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Big Questions (Toldot)

Four times in this week’s parshah we find the members of Yitzchak’s family asking themselves “למה”—“Why?” All involve life-or-death tradeoffs. What’s going on?

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On the Heels (Ekev)

Preview: The idiomatic use of “ekev” – “because;” “on the heels” – is exceedingly rare in the Torah. In fact, it may function as a technical term of sorts, for it appears in the Torah only five times in total, and always in the context of Hashem’s pledge concerning the Promised Land. Small wonder that we find textual parallels between all these texts. What do they mean?

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Digging Deeper (Toldot)

Preview: Almost word-for-word, the blessing Yitzchak receives before moving to Gerar is the blessing his father received following akedat Yitzchak. Some thoughts on how that blessing materialized during Yitzchak’s stay with Avimelech – and how the literary legacy of the akedah illustrates that true sacrifice never really ends.

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