (se'ar). The name Eisav means 'already finished', in the sense of not striving for more, or that everything is fine in its current state. Yaakov, on the other hand, means 'at the heel', indicating an awareness of needing to raise ourselves up and strive for improvement.

2. Eisav requests to eat 'min ha'adom ha'adom hazeh' (from 'this red stuff'), focusing on the superficial quality of the food (its color) as opposed to its substance (lentils). Eisav is described as an 'ish sadeh', a man of the field, an outdoorsman. Yaakov is described as a 'yoshev ohalim', one who sits at home, an indoorsman. Yaakov seeks to emphasize what is inside as opposed to what is outside, what is profound as opposed to what is superficial and what has substance as opposed to what is merely stylish.

[This is based upon a shiur of HoRav Zvi Berkowitz, Shlita.]

Gal Einai, Copyright 2006 by Gedalia Litke and



View Complete List

Human Effort and Supernatural Help
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5770

Before Our Very Eyes
Rabbi Label Lam - 5768

A Little Oil Goes a Long Way
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5766

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Yosef's Approach to God-Based Events
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5771

Your Mission -- If You Should Accept
PLUS The Laws of Chanuka

Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5764

Our Brother, Eisav
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5759

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Straightening Out The Cause And The Effect
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5773

Feeling the Impact
Rabbi Shlomo Jarcaig - 5764

In His Image
Shlomo Katz - 5775

> Those Small Jars
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5758

Unconditional Love
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5765

History Reenacted
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5767


Thanks for What?
Shlomo Katz - 5774

The Kiss of Dot
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5761

Honoring Parents: Parental Guidance
Rabbi Osher Chaim Levene - 5766

Heart To Heart
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5760

Project Genesis Home

Torah Portion

Jewish Law



Learn the Basics




Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base


About Us

Contact Us

Free Book on Geulah! Home Copyright Information