NOVEMBER BIRTHDAYS, ANNIVERSARIES, AND SIGNIFICANT EVENTS
Mazal Tov – Mazal Bueno to all those celebrating a birthday, anniversary, or significant event during the Month of November. If we were together at Temple Kol Hamidbar, we would extend a Tallit over you, say a special prayer for you, and recite the following blessing (cf Num. 6:24-26):
- May the Eternal One bless you and protect you!
- May the Eternal One deal kindly and graciously with you!
- May the Eternal One bestow favor upon you and grant you peace!
KËIN YEHI RATZON (Let it be so!)
From ReformJudaism.org https://reformjudaism.org/torah/portion/toldot
Tol’dot [תּוֹלְדֹת – The Generations (of Isaac)] – Genesis 25:19-28:9
This is the line of Isaac son of Abraham: Abraham begot Isaac. – Genesis 25:19
- Rebekah has twins, Esau and Jacob. (25:19-26)
- Esau gives Jacob his birthright in exchange for some stew. (25:27-34)
- King Abimelech is led to think that Rebekah is Isaac’s sister and later finds out that she is really his wife. (26:1-16)
- Isaac plans to bless Esau, his firstborn. Rebekah and Jacob deceive Isaac so that Jacob receives the blessing. (27:1-29)
- Esau threatens to kill Jacob, who then flees to Haran. (27:30-45)
From Wikipedia.org https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toledot
Malachi 1 opens with God noting “I loved Jacob, and I hated Esau,” before promising retribution on Esau’s descendants, the people of Edom.
STRUGGLING WITH TORAH
From Wikipedia.org https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toledot
Toledot – Gen. 27:28-28:9 – triennial part
(תּוֹלְדֹת — Hebrew for “generations” or “descendants”)
[The name of Toledo, Spain is believed to be related to the name for this week’s Torah Portion.] The [complete] parashah tells of the conflict between Jacob and Esau, Isaac‘s passing off his wife Rebekah as his sister, and Isaac’s blessing of his sons. [The parashah ends with Rebekah having Jacob go to Haran-aram to escape Esau’s wrath, and Esau taking an Ishmaelite wife.]
Genesis chapter 27
[Professor Ephraim Speiser, formerly of the University of Pennsylvania,] read the details of Jacob’s behavior in Genesis 27:1–40 to show that, although the outcome favored Jacob, the Jahwist’s personal sympathies lay with Isaac and Esau, the victims of the ruse. Speiser read the unintended blessing of Jacob by Isaac in Genesis 27 to teach that no one may grasp God’s complete design, which remains reasonable and just no matter who the chosen agent may be at any given point.
The 20th-century Reform rabbi and author Gunther Plaut argued that Isaac was not really deceived. Reading the story with close attention to the personality of Isaac, Plaut concluded that throughout the episode, Isaac was subconsciously aware of Jacob’s identity, but, as he was unable to admit this knowledge, he pretended to be deceived. Plaut thus saw a plot within a plot, as Rebekah and Jacob laid elaborate plans for deceiving Isaac, while unknown to them Isaac looked for a way to deceive himself, in order to carry out God’s design to bless his less-loved son. Plaut argued that Isaac was old but not senile. In his heart, Isaac had long known that Esau could not carry on the burden of Abraham and that, instead, he had to choose his quiet and complicated younger son Jacob. In Plaut’s reading, weak and indecisive man and father that Isaac was, he did not have the courage to face Esau with the truth. His own blindness and Rebekah’s ruse came literally as a godsend. Plaut noted that Isaac did not reprimand Jacob. Plaut concluded that no one, not even Esau, was deceived, for even Esau knew that Jacob was the chosen one.
From Women of Reform Judaism.org
Tol’dot, Genesis 25:19−28:9
by Rabbi Kim Geringer
Parashat Tol’dot contains essentially three stories in which a woman, Rebekah, appears as a minor character in one of the stories and the primary actor in two. When the portion begins, Rebekah is a young married woman coping with infertility; when it ends, she is the mother of adult twin sons and the wife of an elderly and feeble husband, Isaac. [In] these family dramas, mostly located in household settings, Rebekah plays multiple roles: wife, mother, mother-in-law, and woman who petitions God. The parashah portrays Rebekah as forthright and manipulative but also loving and discriminating. How do we evaluate such a woman, and how should we feel about her? The answers may lie in the lens through which each reader studies these stories, as well as the value we place on women who refuse to leave fate—their own and that of their loved ones—to others, even God.
REFLECTION – “Rebekah Ensures the Transmission of the Covenantal Blessing to Jacob”
In this section of the parashah [Genesis 27:1-28:9], Rebekah continues a pattern of personal behavior seen first in her direct address to God during her pregnancy (Genesis 25:22). In this story, acting alone, she devises and then executes a daring scheme to ensure that her favored younger son receives his father’s blessing (the usual pattern in biblical times was for the eldest child to assume the dominant family role following the death of the father). [In] her earlier inquiry to God, Rebekah hears a divine, but somewhat ambiguous message: “Two peoples are in your belly. . . . One people shall prevail over the other; the elder shall serve the younger” (Genesis 25:23). When Rebekah takes action in this episode, does she aim to fulfill God’s will or her own wish for her younger son, Jacob, to transcend his birth order and supersede his older brother, Esau?
From Mishkan T’filah / A Reform Siddur
FOR OUR COUNTRY p.516
THUS SAYS ADONAI, This is what I desire: to unlock the fetters of wickedness, and untie the cords of lawlessness; to let the oppressed go free, to break off every yoke. Share your bread with the hungry, and take the wretched poor into your home. When you see the naked, give clothing, and do not ignore your own kin.
O GUARDIAN of life and liberty, may our nation always merit Your protection. Teach us to give thanks for what we have by sharing it with those who are in need. Keep our eyes open to the wonders of creation, and alert to the care of the earth. May we never be lazy in the work of peace; may we honor those who have [served, suffered or] died in defense of our ideals. Grant our leaders wisdom and forbearance. May they govern with justice and compassion. Help us all to appreciate one another, and to respect the many ways that we may serve You. May our homes be safe from affliction and strife, and our country be sound in body and spirit. Amen.
We recite MI SHEBËRACH for the victims of abuse, brutality, conflicts, fear, natural disasters, pandemics, tragedies, violence of all kinds especially directed at individuals and specific communities including us, and war; for all those at home alone or lonely; for all those in need of physical, emotional, and mental healing. “R’fuah sh’lëmah” – a complete recovery!
We say KADDISH YATOM for those of our friends and families who have died and been buried this last week; those in the period of Sh’loshim (30 days since burial); those who have died in the last year; and those whose Yahrzeits/Anyos occur at this time; as well as the victims of brutality, conflict, disease, natural disasters, pandemics, tragedies, violence of all kinds, and war.
This coming week, 2 Kislev through 8 Kislev, we lovingly remember:
Those victims of the Sho’ah (Holocaust) who died at this time of year.
“ZICHRONAM LIV’RACHAH” – MAY THEIR MEMORIES BE FOR BLESSING.
TORAH STUDY AND SHAZOOM
Al sh’loshah d’varim ha’olam omëd – The world is sustained by three things: Torah, worship and loving deeds. We will meet as usual at the regular times for Torah Study and Shazoom this Friday evening, November 5, 2021.
Zoom continues being updated for security and performance features. In some cases, there are extra steps to go through in order to join a meeting. Making sure you have the latest version of Zoom, please join us online this Friday evening:
Topic: Torah Study – Triennial reading Genesis 27:28-28:9
Time: Nov 5, 2021 06:00 PM Arizona
Shazoom – Erev Shabbat Service
Time: Nov 5, 2021 07:30 PM Arizona
To join the Torah Study and/or Shazoom Meeting click on the following link [you may need to copy it into your browser]:
Meeting ID: 725 1050 0854
Hint: The last character of the password is the number zero.
Shabbat Shalom – Buen Shabbat,