Vayeira 5777-2016

“There is But No Fear of G-d in this Place”

What did Abraham mean when he concluded that Gerar was a city that possessed no fear of G-d?

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Toledot 5771-2010

“Isaac, the Man of Commitment”

When comparing Isaac’s experiences in Gerar, we find several similarities with Abraham’s experiences in both Gerar and Egypt. But what accounts for the many differences?

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Toledot 5765-2004

"Digging Wells"

Parashat Toledot tells of numerous occasions when Isaac and his servants go out to dig wells. What is so significant about well digging that impels the most important document in Judaism to not only recount that Isaac dug numerous wells, but to even list the well's names? Obviously, these ancient wells were signposts of Jewish identity, Jewish pride and Jewish outreach. We learn from Isaac and his wells that the anti-Semites do not respect Jews who are ashamed of their heritage. On the other hand, non-Jews cannot help but admire those Jews who stand up proudly and state without reticence or embarrassment, "I am a Jew!"

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Toledot 5763-2002

"The Deeds of the Fathers are Signposts for the Children"

In parashat Toledot we read for the third time the story of our patriarchs going to Egypt or to Gerar on account of famine. This time it's Isaac and Rebecca, rather than Abraham and Sarah, but the stories are virtually identical to the previous two. The famed Italian Bible scholar, Umberto Cassuto, suggests that this story is a paradigm, and its frequent repetition is predictive of what will happen to the Jewish people in the future. There will be a famine, and the families of the descendants of Abraham and Isaac will leave Canaan and go into exile. The men will be threatened with death, but the women will be allowed to live. Eventually, the people will go out with great wealth.

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