Torah Tidbits

23 July 2014 / 25 Tammuz 5774

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Issue 1021
Shabbat Parshat Toldot
November 15, 2012
Lead Tidbits
Aliya-by-Aliya Sedra Summary

Aliya by Aliya Sedra Summary

[P> X:Y (Z)] and [S> X:Y (Z)] indicate start of a parsha p’tucha or s’tuma. X:Y is Perek:Pasuk of the beginning of the parsha; (Z) is the number of p’sukim in the parsha.

Kohen - First Aliya 21 p’sukim - 25:19-26:5
[P> 25:19 (16)] This is the history of Yitzchak b. Avraham; Avraham fathered Yitzchak.
SDT: Rashi quotes the Gemara that tells that when Yitzchak was born, scoffers said that Avraham and Sara, who were childless for so long, had found a baby and claimed it as their own. Avraham invited the leaders of the nations, their wives and infants, and Sara miraculously was able to wet-nurse all the babies - not just her son Yitzchak. (The Gemara points to the plural “banim” in 21:7.) Then the scoffers accepted that Sara bore Yitzchak, but chided Avraham that Avimelech was the father (since Yitzchak’s birth followed Sara’s abduction). A miracle occurred and baby Yitzchak was the very image of his father Avraham, until the scoffers proclaimed, “Avraham sired Yitzchak”.
SDT: Earlier, the Torah tells us of the generations of Yishmael b. Avraham. That seems to be in balance with the beginning of this sedra, which speaks of Yitzchak, except: [1] the Torah makes a point that Yishmael is the son of Hagar the Egyptian, the maidservant of Sara. In other words, Yishmael was NOT the real To-l’dot of Avraham; and [2] To-l’dot (in the Yishmael context) is spelled without VAVs, implying that something was missing. To-l’dot of Yitzchak b. Avraham; it was Avraham who fathered Yitzchak. And the word To-l’dot is spelled with its VAV.

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Sedra Stats

TO-L'DOT Stats

6th of the 54 sedras;
6th of 12 in B’reishit
Written on 172.7 lines in a Torah, rank 36
4 Parshiyot; 2 open, 2 closed
106 p’sukim, ranks 29th (9th in B’reishit)
Tied with Vayigash and Bo; shorter than each in words & letters and length
1432 words, ranks 34th (10th in B’reishit)
5426 letters, ranks 33rd (10th in B’reishit)
Its p’sukim are below average in length

MITZVOT
None of the 613 mitzvot are in To-l’dot

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Lead Tidbit

The Son of a BT is an FFB

Usually, that is the case. And that is what every sincere BT (Baal T’shuva) wants and davens for, that his/her children should be FFBs (Frum from birth).
MAASEI AVOT SIMAN L’VANIM - the deeds of the ancestors are the “signs” (pattern-makers) for the descendants.

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Other Tidbits
Portion of the Portion

Hashem Blessed Avraham with Everything

Overcoming Fear

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TTriddles "Report"

TTriddles

TTRIDDLES…
are Torah Tidbits-style riddles on Parshat HaShavua (sometimes on the calendar). They are found in the hard-copy of TT scattered throughout, usually at the bottom of different columns. In the electronic versions of TT, they are found all together at the end of the ParshaPix-TTriddles section. The best solution set submitted each week (there isn’t always a best) wins a double prize a CD from Noam Productions and/or a gift (game, puzzle, book, etc.) from Big Deal

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Divrei Menachem

Divrei Menachem

When reading Toldot and learning about the twins born to Yitzchak and Rivka we cannot but be confused by the revelation that, “Yitzchak loved Esav because game was in his mouth; and Rivka loved Yaakov” (B’reishit 25:27). How could it be that the idol-worshiping Esav be the favored son of Yitzchak?
Perhaps, like his father Avraham, Yitzchak was partial to, and protective of, all persons, even when they showed their darker side. Perhaps, like Avraham who was reticent to send Yishmael out of his home, Yitzchak was willing to put up with Esav’s wily ways. Or maybe this partiality just reflected a parent’s paternal instinct to favor the firstborn son.
Rashi, however, citing the Midrash, explains that Esav was a master of deception. Yes, Esav brought his father the delicacies he loved; but Esav trapped Yitzchak by asking questions that made him look unusually pious in his father’s eyes. In contrast, Ya’akov spent most of his time in the study hall - and when he spoke it was straightforward and truthful.
The sainted Rebbi HaKadosh of Lublin remarked that rather than the Torah describing Yaakov as wholesome (TAM), the narrative paints Yitzchak as an ISH TAM, a wholesome man. In this sense Yaakov is distinguished by his ability to be a man who masters over his potential to be shrewd and sly of tongue.  Clearly, Yaakov serves as a role model for all who try to impress others in today’s topsy-turvy world.

Shabbat Shalom, Menachem Persoff

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Wisdom & Wit

Wisdom & Wit by Shmuel Himelstein

Before his son’s Bar Mitzva, R’ Shalom Eisen brought the young man to R’ Isser Zalman Meltzer for R’ Isser Zalman to bless him. R’ Isser Zalman wished the young man to grow up to be a great Torah scholar.
The following Shabbos, the boy’s Bar Mitzva Shabbos, R’ Isser Zalman, who was already a very old man, walked from his home to the Bar Mitzva - a very long walk.  R’ Shalom was of course delighted that R’ Isser Zalman had come, but he later said to him: “Rebbe, I have no words to express our appreciation at your coming, but I know it required great effort on your part. I specifically brought my son to you to spare you the long walk.”

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"From Machon Puah"

Uterine Transplants - A Historical View

Uterine Transplants - The Donor


 

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Portion of the Portion Parsha Points to Ponder

Parsha Points to Ponder

1) Why does the Torah teach us Yitzchak’s age when he got married (25:20), something which it does not reveal regarding the rest of our ancestors?
2) Why does the Torah connect to seemingly unrelated facts - that a long time went by after Yitzchak and Rivka arrived in Avimelech’s land and that Avimelech chose to look out the window which led to his discovery that Yitzchak and Rivka were married (26:8)?
3) Why does the word TZAYID include and extra silent letter HEI when Yitzchak asks Eisav to go hunt an animal to bring home before receiving his blessing (27:3)?

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Chizuk and Idud

CHIZUK and IDUD for Olim not yet Olim respectively

This week’s parsha describes Yitzchak digging three wells. The Ramban, bothered by the mundane nature of the description, suggests that there is a REMEZ, a deeper esoteric meaning - to be uncovered. The three wells allude to the three future Temples. The first two wells, like the first two Temples, were destroyed as a result of anger and strife. The third well dug in Rechovot alludes to the expansive grand nature of the third Temple destined to be erected without strife and to last forever.

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Vebbe Rebbe

Vebbe Rebbe

The Orthodox Union - via its website - fields questions of all types in areas of kashrut, Jewish law and values. Some of them are answered by Eretz Hemdah, the Institute for Advanced Jewish Studies, Jerusalem, headed by Rav Yosef Carmel and Rav Moshe Ehrenreich, founded by HaRav Shaul Yisraeli zt"l, to prepare rabbanim and dayanim to serve the National Religious community in Israel and abroad. Ask the Rabbi is a joint venture of the OU, Yerushalayim Network, Eretz Hemdah… and the Israel Center. The following is a Q&A from Eretz Hemdah…

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Word of the Month

Word of the Month

A weekly feature of Torah Tidbits to help clarify practical and conceptual aspects of the Jewish Calendar, thereby better fulfilling the mitzva of haChodesh HaZeh Lachem…

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In This Issue of Torah Tidbits

Candle Lighting and Havdala

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Sedra Stats

6th of the 54 sedras;
6th of 12 in B’reishit
Written on 172.7 lines in a Torah, rank 36
4 Parshiyot; 2 open, 2 closed
106 p’sukim, ranks 29th (9th in B’reishit)
Tied with Vayigash and Bo; shorter than each in words & letters and length
1432 words, ranks 34th (10th in B’reishit)
5426 letters, ranks 33rd (10th in B’reishit)
Its p’sukim are below average in length

MITZVOT
None of the 613 mitzvot are in To-l’dot

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Word of the Month

With the molad of Kislev early on Wednesday morning, first opportunity for Kiddush L’vana this month (according to Minhag Yerushalayim, which is starting at 3 full days after the molad) is Motza’ei Shabbat, Nov. 17th. For those who wait until 7 full days after the molad - first op is Wednesday night, November 21st. Unless you keep this opinion strictly, it is advisable to take the earlier first op - because of the possibility of cloudy and rainy conditions on any given night, IY"H.