Toledot – Twins Wrestling Within Us

This week’s Torah portion, Toledot, tells us about the conception and early lives of Jacob and Esau. It also tells us a great deal about Isaac and Rebecca’s relationship with each other and with their sons. It begins like this:

וְאֵ֛לֶּה תּוֹלְ ֥דֹת יִצְחָ֖ק בֶּן־אַבְרָ הָ֑ם אַבְרָ הָ֖ם הוֹלִ֥יד אֶ ת־יִצְחָֽק׃
וַיְהִ֤י יִצְ חָק֙ בֶּן־אַ רְ בָּﬠִ ֣ ים שָׁ נָ֔ה בְּ קַחְ תּ֣וֹ אֶת־רִ בְקָ֗ה בַּת־בְּ תוּאֵ ל ֙ הָֽאֲרַמִּ֔י מִפַּדַּ֖ן אֲרָ֑ם אֲח֛ וֹת לָבָ֥ן הָאֲרַמִּ֖י ל֥ וֹ לְאִשָּֽׁה׃

This is the story of Isaac, son of Abraham. Abraham begot Isaac. Isaac was forty years old when he took to wife Rebekah, daughter of Bethuel the Aramean of Paddan-aram, sister of Laban the Aramean.