Parsha Q&A - Toldos

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Parsha Q&A

Parshas Toldos

For the week ending 2 Kislev 5756; 24 & 25 November 1995

  • Parsha Questions
  • Bonus Question
  • I Did Not Know That!
  • Recommended Reading List
  • Answers to Parsha Questions
  • Answer to Bonus Question
  • Subscription Information
  • Ohr Somayach Home Page

  • Parsha Questions

    Answers | Contents
    1. Who did Yitzchak resemble?
    2. How old was Yitzchak at the time of the akeda (binding)?
    3. Why does the Torah stress that Rivka was the daughter of Besuel and the sister of Lavan?
    4. Whom did Rivka consult concerning her difficult pregnancy?
    5. What are the two differences between Tamar's pregnancy and Rivka's pregnancy?
    6. Yaakov was born grasping Esav's heel. What does this symbolize?
    7. Who gave Yaakov his name?
    8. How did Esav deceive his father?
    9. In which tents did Yaakov dwell?
    10. Why did Hashem cause Avraham to die prematurely?
    11. Why are lentils considered a food for mourners?
    12. What was the birth right that Yaakov bought from Esav?
    13. Why was Yitzchak not permitted to go to Egypt to escape the famine?
    14. Why did the Philistines plug up the wells?
    15. To which animal is Esav compared?
    16. What caused Yitzchak to lose his sight?
    17. What did Yaakov do with the second goat that Rivka prepared for him?
    18. From whom did Esav receive his special garments?
    19. Why did Esav leave his special garments with Rivka rather than keep them at home with his wives?
    20. What made Yitzchak suspect that it wasn't Esav who was bringing him food?
    21. What smell did Yitzchak smell on the garments of Yaakov?
    22. When will Esav be released from his subjugation to Yaakov?
    23. What inspired Esav to marry the daughter of Yishmael?
    24. Why does the Torah state that Esav married the sister of Nevayos?
    25. How long did Yaakov learn in the Yeshiva of Ever before going to Lavan's house?

    Bonus Question
    What is the significance of the three wells dug by Yitzchak (26:19-22)?

    I Did Not Know That!

    "Hakol (the voice) is the voice of Yaakov, the hands are the hand of Esav" (27:22).
    The word 'hakol' may also be read 'hakal' meaning light or weak. This hints that when the voice of Yaakov (his Torah learning and his prayer) is weak, then the hand of Esav will gain control.
    Vilna Gaon

    Recommended Reading List

    Two Nations
    Yitzchak in Exile
    The Avos and Mitzvah Observance
    The Wells and the Future
    Rivka's Secret
    Why Yitzchak Trembled

    Esav's Name
    Yaakov's Name
    Yitzchak's Blindness
    Yaakov's Portion

    Answers to this Week's Questions

    Questions | Contents

    All references are to the verses and Rashi's commentary, unless otherwise stated

    1. 25:19 - Avraham.
    2. 25:20 - 37 years old.
    3. 25:20 - To proclaim her praise, that even though her family was evil she was righteous.
    4. 25:23 - Shem the son of Noach.
    5. 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.
    6. 25:26 - That Yaakov would eventually rise to rule over Esav.
    7. 25:26 - Hashem.
    8. 25:27 - Esav deceived Yitzchak by asking questions that suggested that he was very strict in mitzvah observance.
    9. 25:27 - In the tents of Shem and Ever.
    10. 25:30 - Avraham died five years prematurely, at 175, so that he should not see his grandson become wicked.
    11. 25:30 - They are round like a wheel and mourning is like a revolving wheel that eventually touches everyone.
    12. 25:31 - The right to bring korbanos (sacrifices).
    13. 26:2 - Through the akeda he had attained the status of a korban and was forbidden to leave Eretz Canaan.
    14. 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.
    15. 26:34 - The pig. Just as the pig appears to be kosher but lacks the internal sign, so too Esav appeared righteous but internally is evil.
    16. 27:1 - The smoke from the incense offered by Esav's wives to their idols.
    17. 27:9 - He offered it as a Korban Pesach.
    18. 27:15 - From Nimrod.
    19. 27:15 - He suspected that his wives might steal them.
    20. 27:21 - Yaakov mentioned the name of Hashem too readily.
    21. 27:27 - The scent of Gan Edan.
    22. 27:40 - When the Jewish People transgress the Torah.
    23. 28:7 - When he saw that his father despised his current wives, he resolved to take a wife from his father's family.
    24. 28:9 - To indicate that Yishmael died before the wedding and that it was Nevayos who gave his sister in marriage to Esav.
    25. 28:9 - Fourteen years.

    Bonus Question
    These wells symbolize the three Temples that would one day stand in Jerusalem. The first two wells were destroyed by the Philistines. Similarly, the first two Temples were destroyed. The third well, Rehovot, endured, as will our third Temple.

    Written and Compiled by Rabbi Eliyahu Kane
    General Editor: Rabbi Moshe Newman
    Production Design: Lev Seltzer
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