Torah Weekly

For the week ending 22 November 2014 / 29 Heshvan 5775

Parshat Toldot

The Color of HeavenArtscroll

Questions

  1. Why was it important that Yitzchak look like Avraham?
  2. Why does the Torah stress that Rivka was Betuel's daughter and Lavan's sister?
  3. What are the two differences between Tamar's pregnancy and Rivka's pregnancy?
  4. Why was Esav named Esav?
  5. Who gave Yaakov his name?
  6. How did Esav deceive his father?
  7. Why was Esav faint when he returned from the field?
  8. Why are lentils a food for mourners?
  9. What was the birthright that Yaakov bought from Esav?
  10. Why was Yitzchak not permitted to go to Egypt?
  11. Why did the Philistines plug up the wells?
  12. Why did Yitzchak lose his sight? (three reasons)
  13. At what age should one anticipate his own death?
  14. Why did Rivka ask Yaakov to bring two kid goats?
  15. Why did Esav leave his special garments with Rivka?
  16. What fragrance did Yitzchak detect on Yaakovs garments?
  17. What was the "fat of the land" promised to Esav?
  18. When will Esav be freed from subjugation to Yaakov?
  19. What inspired Esav to marry the daughter of Yishmael?
  20. Knowing that Machalat was Yishmael's daughter, its self-evident that she was the sister of Nevayot. Why, then, does the Torah state that Esav married "Yishmael's daughter, the sister of Nevayot?"

Answers

All references are to the verses and Rashis commentary, unless otherwise stated.

  1. Why was it important that Yitzchak look like Avraham?
    25:19 - So everyone would agree that Avraham was indeed his father.
  2. Why does the Torah stress that Rivka was Betuel's daughter and Lavan's sister?
    25:20 - To praise her, that even though her family was evil she was righteous.
  3. What are the two differences between Tamar's pregnancy and Rivka's pregnancy?
    25:24 - Rivka gave birth at full term to two children, one righteous and one wicked. Tamar gave birth after seven months to two righteous children.
  4. Why was Esav named Esav?
    25:25 - He was born fully developed. The name Esav is based on the Hebrew word for "made".
  5. Who gave Yaakov his name?
    25:26 G-d.
  6. How did Esav deceive his father?
    25:27 - Esav deceived Yitzchak by asking questions that suggested that he was very strict in mitzvah observance.
  7. Why was Esav faint when he returned from the field?
    25:29 - From having murdered.
  8. Why are lentils a food for mourners?
    25:30 - They are round like a wheel and mourning is like a revolving wheel that eventually touches everyone.
  9. What was the birthright that Yaakov bought from Esav?
    25:31 - The right to bring sacrifices.
  10. Why was Yitzchak not permitted to go to Egypt?
    26:2 - Through the akeida he had attained the status of a korban and was forbidden to leave Eretz Canaan.
  11. Why did the Philistines plug up the wells?
    26:15 - They felt that either marauders would attack to capture the wells, or, if attacking for other reasons, they would use the wells as a water supply.
  12. Why did Yitzchak lose his sight? (three reasons)
    27:1 - a) From the smoke of the incense offered by Esavs wives to their idols; b) From the angels tears which fell into Yitzchaks eyes at the time of the akeida; c) In order for Yaakov to receive the blessings.
  13. At what age should one anticipate his own death?
    27:2 - When he reaches five years from the age his parents were when they passed away, until five years after.
  14. Why did Rivka ask Yaakov to bring two kid goats?
    27:9 - One for Yitzchak and the other to offer as a korban Pesach.
  15. Why did Esav leave his special garments with Rivka?
    27:15 - He suspected that his wives might steal them.
  16. What fragrance did Yitzchak detect on Yaakovs garments?
    27:27 - The scent of Gan Eden.
  17. What was the "fat of the land" promised to Esav?
    27:36 - Italy.
  18. When will Esav be freed from subjugation to Yaakov?
    27:40 - When the Jewish People transgress the Torah.
  19. What inspired Esav to marry the daughter of Yishmael?
    28:7 - Seeing that his father despised his current wives, he resolved to take a wife from his father's family.
  20. Knowing that Machalat was Yishmael's daughter, its self-evident that she was the sister of Nevayot. Why, then, does the Torah state that Esav married "Yishmael's daughter, the sister of Nevayot?"
    28:9 - To indicate that Yishmael died between her betrothal and her wedding, and that it was Nevayot who gave his sister in marriage to Esav. Knowing the date of Yishmael's death, we can determine the date of Esav's marriage and thus Yaakov's age, 63, at the time of his flight from Esav.

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